Applying Military Principles to Data Center Management

When preparing and operating in a crisis, few do it better than the U.S. military. Red tape aside, the military works on developing approaches to a problem, often standardizing actions that work. Having to operate on less and less as their budget is cut, military leaders could teach business managers a thing or two about planning and preparing for a crisis, as well as using what resources are at hand, coupled with strong leadership. Like the military, businesses like data centers can prepare for a crisis in four different ways, according to

1. Preparation

Preparation is one of the key ways to secure a faster and easier recovery in a crisis. Looking ahead to possible trouble situations and planning for those eventualities can lead to a more dynamic and versatile risk management plan. While business managers cannot know the exact crisis that can develop, by trying to foresee and planning all possibilities they will be better prepared when a crisis does strike.

2. Multitasking

Businesses should adopt the military practice of constant training. The military trains all of the time, but typically finds itself ready to go at a moment’s notice and can perform their duty under extreme stress. When developing a crisis training program, keep in mind that in a crisis, you don’t know who will be affected by that crisis, becoming otherwise unavailable. Training co-workers the job and responsibilities of those next to them can help lessen the impact of employee loss in the workplace during a crisis.

3. Resources

When utilizing the available resources, business managers need to keep in mind that in a crisis all resources might not be available. This requires foresight on a manager’s part. A good plan of action is to put some of the current resources in reserve. This doesn’t require a lot of resources, just enough to keep going until a crisis recovery can be implemented.

4. Crisis Recognition

Business leaders need to recognize whether a situation is in actuality a crisis, or something more mundane. A bad situation is a lot different than a real crisis. Difficult situations can be easily dealt with. The main difference lies in the fact that a crisis demands a lot of resources be brought to bear when it happens, hopefully averting it. If those resources are used in a situation that does not call for it, when a real crisis happens, the company will not be prepared.

For more information on how learning lessons from the military can help a data center or any business, visit: