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“I’m not surprised to see utilities at the top of the list. Power generation and distribution underpin most industries. Everything depends upon the utility and when the supply of any utility goes down just about every industry is affected”

Robert Linsdell,
managing director for Vertiv in Australia and New Zealand

Utilities, defined in our analysis as “nuclear power, gas service, water treatment, and electric generation, distribution and transmission,” were ranked the world’s most critical industry by our panelists.

With reliable power underpinning so many of the other services and systems we depend on daily, Utilities scored highly on almost all of the criteria in the criticality rubric. Downtime has an immediate and broad impact, can create societal disruption, and often ripples across other industries, paralyzing business and commerce.

Panelist Tom Nation, vice president and general manager of power system services in North America for Vertiv, agreed. “Many industries have protections against loss of utility service, such as UPS and backup generators, and these are very effective against short-term and isolated disruptions. But when large portions of the grid go down, as happened in the blackout that affected the Northeast United States in 2003, the disruptions are so widespread that our entire society is paralyzed.”

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