How to Keep Your Business Running

December 30, 2016

By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

West Penn Power invested $17 million this year to upgrade its infrastructure. This includes investments related to its poles and the wires that carry electricity to customers, as well as for remote control and other gear.

This effort in Pennsylvania is part of the organization’s 2016 Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement plan. That will entail the investment of an additional $88 million through 2020.

All of the above aims to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages to West Penn Power’s 720,000 customers.

Power losses by U.S. businesses in the batch manufacturing, continuous manufacturing, education and government, financial services/digital economy, grocery store, health care and hospital, and retail space exceed $27 billion annually, according to E Source (News - Alert) Companies LLC.

Infrastructure upgrades by power companies can go a long way toward preventing power outages. But they’re only part of the solution. Businesses should also take care to protect their own equipment by installing appropriate UPS systems.

Companies such as Para Systems (News - Alert) Inc., which provides the Minuteman line of Power Protection products, can help with that.

The company in a recent blog notes that’s particularly important for businesses that rely on cloud-based services.

“All cloud-based services require a network connection, and every network requires a router,” Para Systems explains. “Routers need power (you can see where this is going), so if the power goes out to the router or switch that supports the connection to the cloud service provider, employees may be left without access to a service that most businesses rely on.

“With so much riding on cloud services,” it adds, “businesses need to take steps to ensure the connection to their cloud provider remains up and running.”

There is indeed a lot riding on cloud services, and more to come. Recent McKinsey & Co. research indicates that over the next three years, enterprises will shift from building IT to consuming it.

“The big takeaway: enterprises are planning to transition IT workloads at a significant rate and pace to a hybrid cloud infrastructure, with off-premise environments seeing the greatest growth in adoption,” McKinsey said. “While cost is often perceived to be the main driver of this shift, our research shows that benefits in time to market and quality are driving cloud acceptance, while security and compliance remain key concerns for adoption, particularly for large enterprises.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle