08 November 2020

In the digital economy, vote 1 for resilience

By David Dzienciol, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer

In the digital era, where data (and its availability) is the most valuable commodity in the world, downtime has a material impact on revenue and reputation. In worst case scenarios, it creates an existential threat. Unavailability, or even poor performance, from digital systems has a marked impact on productivity, customer experience and he bottom line. These assets now form the heart of your digital business, and without digital resilience, there is no heartbeat.

Digital resilience is a bit like democracy. It is easy to take it for granted but at the end of the day it represents the cornerstone of everything that is important to our present way of life. And whilst the US Presidential election hangs in the balance, with democracy put under the microscope – it’s a reminder that you can never afford to take your finger off the pulse.

You can never afford to under-estimate just how important it is to protect your business from the potential damage that comes with disruption to the things most important to your very existence.

Mitigate the risk of downtime

If you are not actively planning to mitigate against every kind of risk, then your organisation is not truly digitally resilient. Where this digital risk was once purely the responsibility of the IT function, it is now a concern for every leader across every business. Over the years, there has been a long run of incidents where IT outages wreaked havoc on organisations. When you look at the cause of those incidents, most of them could have been avoided with the right infrastructure, and data centre partner.

No-one is immune to the threat of downtime, but you can prepare for it by collaborating with specialists, partnering wisely and remaining vigilant. History tells us that disasters can happen to any organisation at any time. If you think what the worst-case scenario for an outage in your organisation might be, it’s motivation enough to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

The right partner, to deliver the right outcomes

Fundamentally, not all data centres are the same. You can have the best people, processes and IT equipment in the world, but if your data centre infrastructure is not designed, built and operated to the highest global standards for resilience and reliability – then everything else can and will unravel quickly, just when you need it most.

Many providers claim to have ‘world-class’ facilities, but is it validated? Uptime Institute is the only globally recognised independent organisation assessing and certifying facilities to the highest standards.

Don’t be fooled by uncertified claims, because when it comes to your most valued resources (your data and IT infrastructure), quality that is independently verified, backed by a track record of 100% uptime, matters. NEXTDC operate the world’s highest standard of both Tier III and IV mission critical data centres that are specifically designed to protect against downtime and service interruptions.

Why Tier IV is important

All colocation data centres should carry third-party verification of their quality of service claims. In the data centre world, the primary measure in assessing the resilience of digital infrastructure providers is certification from the internationally recognised body, Uptime Institute. If your data centre isn’t Uptime Institute Tier IV-certified, it isn’t best-in-class and if it isn’t certified to deliver 100% uptime, it exposes a direct vulnerability to your business.

Uptime owns the trademark rights to the official “Tier” system which has been the global standard for rating the quality of facility design, construction, and operations for 25 years. This gruelling third-party assessment, certification and continual audit framework is the global industry benchmark. It rates buildings on a scale of Tier I to Tier IV (not to be confused with Tier 1 to Tier 4) with the latter (Tier IV) being the highest possible independent certification available in the world today for data centres.

Tier IV certification verifies a level of fault tolerance that ensures the failure of equipment does not impede the delivery of services. It means there are plant, equipment, and processes in place to counter every conceivable failure scenario. Uptime also provides Gold operational certification addressing the people and processes required to match the quality of the facility. Tier IV Gold Operational Sustainability certification includes everything from training for personnel to real-time environmental monitoring, metrics, reporting and remediation.

When it comes to evaluating data centre services, make sure you ask questions about what standards they are built to and operate under, and who verifies that they do so. It’s a critical component of the resilience conversation, so it’s one you want to ensure you get right.

Delivering uncompromised resilience is at the heart of NEXTDC’s brand and reputation. If you are concerned about any vulnerabilities to your business, and if you are actively planning to ensure 100% uptime of all your critical infrastructure and systems, reach out to speak to our friendly specialists. Our focus always is helping our customers maintain the critical operations of their business, and successfully navigate through times of disruption.