5. Fragile IT Supply Chains Highlighted By Natural Disasters
The data center business in 2011 was rocked by at least four natural disasters which showed just how frail the IT supply chain can be:
- Floods in Thailand, home to much of the world's hard drive manufacturing industry, this Fall inundated up to a third of the capacity of those plants, driving up the costs of desktops, servers, and storage equipment.
- Typhoon Nesat pummeled Hong Kong in September, but fortunately disrupted airfreight shipments of IT products for only a few days instead of producing a true disaster.
- A huge tornado which hit Joplin, Mo. in May tore out a huge swath of the city and disrupted business IT operations for much of the area.
- The massive March 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami which struck Japan disrupted the world's semiconductor supply chain for months afterwards.