As a data center, your business is built on a very basic promise: you will deliver continuous operations to your customers, no matter what happens. It could be a hurricane, a cyber attack, or worse – you will do what it takes to keep those systems running smoothly.
Of course, this is easier said than done. That’s because much of the data and information needed to ensure continuous operations is trapped in separate silos – on servers, in gadgets, or even in people’s heads. This not only threatens your continuity, it raises legitimate security questions, too. After all, the more seams in your system, the more places for attacks to get in.
That’s why it’s so important to identify all these silos and figure out a way to unify them.
IDENTIFYING THE SILOS
Chances are, you’ve made some significant investments in your infrastructure over the years. You’ve got state of the art equipment and backups, powerful controllers to operate them, advanced networks to connect them, cutting-edge monitoring equipment to measure them, and robust security systems to prevent unauthorized access on-premise.
You’ve also invested heavily in your team – hiring the best personnel, offering them the best training, and providing continuous opportunities for them to learn.
It’s not just you, either. Your customers have done the exact same thing.
All these people and things - these are your silos.
As great as your technology and people are, they don’t share the critical information they generate. Your building equipment doesn’t speak the same language as your customer’s systems. Your facility operators and customers aren’t aligned on operating parameters regarding load balancing, heating/cooling capabilities, and maintenance windows.
The list goes on.
These barriers between facilities, IT, and your customers can limit your capability and responsiveness, especially in event of some unforeseen condition. So how do you unify them?
UNIFYING THE SILOS
First, you need to create unified goals that both you and your customers can agree on, regarding reliability, efficiency and security. Maybe you want to increase power savings, or more quickly provision facility space in line with network demands. These are objectives that facilities and IT can work on together.
Next, you’ve got to enable seamless collaboration between all parties, including the groups within your organization. This will require you to provide a way for groups to share critical information, like through the cloud. The key is to ensure network security and user control. To do that, make sure that security among each group is maintained, and grant owners of the data the ability to control who can access what.
Third, you’ve got to execute. Track everyone’s performance across all fields – reliability, efficiency, and security – and measure that against your stated goals. If certain groups are falling short, that leads to our final piece:
Motivate them. Offer real incentives to compel each group to meet their individual and common goals. You could tie it to their yearly performance review, and even offer added bonuses for each objective and key result they meet. If that seems like too much, consider what you’re risking by not achieving these goals – namely, compromised performance, security, and reliability. Compared to that, throwing in some incentives is the logical move.
You and your customers have invested a ton of resources into your systems and people. But the truth is, you’re not maximizing their value if you allow them to operate in isolation. By unifying your silos, you can drastically reduce your risk of a security breach, while increasing your performance, and ensuring greater reliability – no matter what’s happening in the world around you.
And isn’t that what we’re all after?