Telecommunications ranks as the third most critical industry in the world in terms of the potential impact of the loss of availability, according to a new ranking from Vertiv.

Vertiv convened a panel of global critical infrastructure experts to systematically quantify and rank the criticality of multiple industries based on 15 criteria.

Utilities, including electricity, gas, nuclear power and water treatment, ranked first on the list. Mass transit—specifically rail and air transportation—ranked second, followed by telecommunications, upstream oil and gas activity and cloud and colocation.

The panel set criteria encompassing the range of potential impacts from the loss of availability of critical systems and weighted them based on the severity of the impact. These criteria then were used to create a criticality rubric the panel used to score the industries, which then were ranked by their average scores.

“If there is a common theme at the top of this list, it is the interconnectedness of these industries,” said Vertiv VP of market development Jack Pouchet said.

“These sectors are important to the foundation of today’s society, and downtime in any of these areas can reverberate across industries and around the globe. This will only continue as our world becomes more mobile and more connected and as the Internet of Things expands.”

Financial services topped the list in terms of financial impact of unplanned downtime. Second was e-commerce was second, followed by cloud and colocation. Cloud and colocation also ranked fifth overall in the list of most critical industries due to the increased dependence on those platforms across multiple businesses.

The panel also identified cloud and colocation as one of several rapidly emerging industries that are becoming increasingly critical.

“Cloud and colocation growth continues to accelerate,” said panelist Tony Gaunt, senior director for colocation, cloud and banking, financial services and insurance for Vertiv in Asia.

“We are right at the beginning of the up curve for core industries’ cloud adoption, and it’s likely that future critical services—the IoT networks that support smart cities and manufacturing, for example—will develop in the cloud.” – Telecom Asia