25 November 2021

How operational excellence is helping reduce organisational risk

By Brett Ridley, Head of Central Operations

‘Excellence’ is a word bandied around freely in the modern world; not always appropriately. For organisations trying to advance their digital transformation strategy and get the best out of Hybrid IT, it’s a moving target of achieving resilience, risk mitigation, consistently high performance, and the flexibility to facilitate decisive change.

Faultlessly serving your customers is dependent upon nothing short of 100% commitment to:

  • Service availability
  • Safety and sustainability;
  • Impenetrable security; and
  • Outstanding customer service. 

Risk mitigation is a huge operational challenge and compliance failure in any of the above can hugely impact the broader business strategy. Pursuing excellence in the way we operate our facilities is rooted in the need for our customers to eliminate inherent risk associated with the cloud migration projects that are transforming every aspect of their organisations.

Excellence by design

These outcomes don’t materialise out of thin air. There are always people, processes, and technologies at their heart. Strategic partnering provides a giant leap towards the end game of having the reliable digital infrastructure that is critical to success in a disrupted world. Eliminating security, resilience and compliance risk represents a foundation stone upon which effective growth and innovation strategies can be built.

Many of our customers need to ensure all their suppliers comply with a range of standards critical to managing risks in their own operations. At NEXTDC, we have addressed this proactively and it’s great to see that industry analysts and news services continue to identify it as an area where we can differentiate. Recent endorsements include:

  • DCD Operations Team of the Year (2019 APAC and Global)
  • Frost & Sullivan (Australian Data Centre Company of the Year – 2021)
  • APAC Insider Awards (Australian Data Centre Operator of the Year 2021)

These awards are largely the result of a new program of compliance management that serves to further solidify disparate compliance requirements and risk management strategies for enterprise organisations and government agencies.

Servicing diverse requirements

To support our customers’ diverse requirements and individual policies around how they manage risk, compliance, and governance, it’s imperative we personalise our definitions of service delivery excellence to cover this disparity in expectations. Our operational cadence and accountability to our customers therefore extends beyond just colocation excellence and compliance with established best practice frameworks and international standards around resilience and physical security.

Our motivation to customise the way we support our customers’ own individual architecture and operational policies is the pivotal cornerstone for creating a compliance management program that delivers a 2nd line of operational defence our customers are telling us they need.

For example, our public cloud providers each have their own compliance and risk management requirements with a strong emphasis on resilience, security, and safety. They also seek environmental sustainability and quality assurance right across their supply chains but to differing degrees.

Our customers – and our customers’ customers – in the financial services industry vertical, place an extremely high emphasis on securing the integrity of transactional compliance (PCI DSS) and verifying the trustworthiness of systems and services being provided (SOC 2). While we don’t have access to their data under management, the physical security standards applying to protecting transactions is critical to compliance.

In the past, if they wanted to take advantage of connectivity, cloud, and security benefits inherent in colocation data centre services, they would have to themselves audit our physical security to ensure it met SOC2 and PCI DSS stipulations. NEXTDC do that for them as part of our ongoing, unified program of compliance.

Managing best practice disciplines

NEXTDC’s Operational Excellence (NOE) framework is a defined program that manages best practice disciplines and international standards we apply to creating customer surety around how they manage their critical I.T investments.

NOE removes the burden of cumbersome and manual audit and management from their infrastructure management needs.

It is important to deliver our services to customers in adherence to the standards and frameworks important to them. Independently verifying that our facilities are accountable to these standards means they themselves don’t have to ensure we comply. It is all part of providing a frictionless and risk-free customer experience, saving customers time and money.

As digitisation matures, observance of the plethora of regulations, best practice frameworks and standards essential to efficient, reliable operations is no longer plausible without economies of scale. At the same time, the pendulum has shifted, with compliance no longer viewed as a box-ticking exercise but a core risk mitigation strategy.

Partner strategically for operational excellence

One of the keys to accelerating digital transformation is to stay focussed on what you do best, keeping capital for revenue and demand initiatives. Engaging suppliers who excel at doing the rest shifts the needle on cost model for funding innovation and growth. The key, however, is making the right decision around your partnering strategy, ensuring the independent verification of service quality.

That’s where compliance delivered by partners becomes important. It’s critical to attain the level of excellence your customers expect in all areas of engagement but difficult to find the expertise, capital and effort required for the audit process. Achieving compliance with acknowledged world’s best practices is more than just a value-add, it is an opportunity to demonstrate excellence to their customers without having to go through the complexities of complying themselves.

Being efficient in the way compliance is maintained is one of the great challenges for any organisation looking to maintain growth and, increasingly, there is demonstrable value derived from partnering to get there faster.

Our customers are empowered to aggregate digital infrastructure compliance challenges into one managed service agreement, giving them full accountability for the things critical to managing their strategic IT assets. NOE provides an overarching framework to ensure our customers’ environments are protected by a 2nd line of risk defence. Industry analysts and commentators agree that we get this right.

Where to from here?

To better understand how an uncompromising focus on operational excellence in the data centre is critical to futureproofing your elastic enterprise, Reach out to a NEXTDC specialist.