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A complex critical infrastructure environment needn’t hide in the dark, organisations can dashboard and share insight more effectively today.

In today’s data led economy organisations have greater visibility than at any previous time in business history. Every customer creates a digital wake. Analysis of that wake informs organisations about the spending habits, demographics, physical movements and chosen bank.

The same approach to customer visibility can be applied to an organisation’s digital operations. Given the importance of digital customer service, having the same levels of visibility into your digital infrastructure is as vital as knowing your customer’s personal details.

Just as your customers can be spread far and why, in today’s complex organisations your critical infrastructure can be within retail outlets, branch offices, manufacturing facilities, wards, reception areas, distribution centres and of course the data centre. Centralising that critical infrastructure is unrealistic, but organisations do need to have excellent visibility of every element of critical infrastructure and its operational condition.  Without that visibility, business damaging failures can creep up.

EIT - EfficiencyIT web graphic
EIT - EfficiencyIT web graphic

As we detailed recently, comms rooms and data centres are vital organs that need great care. Good health comes from knowing vital signs such as operating temperature or who from your ecosystem of suppliers is entering and working within a comms room or datacentre. On a more granular level, just as you would change the fire alarm in your home when it reaches end of life, so too must organisations be aware of the age of their uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This awareness is not the sole responsibility of the IT leadership team, at EfficiencyIT we have seen some of the most successful cases of critical infrastructure being placed at the heart of the organisation when IT and Facilities Management combine their efforts. With modern dashboards both facilities and IT teams have visibility of all critical infrastructure.

With critical infrastructure visibility facilities and IT are then able to carry out informed risk assessments and test their environments effectively. Testing and risk assessment is vital, because things will fail and if everyone in the organisation is aware of how to respond, then the impact on the customer can be reduced. And in today’s marketplace, whether you are a technology or a facilities provider, reducing the impact on the customer is a key part of your role.

EfficiencyIT has seen how important the relationship between IT and facilities management is in a deployment carried out at the Wellcome Sanger Institute that has resulted in major savings, increased productivity and in the case of the Sanger Institute, increased productivity means more research and ultimately saving lives.

The pervasiveness of technology means that critical infrastructure resides in all corners of the business and can therefore be impacted by unintentional consequences.  A corner room that once held a PABX telephone switch can now be a critical end point (sometimes dubbed the edge) of the organisation’s digital services. In effect the organisation can find itself with a more complex data centre environment that it realises. These endpoints can have a significant impact if not monitored and maintained. A local electronic point of sale (EPOS) failure can be brand damaging and of course lose revenue. By giving an organisation good visibility of its critical infrastructure it can quickly see what risks it needs to mitigate, for example being able to see what essential applications will be impacted.

With the rise of cutting-edge data centre technology and recently edge data centres has come a series of tools to help organisations and teams within and outside of IT to access and gain visibility.