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Can Data Center Maintenance Build Enterprise Value?

Can Data Center Maintenance Build Enterprise Value?If you’re wondering what kind of question that is (“Can data center maintenance build enterprise value?”), you might like to try the following thought experiment.

First of all, consider the value of your data center, or the DC facilities that you use, to your business.

Most organizations would rapidly grind to a halt if their IT resources became unavailable.

That’s a situation that will become increasingly prevalent, given the way products are turning into services in today’s economy, services that rely on computing power to exist and work properly.

Got it? Now let’s start…

No Maintenance for Me, I’m a Dinosaur

Here’s the first part of our thought experiment.

Imagine that you do no maintenance. That means no hardware or firmware upgrades, and no new operating system versions, let alone application enhancements.

You also refuse to check or repair cabling, air conditioning, power circuits, backup electricity generators, and security measures, whether physical locks or firewalls.

How long will it be before infrastructure failure or hackers bring your data center down?

No DC means no business and no survival.

Welcome to the DC dinosaur memorial association.

Can My Maintenance Be a Value Instead of a Cost?

If you agree that no data center maintenance can indeed capsize your company, then another question arises. Is the maintenance of a DC anything other than a necessary evil?

Maintenance can indeed bring about a positive change in net profitability and worth of your business.

If you can squeeze out more life and obtain better protection of your data center assets, for less than the price of doing a corresponding refresh with new items, then your bottom line should look better.

Spacing out new installations and lengthening refresh cycles will result in overall reductions in net spending. Suddenly, your business is worth more! Unless…

Maintenance is Not Management

If your excellent maintenance simply helps to perpetuate inefficient and costly processes, it may be time for the next step in our thought experiment.

There is no point in doing things right if they are the wrong things to do in the first place.

Take system cooling requirements, for instance. Helping your data center to guzzle megawatts of power without breaking may not be the best solution. Those power bills could put you out of business!

Managing your cooling systems to adapt hot aisles and cool aisles to changes in system locations and power ratings is the first thing to do.

Then and only then, you can focus on maintenance to maintain lower power usage and bills, and, therefore, higher net profitability. But then again…

The Affliction of Maintenance Myopia

If your organization is not a dinosaur, is it nevertheless an ostrich, its head buried in the sand?

Things change fast in data center technology. New needs brought about by the venue of big data and the Internet of Things (IOT) mean new technology and approaches.

Disaggregation is one example: system components can be scaled separately, instead of imposing a whole new server just because you wanted a few more compute cycles.

If you carry on obstinately maintaining technology that can no longer cost-efficiently meet today’s business needs, you’ll find that dinosaur memorial association also accepts ostriches as honorary members as well (and posthumously, like the dinosaurs).

To Sum Up Our Thought Experiment

Making data center maintenance profitable and building net worth and value is about both doing the right things (maintaining the right technology, configurations, and priorities) and doing those things right (good maintenance processes).

 

Do you and your accounting department see eye to eye on your DC maintenance policies? Tell us how you position value rather than the cost to make your case convincing.

 

And if you’re the CEO or sales director of a data center and you frequently include maintenance in your client proposals, be sure to download our free eBook on “Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers.”

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