Power Disruption Projects: Don’t Overlook These Technology Costs

Project managers operate in a technology-driven world, and even initiatives not specifically tied to digital transformation still entail many technology-related activities. This is particularly true for projects that involve disrupting power to technology-dependent work environments. With so many interconnected systems and a heavy reliance on software to drive operations, project teams need to anticipate and account for potential costs to manage the technology stack and network components during a power disruption project.

A good understanding of your firm’s technology requirements can help your team implement measures to mitigate excessive expenditures and budget for costs upfront to avoid unexpected financial burdens later. We compiled a handful of technology expenses that may lurk in your next power disruption effort to help inform the planning phase and minimize budget surprises.

Technology specialists to orchestrate system restarts once power is restored. Tests or programming steps may need to be completed during startup, such as confirming that configurations are up to date and assessing the state of each platform. If your internal IT group doesn’t have the time or expertise to restart your entire technology stack, then it’s wise to include costs to secure a qualified vendor or technology partner to take care of this activity.

Equipment to provide direct power while the main feeds are off. Depending on your business, you may have critical systems that can’t be down for the full duration of your planned outage. If so, you’ll need to coordinate alternative power sources to maintain services and access in the interim. That could mean renting (or even purchasing and installing) a generator or procuring one or more properly sized uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units to fill the gap.

Consultant support or provider fees to reconnect external services. Your network and infrastructure components likely have a number of integrations in place. Once systems go offline, those connections may not reauthorize automatically, and a reconnection fee may be necessary to restore the full suite of integrations. For particularly complex or extensive connections, you might consider working with a contractor to orchestrate the restart process across multiple outside services.

Overtime or off-hours upcharges to maintain the project schedule. In most power disruption projects, the IT team and supporting technology partners will want or need to conduct a good portion of their work outside of normal business hours. This not only reduces disruption across the organization’s user base, it also enables the technology folks to carry out their activities without needing to field the usual array of workday tasks. There’s also the possibility that unexpected problems during the shutdown or restart processes could delay the project schedule, resulting in the need to cover additional labor costs to compensate for lost time.

Specialists to handle data recovery and system restoration services. Power disruptions have the potential to cause data loss, corrupt system software, or damage network hardware. Getting everything back online may require vendor support to recover digital assets from a backup source or restore your systems and equipment to their pre-disruption state. This isn’t an issue in most power outage projects, but when it does occur, it can be time-sensitive and, as a result, quite expensive.

Financial penalties due to noncompliance. In the event your technology restart doesn’t go as planned and technology services are unavailable—to employees, customers, or business partners—for an extended period of time, you may be obligated to pay fines for non-compliance with any contracts or regulatory frameworks that apply to your business. To ensure you thoroughly understand your obligations related to a planned power disruption, you may choose to pay a consultant with compliance expertise to help you through the process.

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