Unprepared firms face power blackout risks

Over 70 per cent of businesses are concerned about future power shortages, but very few are taking any action to minimise the risk, according to new research by the DMW Group.

Many power organisations are predicting that by 2012 power partial or complete losses of power could occur in the UK – particularly in the South East of England. If this is the case, such power interruptions will dramatically affect many businesses’ critical IT systems.

The survey revealed that only seven per cent of UK businesses were able to estimate, with any reasonable accuracy, how much energy their IT is using and that over half of IT managers are underestimating their IT energy consumption by a factor of two. The survey also showed a lack of foresight, with over two-thirds of respondents not having set any targets to reduce their IT energy consumption, or made preparations for the ‘energy crunch’. They believed it either was not their responsibility, or it was unnecessary because IT accounts for only a small amount of total power usage.

“Not measuring your current IT power consumption means that many IT managers are unlikely to have a sound plan for reducing their power requirements, as this is one of the first steps organisations need to take,” says Simon Williams, director at DMW Group. “Too many companies are completely underestimating the size and impact of the problem. If they continue to ignore IT’s rapidly increasing use of power, they could face a double whammy of power interruptions and significant price hikes.

“The shortage of power generation capacity is predicted to cause power interruptions, which will bring down their IT systems, forcing many businesses to grind to a halt,” he adds.

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