We have the last 3-4 years going very deep in DESign issues (standardization, best practices, certification and so on) but besides the level of infrastructure redundancy within a mission critical facility (Health, Data Centre, Contact Centre and more), consistency of procedures for OPErations, MAINtenance and support of the critical infrastructure systems are keystone to have Business Continuity.
These documentations must follow best practices in each industry, and it is a topic to discuss in other opportunity. And those that will perform such procedures, the REAL THING -well not thing- is PEOPLE. "the weakest link# that we can find in the chain. Why? , well these entity can fail indeed at the end all of we will collapse and go out of order to cemetery.
The knowledge, skills, competencies of each one of us goes directly enhanced with our commitment to LEARN, UNLEARN & Re LEARN (LUR) because when we think that nothing can be achieve -by us- because our experience and years in the trade; a new way to do the same thing pop up just in front of our eyes, is our attitude which will drive if we can understand, analyse and -if the case- integrate the new "know-how, knowledge" or technology inside our day to day way to do & solve job challenges.
The best CONstruction and DESigns and equipment, systems could -and will- fail unexpectedly -of course in the worst moment-. If those systems has been set with redundancy they should avoid an immediate outage. But only qualified personnel (pls see I did not write "certified") and on-site back-up components will reduce a wide-scale outage by keeping the mission critical facility in CONTINUITY mode and recover to total OPE status.
Human make errors, -and sometimes ACTs of GOD-, either during maintenance or when people is not enough and well trained to face & solve a system failure or condition. So what an OPErator should must do to assure the best performance this "weakest link"?
Reading Staffing the data center (may 2003 BY M. E. Kabay http://ubiquity.acm.org/article.cfm?id=782794) we can find out several issues that we MUST take in consideration and pay attention to reduce "the people risk" however all this issues must be addressed in an integrate way since the headhunting & recruiting process up to the training that any organization have to provide to ensure that its people is the RIGTH people for the job / position / responsibility; at the end the Business Continuity will be perform by those that we have contracted -or subcontracted-
If you revise Staffing Your Data Center (jan 2012 http://www.datacenterjournal.com/facilities/staffing-your-data-center/) you will get a good idea in which topics should be carefully consider.
"Education—This is first on the list, but it is by no means foremost. Almost anybody can get a university degree, ............ Don’t be fooled by degrees, ......although they provide some measure of competence, they ......should not be used as a sole measure of competence. Indeed, ....., individuals with virtually no formal education whatsoever can still be masters of IT.......
Certifications—Certifications are a means for IT professionals (and those looking to break into the industry) to prove competence without ......... a university or college. ....... don’t let a string of certifications on a candidate’s resume fool you; determine first what you need......, then compare with the candidate’s expertise.
Beyond the formalities—Okay, so what happens when you’re faced with a “computer whiz” candidate who knows his or her stuff but doesn’t have any formal education or certifications? First of all, ........don’t turn that candidate away......... Do you want extraordinary individuals working in your data center? Then don’t rule out extraordinary backgrounds and paths to expertise.
Experience—Give work experience its proper place: don’t overemphasize it, but do give it its due consideration. .............. But if you’re just looking for one or two new hands to supplement your existing staff, consider hiring an eager candidate who’s willing and able to learn quickly. In some instances, attitude trumps knowledge........."
Just to close this post, I can say that people is the most important resource that you have to take in consideration in any entrepreneurship, no matter if you are an OPErator or a CONstructor or even a DESigner. people move mountains with the best tooling (Education, Experience, Training and more) of course.
Or what do you think?
Roberto Sánchez, RCDD