Maintaining the data center depends on holistically integrating facilities and infrastructure considerations. This can create incredible complexity, especially as facilities and IT teams often have distinct goals, despite their dependence on one another. The facilities team often uses advanced technology tools to get the job done, making them highly reliant on IT. Technology departments, on the other hand, are even more dependent on facilities because downtime caused by problems with power, cooling and similar systems can prevent IT from maintaining adequate service levels.
A recent report from The Data Center Journal explained that many businesses have begun recognizing the importance of improving their facility maintenance efforts and are implementing asset management strategies to improve operations in this area.
Organizations that want to optimize facility maintenance capabilities should invest in change management solutions to improve scheduling and make it easier to take a proactive approach to resolving problems.
Considering The Rise of Planned Preventative Maintenance
The news source said that organizations have long focused on reacting to maintenance problems as they arise. This has resulted in a situation in which facilities teams are dealing with problems in a responsive way, making it difficult to anticipate costs and properly evaluate workloads in the department. Furthermore, reactive maintenance efforts can lead to unplanned costs in the form of inefficient resource use and damages to surrounding systems when one component fails. These problems are in addition to IT issues, such as data loss and reputation damages created by the downtime that facility issues generate.
According to the report, even a small problem like clogged ventilation shafts that have gotten so dusty that air cannot move freely through a facility can contribute to major problems. The restriction of air flow forces the fans and blowers in the cooling system to work at higher capacities, causing them to degrade more quickly and leading to higher power usage rates.
Furthermore, poor electrical maintenance is among the primary causes of data center downtime, the news source explained.
The unplanned and substantial damages that come as a result of reactive maintenance has caused many organizations to seriously assess new ways to get the job done. This has led to increased use of planned preventative maintenance tactics. In this setup, organizations have their facilities teams perform proactive maintenance by scheduling regular inspections of facilities systems and performing various tasks, such as cleaning, minor repairs and other activities, to prevent an actual failure event from taking place. The end result is a situation in which organizations can more easily predict how much they will be spending on maintenance tasks and avoid the unexpected costs associated with a major system failure.
Planned preventative maintenance strategies can also create incredible value for data center facilities teams. These strategies also force facilities teams to take on a more complex operational schedule in which they coordinate proactive maintenance activities, reactive tasks and other day-to-day functions to get the job done. Change management software solutions can make such complexity easier to deal with.
Using Change Management to Support Proactive Maintenance
A change management platform helps facilities management teams schedule, coordinate and report on various tasks that have been completed as part of any change. For example, the solution to the aforementioned problem is to alter the cooling system's workflow to enable technicians to clean ducts. This task needs to be scheduled so that facility and IT teams know when certain parts of the system will be out of service. Similarly, electric work being performed nearby may force facilities and IT teams to adjust operations so that power can be turned off in affected parts of the data center. Implementing change management principles as part of these preventative maintenance tasks can improve scheduling and collaboration throughout the data center, making it easier to avoid unplanned maintenance costs.