When the only constant is change, operational sustainability is indispensable

May 4, 2020


Written by: Simon Cooper, NEXTDC Chief Operating Officer

Australians are no strangers to the extremes of Mother Nature. Bushfires have a history of creating catastrophic loss, extended periods of drought are not unusual, and ferocious storms accompanied by cyclonic wind, torrential rains and flash flooding are simply part of life in many Australian cities.

However, it’s been over 100 years since we have had to face the economic hardship, social distancing and physical isolation that comes with a global pandemic.

Disruption from factors beyond the control of man-made processes and systems has been happening more frequently than any other time in history. Change is everywhere and it usually turns up unannounced, so our challenge is to ensure that whatever external influences come into play, the critical services and support we provide our customers and the standards we adhere to remain uninterrupted.

By any measure, the last six months have been unprecedented for Australia with a sequence of compounding crises, causing massive disruption to the way organisations and their people live, work and transact.

With much of the country in drought, the 2019-20 bushfire season started three months earlier than expected. Out of control fires and extreme heat gathered momentum for seven months, which ended ironically with the arrival of widespread storms, biblical rain and multiple flash floods.

As the swansong to these “natural disasters” played, a novel Coronavirus was silently encompassing the globe and leaving a devastating wake of economic destruction, illness, and social upheaval. This has enforced a drastic change in operational thinking, and how we look at business continuity planning.

So, what has this all got to do with customers’ infrastructure in their data centres? A lot, as it turns out because it highlights the important role your critical digital infrastructure plays in preparing for and addressing sudden change. We don’t know when or what the next significant external disruption will be, but inevitably, it’s just around the corner.

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your digital platforms are ready stand up to any new challenges that arise. The critical success factor for long-term success is ensuring the digital infrastructure that powers your organisation is resilient to disaster, and versatile enough to allow you to pivot when the unthinkable happens.

Hyperscale data centres and Enterprise colocation facilities are the heart and soul of the new Hybrid Cloud world. IT infrastructure and the data it stores can never be allowed to go offline, not for one minute, irrespective of what is going on around us.

To ensure that our digital infrastructure remains as a constant that returns some control in a world increasingly impacted by chaos, we need world-class data centres that are designed, built and operated to the highest of standards. Only then can we maintain compliance, sustain customer experience and mitigate risks of service impact in the face of whatever random change the natural world, or any other external factor, conjures.

Increasingly, customers are telling us that operational sustainability is central to what they are looking for from their digital infrastructure. To meet their increasing risk and compliance challenges, they need partners that adhere to defined standards that help eliminate the human error factor that can derail service delivery excellence. Their transformation agendas are dependent on flexible platforms that are underpinned by resilience, versatility, and scalability.

Operating out of facilities that have been Tier IV certified from Uptime Institute (UI), not only for Design and Constructed Facility, but also at the Gold level for Operational Sustainability provides organisations with that extra layer of assurance. It assures them that the critical infrastructure hosting their systems will always be available to support and advance business strategy.

It assures them that the critical infrastructure and the overseeing professionals supporting their IT platforms will always be available to support and advance their business strategies.

As an example, a NEXTDC enterprise customer, in one of the most highly regulated and competitive industries in Australia, undertook a data centre refresh project where risk and the need for operational excellence was cited as a critical success factor for the business – and as such, moved into one of NETXDCs highly connected and secure Tier IV facilities.

With full confidence that resilience of their infrastructure is guaranteed against all perceivable threats, they have the flexibility to focus on innovation and accelerate new growth opportunities that are underpinned by their ‘always-on’ availability imperatives.

Partnering with a data centre services provider that is certified as compliant with the most operationally sound and efficient global standards assures organisations that the providers processes and infrastructure aligns with their own priorities, helping to decrease associated risk around catastrophe or unexpected change events.

Completely hybridised and digitalised platforms are driving our new and constantly changing society. As such, our facilities are engineered to the highest reliability standards and highly connected in order to support your efforts to innovate and disrupt.

Operational sustainability is an ongoing commitment we make to customers. We are here for the long road and ensuring we safely support our customers and their long-term needs is priority number one.

If you are exploring ways to optimise the resilience of your IT infrastructure to support your continuity planning strategy, we’re here to help. Reach out to a NEXTDC specialist.

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