In the first week of August, thousands of air travelers around the world were stranded and delayed by a computer network fiasco at a major airline based in the United States.
Delta Airlines made headlines on August 8 as a power outage managed to bring down its network for several hours, which in turn affected hundreds of domestic and international flights. For about six hours, only the flights that were already en route to their destinations could be completed; the rest had to be canceled as Delta officials implemented a ground stop, which essentially means that the airline did not fly at all.
Panic When Systems Fail
Initial announcements featured Delta spokespeople rushing to explain that the nefarious actions of hackers were not the cause of the ground stop. A single power outage brought Delta to a screeching halt because it deeply affected its massive IT infrastructure. The Delta incident baffled members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), who were concerned about the inability of this major airline to implement a disaster recovery plan.
Dangers of Business Networks Being Down
From a business point of view, although the Delta and Southwest IT outages were embarrassing, these are billionaire operations that can quickly bounce back. Nevertheless, their lack of an IT contingency plan is baffling. For a small business owner in Apple Valley, Victorville or elsewhere in the High Desert, a major interruption of IT systems could be even more disastrous and difficult to bounce back from.