For Unprepared Businesses, Opportunities and Revenues are Gone with the Wind

It’s been a cold, dark few days for hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents – and a costly one for countless area businesses. Since the windstorms of March 8, it’s been hard to drive through any area of southeast Michigan without encountering disabled traffic signals, the sound of emergency generators, and scores of shuttered businesses.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the storms’ 60 mile per hour wind gusts resulted in the single largest weather-caused power outage in Michigan history, with over 1 million Michigan homes going dark – as well as countless businesses. Even as crews work around the clock to restore service, nearly five days later, almost 100,000 homes and businesses remain powerless.

The public hazard posed by the outage is obviously the most consequential consideration. The economic cost to companies – and ultimately to the regional economy – is not inconsiderable, however. It’s worth noting that the while losses incurred by retailers, restauranteurs and other location-dependent companies were probably inevitable, some businesses sidestepped the worst of the storm’s consequences by laying the groundwork beforehand.

You won’t see it in the headlines, but many area businesses – including a number of Red Level’s clients – found themselves saved by the cloud.

Some time ago, I told the story of how Bower Management Services managed to sidestep the damaging effects of a power outage that crippled its competitors. Thanks to Bower’s reliance on Mi-Cloud, access to essential data and applications was uninterrupted, even when the outage closed its offices: Mi-Cloud’s work-from-anywhere capabilities meant that Bower’s employees could take care of business from home, from the coffee shop, from their mobile devices, or any location with connectivity. This time around, Bower’s story has been replicated by more of our clients who have chosen to migrate to the cloud in the intervening months.

Most companies are keenly aware of what downtime costs them in terms of expenses, opportunities, and lost revenues. As minutes become hours and then days, that cost multiplies – as does the cost of the inevitable remediation and catch-up work to be done once the lights come back on. Too many businesses only realize that moving to the cloud means that these costs can be successfully mitigated, or even avoided altogether, after the disaster has struck. Needless to say, companies like Bower who’ve chosen to “cut the cord,” liberating themselves from on-premise infrastructure and its limitations, have had a very different experience over the last few days.

It would be nearly impossible to calculate how many businesses didn’t incur significant storm-related losses thanks to their decision to move to the cloud, but it’s safe to say that their numbers are considerable. Cloud adoption continues to pick up steam in southeast Michigan, and it’s a pretty sure bet that some companies stung by Mother Nature’s most recent outburst will be spurred to move in that direction. Over time, that will mean that more companies will benefit from the extra measure of stability, security, and adaptability that the cloud affords, lessening the negative effects of the next record outage, whenever it comes. That’s good news for owners, employees, and communities alike.

Good news like that doesn’t often make headlines – but maybe it should.


Want help securing your network from future unforeseen power outages? Red Level is here to help. Call 248-812-8200

For more information about gaining a competitive advantage with digital transformation, contact Red Level today.

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