15 June 2020

Three ways to accelerate business success in the next wave of digitisation

Written by Adam Gardner, Head of Products

Safety, resilience, sustainability. Three words that play a crucial role in enabling organisations to enhance customer satisfaction and optimise the success of their digital transformation journey.

In an era of constant change, technology-led innovation continues to drive lifestyles, productivity, and economic growth. As the volume of data created grows exponentially, so too does the critical infrastructure required to collect, store, protect, analyse and share all that information.

It doesn’t matter whether organisations are using physical or virtual machines to manage their data, their hardware, clouds and connectivity services all need to reside somewhere and increasingly that home is in colocation data centres. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional inhouse data centres.

Safety, resilience, sustainability

Customers need data centres that are designed, engineered and run to exceed the world’s best standards for safety, resilience and sustainability. To deal with an ever-changing commercial outlook, digital-first organisations require three non-negotiable critical success factors.

  1. Safety in design

Safety of customers, staff and the wider community is paramount. Whether we’re protecting customers and their equipment against fire, personal threat or exposure to pathogens, our facilities, support systems and processes are built specifically to adhere to rigorous global safety standards to protect everyone and everything inside each NEXTDC location.

At our core, we believe it essential to consistently design, build and operate our facilities to meet and exceed the faith and trust our customers put in us. It’s not acceptable to simply meet minimum regulatory standards, but for something as important as safety we strive to far surpass them. Often the steps taken to achieve this level of safety occur behind the scenes as they are a core component of our offering.

Just a few of the examples include differential fault protection around the generators, extensive daily cleaning and sanitation and true fire segregation of each of the data halls and corridors including the use of non-toxic gases in the fire suppression systems as standard. We conduct monthly emergency evacuation training and support this in real time with comprehensive CCTV monitoring of every data hall, corridor entry and exit. Our goal is to provide customers with an exemplary Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) foundation for them to build upon and meet similar high standards in their organisation.

We’re proud of our obsessive attention to detail because it works. The most recent safety results reported for FY19 showed that the Company recorded no lost time or recordable injuries involving NEXTDC staff, customers and visitors. Anything less is unacceptable when you consider what’s at stake.

  1. Resilience

Data centres represent critical infrastructure that drives commerce and the community. They are essential services that enable business, Government, financial transactions, utilities, and emergency and health services. They are also at the core of many of the world’s largest cloud platforms, IT services and digital entertainment companies which themselves have emerged as the backbone of modern society. In the new digital world, downtime can cripple a business or critical service in seconds.

Immediacy is the baseline expectation of consumers. The consequences of unavailability and inconsistent performance are dire. It’s easy to see how a poor experience for online shoppers would see them simply move on to the next competitor. However, the inability to solve your internal stakeholders’ immediate requirements can have a similarly detrimental effect. We’ve all likely experienced great examples of this over the past several months. How many minutes have been wasted with the video conference dance of “can you hear me?”, “I can see you, but can’t hear you”, “wait, it might be on my end” etc.

Such delays can be seen throughout organisations where digital strategy tools and processes are not optimised. Stop and think about how many minutes your team waste each day due to IT related delay. And that’s when things are working! Imagine the chaos if your IT infrastructure was interrupted for four hours, a week or even a month due to a data centre related failure.

Data centre resilience starts with design, engineering and operational excellence to ensure power, security and connectivity remains uninterrupted. A key step in our operational excellence is then having our facilities independently verified to achieve Tier III and Tier IV certification. By having independent experts test and validate our builds, both customers and our team are ensured they have been rigorously stress-tested and can meet any and all customer requirements.

  1. Energy efficiency

As digital infrastructure increases, so does the cost of powering it and the potential impact that energy usage has on future generations. Businesses today are actively aware of their increasing carbon footprint and looking for providers who align to and support their own sustainability objectives. I’m proudest of the steps we’ve taken as a company in our quest for environmental and sustainability leadership.

Although we care deeply about sustainability measures such as offsetting 100% of our organisational carbon and building a service for our customers to do the same, efficiency must start with using less power in the first place. The globally recognised design and engineering excellence in our facilities translates directly into energy use reduction for customers leading to a lower total cost of operation. Our customers benefit from industry leading PUE performance and we operate Australia’s only data centres to have achieved a NABERS 5-Star rating for data centre efficiency positively benefitting business and the environment.

Decommissioning and migrating legacy data centres and platforms into ultra-efficient hyperscale facilities, as many of our customers have done, directly results in cost savings on power consumption, with some savings reaching into the millions annually. These savings along with other optimisations found with hyperscale facilities such as increased resilience, efficiency, scalability, security, and connectivity options have made each migration a key priority for digital success.

Sustained focus on innovation

The demands of our customers, and their customers alike, means we can never stand still and that is why analysts rate us as Australia’s leading data centre services provider. Our customers understand that to achieve the application performance levels expected by consumers and end-users, their critical infrastructure must be housed in a world-class, highly connected, and environmentally sustainable facility. Only then can they support their end-to-end business objectives for long-term success

If you’re interested in discussing how we can support your objectives and how you can leverage our investments in safety, resilience, and sustainability please contact our team.