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, consider the value of your data center, or the DC facilities you use, to your business.
Most organizations would rapidly grind to a halt if their IT resources become unavailable.
That situation will become increasingly prevalent, given how products are turning into services in today’s economy, which relies 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, new operating system versions, or application enhancements.
How long before infrastructure failure or hackers bring down your data center?
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 capsize your company, another question arises. Is the maintenance of a DC anything other than a necessary evil?
Maintenance can bring about a positive change in your business's net profitability and worth.
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 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.
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.