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Cultivating the Enterprise Mindset
September 08, 2015
Written by Joseph Parrino

As in any business, the best data center providers are committed to providing total customer satisfaction. To deliver the level of services and expertise that CIOs and IT personnel demand requires employing an “enterprise mindset.” From site selection and conceptual planning, through construction and commissioning, and into day-to-day operations, it’s critical that you work and think like data center managers, applying the techniques and best practices that ensure the best performance. The only way to build top tier data centers the way enterprise architects would build them, and IT managers would operate them, is by thinking like enterprise users.

Enterprise-Mindset-T5Adopting an enterprise mindset requires you to consider every aspect of your data center’s design as an IT manager would. Rather than just being concerned with the physical plant, you need to work with the IT team to understand their data center needs and what it will require to make sure their systems run flawlessly. Building a data center from the ground up requires a level of experience and expertise seldom found in data center providers, which is why it’s important to find a data center partner who understands the enterprise mindset and can build performance, redundancy, and reliability into the data center design.

Too often, data center providers look at data center provisioning in terms of profit and loss. It’s best to find a data center partner who approaches provisioning with the attitude that it has to be done right, without compromise and without cutting corners. Adopting an enterprise mindset makes it clear as to what it takes to keep your clients’ data centers up and running.

During site selection, for example, there are multiple considerations. You want to look for power grid stability and the availability of data connectivity. You need to assess the potential for natural disaster or weather events. You also want to consider availability of a skilled workforce in the region. You also want to also specify the facilities’ mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) infrastructures using readily available components that deliver reliable performance and are readily available for replacement if needed. As part of that enterprise mindset, you want to be more concerned with delivering “total availability” rather than being on the “bleeding edge.”

Your data center provider also should have a core team of architectural, MEP, and controls engineering firms who understand the enterprise mindset. These teams work closely with on-site experts to design highly reliable infrastructure and processes that continue to promote total availability.

The enterprise mindset should strive toward total transparency as well as total availability. As a data center tenant, you should be included in design reviews, construction meetings, and all levels of commissioning and operations. For example, at T5 Data Centers, our enterprise customers have portal access to our building automation systems, so they can view real time what’s going on at any time from a remote location

Any data center operation worth its salt needs to maintain an enterprise mindset, as well as a healthy level of constructive dissatisfaction. At T5, we are constantly asking ourselves, “What can go wrong?” and, “how can we make it better?” These are the questions data center managers struggle with every day. That’s the kind of commitment to service and efficiency that you need to shop for in a data center partner. It’s at the core of the enterprise mindset.