Consequences of an Environmental Catastrophe in the Computer Room

The most obvious, but often least critical consequence of an environmental catastrophe in the computer room is the cost to repair or replace equipment damaged during the event. Insurance policies can offer some degree of financial relief in these circumstances, but the ramifications of such an event usually extend far beyond those apparent base costs.

 

As the cost of computer hardware continues to fall, it becomes obvious that Data can have a much greater worth than the equipment in which it is stored. Accumulated data is representative of many hours of personal effort and the special people-skills and transient circumstances that enabled the data to be collected and digitized.

 

An unplanned and ungraceful interruption of computing services can result in the loss of valuable information recorded since the last system-wide back-up procedure was executed. Catastrophic events, such as smoke, fire and flood, can render even archived information unusable if not stored off-premises. When calculating the costs of a Computer Room disaster, consider the manpower required to recover data lost or displaced during the incident.

 

Beyond the above mentioned, quantifiable costs are a variety of less tangible consequences. These include the loss of computer-dependent business and customer's good will, and the lack of employee productivity both during and subsequent to the event. For lack of computer support, personnel may stand idle while the System is 'down'. After services are restored, normally productive hours are spent on data recovery procedures.

 

It is also recognized as common for Insurance Premiums to increase for subscribers who file claims for damages, resulting in a long-term recurring cost consequence.

For some highly critical enterprises, such as hospitals, emergency medical services and stock brokerage firms, it is apparent that even a brief interruption of computing services could seriously threaten life or business.

 

Time Required to Restore Operations After an Environmental Incident

 

Cost Per Environmental Incident*

 

* Includes Consequential Damages


Environmental Incidents Occur Despite Preventive Measures

% of Sites Installed

Preventive Measures and Products

38%

Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS)

62%

AC Power Line Conditioning

40%

Thermal Cut-Off Switch for System Power

49%

Halon Discharge System

30%

Redundant Computer Hardware

29%

Redundant Air Conditioning Systems

60%

Smoke, Fire, Water and Power Quality Monitors/Detectors

31%

Electronic Personnel Access Control

15%

24-hr. / 7-day Attendance

44%

Around the Clock Security

35%

Central Station Alarm Service

25%

On-Site Automatic Monitoring & Control


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INTRA COMPUTER, Inc. , 2005-Present