Is your data center
ready for a deeper
Seven signs your team may benefit from partnering with a third-party FM provider
Amid talent shortages, a service provider specializing in data center FM will already have a deep bench of talent—along with the resources to keep staff skilled in the latest critical environment practices and technologies.
Data center teams will continue to face the uphill battle of meeting explosive digital demand even after the COVID-19 pandemic binge-watching marathon has ended. After all, the greatest unplanned work-from-home experiment in history transformed the way we work, while online entertainment and shopping habits have also accelerated significantly.
To provide constant uptime, data storage and security in this increasingly digital world, data center leaders must keep IT and systems engineering processes ahead of fast-moving trends in IT architecture and processing. Data center facilities teams must not only keep the proverbial lights on, but also maintain precision cooling and electrical systems at all times to support critical environments without fail—while improving operational savings, too.
That’s a lot of pressure for data center operators, particularly in an industry in which skyrocketing demand is exacerbating talent shortages. According to Uptime Institute forecasting, global data center staff requirements will grow from about 2 million full-time employees in 2019 to nearly 2.3 million in 2025, while the share of data center leaders who are having trouble recruiting qualified candidates rose to 50% last year. Meanwhile, a wave of retirements is also on tap, particularly in mature data center markets. Your facility management (FM) team has been instrumental in getting you where you are today. Their proficiency enables you to focus on advancing the core business. But could now be the time to augment their talent by partnering with an FM provider that can offer a deeper bench, and the resources to match?
An ideal FM partner will help you get the most out of your facilities and your teams, with a consultative, strategic approach that not only “gets” your business, but also adds to its success.
Seven signs an FM partnership may support your data center strategy
While every data center has unique operational challenges and opportunities, some universally applicable indicators can help you gauge whether it’s time to consider incorporating outsourced FM. Following are signs that your data center could benefit from teaming up with an FM partner:
- You’re having difficulty attracting and retaining qualified FM personnel. A service provider specializing in data center FM will already have a deep bench of talent—along with the resources to keep staff skilled in the latest critical environment practices and technologies. As a partner, the company will be able to supplement your current FM capabilities with rigorous training in leading approaches, such as how to optimize HVAC functionality or tap into innovative circuit cooling techniques. Also important, a professional data center FM company will offer promising career advancement opportunities to help retain talent.
- You put in significant effort to maintain 100% uptime, but it’s cost-prohibitive to adopt leading FM technologies that improve reliability. If productivity or quality is lagging, an FM partnership can help turn the tide with access to state-of-the-art FM technology and automated tools that boost efficiency and uptime.
- Your FM team is spending too much time solving urgent problems, leaving little time for more strategic work. Many data center teams have no choice but to operate like a body shop, fixing issues as they arise because of the market pressure to deliver 100% uptime with the lowest price tag for clients. A qualified FM service provider will use next-generation, data-driven preventative maintenance to identify and avert any potential issues well before they become a threat to uptime. With leading FM practices that reduce the risk of human error and empower capital planning, you can ultimately reduce your total cost of ownership, too.
- Corporate leadership is spending too much time managing the FM program. If you’re devoting less attention to core business and IT strategy, and more to overseeing building operations, an experienced FM partner can help restore the balance. An effective service provider will help structure and execute an outcome-based management plan you can trust. Also, you’ll gain a competitive edge if your FM partner provides integrated services, managing your other vendors to achieve your key performance indicators (KPIs) across the board and freeing your team to focus on the bigger picture. In addition, a reputable, global service provider will leverage their larger relationships and buying power to lower your costs.
- You’re missing full details about facility performance. Traditional FM may include basic performance metrics, but teams are often too busy trouble-shooting to structure a comprehensive metrics plan or adopt the necessary technology that would allow for more insights into facility performance. An FM service partner will use data and analytics to provide powerful insights into your work order efficiency and also supply corporate leadership with in-depth financial reporting. More detailed reporting will show where and whether performance problems and costs are trending upward or downward—and why—supporting improved reliability, cost predictability and business strategy, too.
- You need to ramp up sustainability efforts in your data center. Operators and tenants alike stand to benefit from improved energy savings, but it takes deep project management, energy efficiency and operational expertise to bring solutions like renewable energy and energy-saving building automation to fruition while optimizing costs. A reliable partner can bring the specialized expertise you need to meet important sustainability goals.
- You want to make your data center stand out from the competition. Sophisticated facility management makes a positive impression on prospective tenants looking for exceptional uptime, reliability and cost efficiency. With an effective FM partnership, you’ll not only deliver the high-performance data center they need, but you’ll also be able to pass on the cost savings.
If productivity or quality is lagging, an FM partnership can help turn the tide with access to state-of-the-art FM technology and automated tools that boost efficiency and uptime.
What to look for in a facility management partner
If any or all of these signs apply to you, now may be the time to explore an FM partnership.
Since not all FM providers are created equal, look for a company with a clear record of supporting 100% uptime while lowering the total cost of ownership. Other capabilities to look for include the ability to grow as your business grows, access to a deep bench of experts, strong training programs, and robust technology and metrics.
An ideal partner will help you get the most out of your facilities and your teams, with a consultative, strategic approach that not only “gets” your business, but also adds to its success.
To learn more about how an FM partner can support your data center strategy, reach out to a JLL expert today.