British Airways Blackout Highlights Power Protection Need

June 01, 2017

By Andrew Bindelglass - Contributing Writer

Some of the questions surrounding the outage of British Airways’ website last week have started to be resolved, but have also left many more questions in their place. Last weekend, the entire British Airways network was taken offline, leaving thousands of customers high and dry as the airline was unable to provide ticketing and check in service, keep track of passengers or bags, or maintain any of their daily operations. The Telegraph, a British news website, called the debacle the “greatest IT failure of all time.”

Earlier this week, British Airways released an apology and an explanation, saying that a freak power surge disabled their network infrastructure. Despite this explanation, many in the pro-Union crowd in Britain are pointing to the recent removal of unionized IT professionals and their replacement with outsourced services, a claim that British Airways CEO Alex Cruz vehemently denied.

It is likely that the debate over who is at fault will continue to rage, as both sides look to spin this issue into a narrative that fits their goal. However, this argument ignores one of the biggest issues that was raised during this meltdown: where was the backup plan?

The disaster surrounding the British Airways meltdown should serve as a warning for businesses that they always need to have several contingency plans in place in the event of something like this happening. First and foremost, businesses need to invest in heavy power surge protection, to ensure that this sort of disabling event does not wreak havoc on their computer systems. Power surges do not happen often, but when they do, they can cripple a business if they are not protected. In addition, businesses must make sure to have data backups and backup generators in place, in order to ensure that, if their power surge protection fails, they have a failsafe, another contingency plan in place to minimize the damage. That is the key to success in the business world: always thinking three steps ahead and having a contingency plan in place for all scenarios.

Edited by Alicia Young

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