When building a successful organization, protecting it from risk, liability, and other costly problems is essential. One of the most fundamental elements of this protection is to prevent the loss of revenue due to downtime on critical business systems. Maintaining consistent operation of these systems helps ensure that your organization can keep running smoothly, and that you do not incur unnecessary costs. To accomplish this, installing surge protection should be a mandatory part of your proactive planning.
Should a power surge cause damage or destruction to any element of your infrastructure or business systems, it could lead to downtime—the system no longer functioning to required standards. While many systems such as fire alarms, security and surveillance, and access control are implemented similarly across differing market segments, the outcome of their being non-functional presents a number of specific threats to various industries including datacenters, gaming, convenience stores, stadiums, hospitality and many more. Even worse, with the advent of the Internet of Things and networked systems, it’s possible for a surge to be carried along the system from one device to another. Here are a few examples of how specific industries are affected by downtime caused from a power surge.
While some organizations choose to maintain their own servers in house, more often they choose to store precious data in a separate datacenter facility, which can hold hundreds or thousands of servers for multiple businesses. If these servers cease to function at any time, the organizations storing their data there may lose intellectual property, health information, HR personnel data or any other vital information they are storing. This can open the datacenter to catastrophic liability.
Stringent compliance regulations require casinos’ video surveillance and security systems to be up and running 100% of the time. If recorded video is interrupted at any time, business operations must be shut down, causing total loss of business revenue until the system can be repaired or replaced. This would be disastrous for customer satisfaction as well, with repercussions lasting well beyond the resumption of business operations. A complete business stoppage caused by downtime could be a fatal situation for a gaming establishment.
With electrical devices installed both indoors and outdoors, chances are high that a power surge could disrupt operations in a convenience store or truck stop. Cameras, point-of-sale devices, intercom systems, electronic safes, pump controllers, pay-at-pump machinery, ice boxes, and mechanical signs are just some of the devices that could be easily damaged by surges. All of these devices are expensive to replace, and even after operations resume the store may have permanently lost business from dissatisfied customers.
A public showcase of what can happen when electrical systems suddenly lose functionality took place at the 2013 Super Bowl in the New Orleans Superdome, when a partial power outage literally turned off the lights, stopping play completely for 34 minutes. Protecting electrical systems is necessary to protect stadiums year-round, not only during the Super Bowl. If a point-of-sale system goes down during any event, sales cannot go through, resulting in massive losses in revenue from concessions and merchandise. Should ticket collection mechanisms not properly function, tickets could be counted inaccurately, resulting in unauthorized persons sneaking into an event or authorized persons not being granted access. Issues with access control or video surveillance can cause safety risks, which could be disastrous with such a large crowd.
A hotel or other hospitality business typically has a robust access control system in place to ensure that guests have easy access to the appropriate parts of the hotel—gyms, pools, spa facilities, in addition to their rooms or suites. Should the access control system go down, guests may be able to wander into other parts of the hotel, such as the kitchen, laundry facilities, or other guests’ rooms, increasing risk to patrons and liability for the hotel. Replacing any part of the access control system can take a room or service out of action, at a high cost to the business.
To protect the operations of organizations in any industry, it is a vital best practice to defend all electrical and networked systems from power events. Installing surge protection to keep systems up and running is simple and extremely cost-effective – especially when you consider the impact of downtime. Businesses and organizations in any industry can benefit from the installation of surge protection for their critical business systems.