ImpactWeather reports that expectations for a more intense 2013 hurricane season, coupled with the recent tornado outbreaks, is causing a sharp increase in the number of companies seeking to outsource their weather watching responsibilities.
This urgency has also been fueled by awareness of independent research showing that weather is the leading cause of business disruptions, and businesses leaders know too well that disruptions are extremely costly.
Top 3 Leading Causes of Business Disruptions*
1. Severe Weather
2. Power Outage (Commonly weather-related)
3. IT Failure (Occasionally weather-related)
* Source: Forrester Research / Disaster Recovery Journal Business Continuity Plan Survey, December 2011
Other independent studies show that the average cost of downtime to a company is about $5,000 per minute (Source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Unplanned-IT-Downtime-Can-Cost-5K-Per-Minute-Report-549007), however, depending on the nature of the business, these costs can be exponentially higher. Unnecessary shutdowns are often the most expensive of all. According to Mark Chambers, President of ImpactWeather, “Among the hundreds of diverse companies that rely on ImpactWeather to serve as their weather department, the common theme is their goal to be the last to close and first to open, while ensuring the safety of all involved.”
Though some companies still attempt to make their weather-related business decisions by analyzing publicly available weather information via the internet, many find that they are better served by a round-the-clock weather department providing weather-related decision guidance that is specific to the nature of the business activity, the company’s physical locations, and its unique risks and challenges.
“Years ago, the majority of our clients were industrial operators whose businesses involved outdoor activities, both onshore and offshore”, continues Chambers. “Now our clients include banks, retailers, hospitals, restaurants, insurance companies, manufacturers, hotels, and a variety of other businesses. We serve as the weather department for some of the largest companies in the world.”
Although there is some disagreement in the scientific community regarding the causes of weather incident severity, there is broad agreement that extreme weather will dominate both national and international news for the foreseeable future, therefore the trend of businesses seeking better ways to manage these threats will escalate.