Over 100 million people worldwide tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVII. Therefore, it could be argued that was the most viewed and infamous power outage to wreak havoc on the grandest of scales.
It just goes to show, downtime happens.
We can’t really say for sure how or what occurred, although early speculation placed blame on Beyoncé’s lights-out performance, a manager at the Superdome, site of the game, said it was not the halftime show, but that a local energy company is claiming it had trouble with one of the two main lines that deliver power to the stadium from a local substation.
It could have been a software glitch, or a hardware problem that sacked power to the stadium for 33 minutes and left the NFL with a black eye. But the downtime incident powered a social media surge, as hundreds of thousands of people began Tweeting about the #poweroutage.
Which brings us to Twitter itself? Having suffered its own downtime nightmare back on January 31, Twitter was able to handle the blitz of people tweeting about the Super Bowl’s misfortune. Twitter announced it processed just over 24 million tweets during the game, with the mini missives coming in at a rate of 231,500 a minute during the power outage.
Downtime appears in many different forms and at many different times, across all industries and business landscapes. The Twitter downtime occurrence was much different from that the NFL witnessed, but both incidents took their tolls financially and in terms of a hit to brand reputation.
Within the enterprise there is an acceptable level of downtime that occurs each year. On average, businesses suffer between three and five hours of downtime per year, far too much in our humble opinion, at an average cost of $138,888 per hour. While that’s a staggering figure, the damage to the brand can be even more catastrophic.
Let’s get back to the Super Bowl spotlight on downtime and the power outage. The City of New Orleans, which hosted the game, is already worried it’ll lose out on hosting future games because of what happened. That’s a city known for its ability to show its visitors a good time, but those businesses that depend on major events like the Super Bowl to draw in tourism dollars could suffer from that 33-minute absence of electricity.
Again, downtime comes in many forms depending on the industry and the ramifications have the potential to throw their victims for a significant loss. It’s like that old saying that you need to expect the unexpected. When the unexpected does arrive you have to be prepared to come back from that downtime swiftly and with as little disruption to your business as possible. With the right technology and the right best practices in place, you can minimize the damage and decrease the chance of downtime seriously hampering your ability to do business.