The unreliable electricity supply situation in South Africa has rapidly added a new dimension to business risk management. Whereas risk in the context of IT used to relate to things like antivirus and network access control, Christelle Larkins, area manager: South Africa, East Africa and Indian Ocean, MGE Office Protection Systems, says that erratic electricity supply has become a real issue for businesses across the board.
"Companies have to look for alternative and innovative solutions for their businesses when it comes to power, thereby enabling it to be 'business as usual' despite the fact that the lights are off," says Larkins. "They cannot afford to waste time waiting for the power to come back on. They need to adapt to the situation, viewing it as a challenge as opposed to an excuse to down tools and go to lunch. Forward thinking companies must now manage the unpredictability of power by including power solutions in their business continuity plans."
IT networks and telecom applications are the backbone of organisations and regardless of the industry or sector, managers and business owners are now looking to brands like MGE Office Protection Systems to provide solutions that work - and enable them to keep working. "Power cuts impact phenomenally on IT. A simple thing like forgetting to save your work causes companies to not only lose the document itself, but also doubles their costs in terms of employee time spent duplicating work," says Larkins.
While some industries will be more incapacitated by a power cut than others, Larkins says that there are now many affordable options on the market that allow everybody - from home users to SMEs and mid-sized businesses to large corporations - to at least save their work and shut their systems down during a power failure. Deciding how much battery backup time you need is dependant on your application, and needs to be reviewed against the cost of not working during potentially long blackout periods.
There are, however, numerous solutions available. MGE Office Protection Systems - market leaders in this area - offers a variety of single phase UPSs. These solutions enable everything from a simple save and shutdown, to extending the life of the PCs in your department. In addition, MGE Office Protection Supplies go on to provide an intelligent suite of software with certain of its UPSs that save and close any open applications down - when you are not in the office. The suite can additionally be used across different operating platforms to isolate and shutdown selected PCs remotely, so as to channel power to critical departments and resources. MGE Office Protection Systems also provides power distribution solutions which can either be secured to the UPS solution or inside a rack, providing additional benefits such as zero downtime swap out and additional power outlets.
With the shortage of electricity in South Africa going to be a reality well into the foreseeable future, companies need to tap into their truly South African spirit of resilience and innovation, and explore what is on the market. They will soon find that there is a whole host of products available to ensure their PCs stay on - with or without electricity, and that they need to act now before it is too late.