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Late last year a high-street financial institution experienced a power failure at an IT centre in Yorkshire, shutting down cash machines for a few hours, as well as undermining retail transactions and online banking. This incident was only the latest in a telling series of power failures affecting UK organizations including ISPs, hospitals and financial trading firms, highlighting the growing need for effective assessment of risks and disaster scenarios. This encompasses effective IT infrastructure planning, provision of power supplies and environmental concerns influencing organizations’ daily operations.
The scope for knock-on effects such as system failure and critical data loss has been intensified in recent years by the expansion, complexity and power constraints on ICT infrastructures as ‘UK plc’ migrates an increasing proportion of business processes and systems online. In 2008 Gartner made a global prediction that half of data centres will start to run out of effective power supplies. However, local conditions often present more immediate difficulties.