By Steven Cvetkovic – Product Manager, MCX
When you hear the words “mission critical”, your first thought might be of Tom Cruise doing impossible things like jumping out of a plane or contorting himself through laser beam trip wires. While it’s a fun thought, it probably doesn’t have much to do with the day-to-day functioning of your operations – or does it?
Lately we’ve been rethinking mission critical with our customers because it’s an item surfacing to the top of more leadership agendas. As we continue down post-pandemic pathways of “always on” interconnectedness – and nervously awaiting the next blindside disruptor – any interruption in your critical teams is no longer an option.
Should you choose to accept the assignment, ensuring your most crucial teams and processes operate out of specialist, customised workspaces can (and will) help you complete your mission.
What are mission critical workspaces?
Working with customers across a range of industries, we are seeing three broad use cases emerging for our MCX (Mission Critical Operations) service.
- Recovery centres
Our customers are reporting growing challenges with traditional ‘recovery centres’ for multiple reasons including:
- Resilience and performance: Most commercial premises – even when customised for the task – simply don’t have the required levels of resilience to deal with minor incidents – let alone major ones. They are prone to planned and unplanned outages.
- Cost: Managing and maintaining your own critical infrastructure will prove a heavy balance sheet liability.
- Misalignment with core business: Managing and maintaining your own recovery infrastructure distracts from the mission itself.
- Risk of recoverability: Traditional recovery centres generally offer shared capabilities. They’re oversold subscriptions and therefore potentially at risk of not being available at full subscription capacity or at all.
Best practice recovery centres offer significant enhancement over traditional Business Continuity Planning (BCP) sites. For starters, the spaces are dedicated for the organisation providing assurance of availability when needed the most. They also feed off premium digital-grade, resilient data centre infrastructure complete with compliant physical security as well as fault tolerant power and cooling. Meanwhile, flexible and agile interconnectivity is facilitated to a comprehensive ecosystem of carriers, clouds and other digital service providers needed to support critical teams and processes.
Industry use cases: Highly regulated industries with a regulatory requirement for business continuity planning, such as banking, finance and healthcare.2. Operations centres
If you manage one or more operations centres, you may require the resilience, connectivity and security of the mission critical space and will use it in a consistent manner throughout the year (e.g. standard business days and hours).
Or perhaps you’re part of a global team with a “follow the sun” capability providing critical support, real-time monitoring or instant response readiness.
Industry use cases: Suitable for any organisation with high-availability sensitive tasks. Three great examples include global trading platforms for retail payment enablement, monitoring and support for “always on” SaaS platforms and content distribution for broadcast TV or on-demand streaming.3. High-availability mission support
This final category is for operations that can never afford any sort of impact that interrupts the ability to operate – the risk is simply too great, and the outcomes could be too dire. Uninterrupted delivery of the mission is non-negotiable, and lives may even be on the line. The mission critical space is in use 24 x 7 x 365, with staff rotating through on regular shifts.
Industry use cases: Most of us are familiar with remote operations centres, such as those used in the mining and resources industry. This is also applicable for operations that need to be monitored and triaged around the clock, e.g. commercial network and security operations centres.
Finally, there are the “always on” critical services that our communities require to function smoothly and safely, without interruption: air traffic control, defence and national interests, traffic management, space mission control and emergency response management.
How can I mitigate risks to my mission?
The best time to start mitigating mission critical risk is yesterday. The second-best time is right now, and NEXTDC can help you mitigate your risk.
Once your internal mindset toward risk mitigation has shifted, it’s time to act. The next step is to create the environment for your mission critical teams to function with near-seamless uptime, no matter what the challenges in the external environment.
There are a couple of ways to do this. You can do it yourself, which is a major undertaking for any organisation that isn’t already in the critical infrastructure business. It’s expensive, it’s a distraction from your core business and you probably won’t end up with the levels of performance and resilience required to achieve always-on availability.
Or you can partner strategically with someone who lives and breathes infrastructure availability to manage the mission critical environment for you. Only then can you:
- Create an environment for your core operations centres, teams and processes, which is scalable, customised to unique requirements and equipped with premium facilities.
- Place critical teams straight into highly secure, fault-tolerant facilities with flexible, agile services interconnection.
- Claim the unparalleled competitive advantage of “always on” operations.
Have you risk-assessed your mission critical teams and processes?
You need to provide a platform for your core operations centres, teams and processes to function with the same level of resilience you expect of your IT platforms.
If you’re ready to ensure the highest of availability spaces for your mission critical operation and deliver on your purpose without interruption, we can help.
Leverage mission critical operational spaces so your most important operations to function with the same level of resilience you expect from cloud and colocation. NEXTDC will partner with you to define what’s critical, and develop your plan to achieve “always on” operations.
To find out more, take the first step towards ensuring your mission critical teams and processes are always available by downloading our report: Rethink Mission Critical: Mitigating the Risks of Operational Availability today.