5 Tips on Bridging the Gap Between IT and Facilities for Data Center Management

From the outside looking in, the data center industry might look like one big supercomputer. For those of us who work in this industry, however, we know how many people and teams make up even just one data center and, in turn, we know that many organizations run a multitude of data centers. These organizations and teams come with different goals, priorities, and even toolsets. 

While every data center group has their own operations workflow and organizational structures, two teams that are key to keeping the data center running are IT and Facilities. From procuring a ticket for a new device install to selecting the install zone, these teams must go back and forth across multiple toolsets and people to get the install done right, which can lead to a serious gap between the two.   

This blog discusses five useful tips on bridging the gap between IT and Facilities for data center management. 

Tip 1. Agree on a Workflow

Before you can bridge potential gaps between teams, you need to know what you’re working with. Revisiting your team’s workflow and how it operates across different teams is a reliable way to identify information gaps. It’s an interesting exercise to see if every team in an organization thinks the workflow processes in the same way. This is the first step to discovering inefficiencies as well as opportunities for improvement. 

Tip 2. Establish a Tracking and Communication Hub

Gaps between teams often form from the sheer amount of data that needs to be sifted through. It helps to have a searchable archive that details where all IT assets are located. In turn, this database functions best when multiple teams can use it to track and plan for power, space, cooling, weight, and network port capacity. If the database also tracks who made what changes, even better.  

Tip 3. Align Competing Interests

Cross-collaboration requires considering the needs and priorities of other teams. It helps to first define your team’s priorities, then other team’s priorities and finally map these priorities alongside the different team workflows. A linear process where everyone works in tandem is difficult in the data center industry. You’ll likely find that finetuning where these priorities and workflows intersect will aid in producing a more agile, collaborative workflow.

Tip 4. Ensure Data-Driven Decision Making

Estimations and “rule of thumb” practices can result in costly resource overprovisioning. Many teams will choose to overprovision resources excessively to avoid any potential risks. One way of avoiding this issue is adopting simulation into your workflow.

Simulation enables teams to make the right decision the first time based on physics-based data. Powered by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), simulation calculates cooling and airflow, so teams can easily simulate IT changes and know how the device will operate prior to installation.

Tip 5. Start Your Digital Transformation Journey 

Lessening the gap between data center teams requires real-time, shared access to data in a collaborative framework. Another way to frame this issue is to assess where your organization is at on its digital transformation journey (which we discuss in more detail here). Having the right tools and processes in place makes it easier for your digital infrastructure to accommodate and even accelerate your digital transformation journey.

Data Center Management for Teams in a Virtual World

There’s a strong focus on the technical aspect of data center management, and for good reason, but it’s important to remember the human element that makes up the data center: teams. The ability to bring teams together, especially in the now virtual world, can make or break data center operations. It is key to facilitating a more collaborative framework and maximizing efficiency. We hope you found these five tips useful; let us know by getting in contact with a member of our team here.


Blog written by: Danielle Gibson, Product Marketing Manager

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