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In several countries November 11th is a national holiday to honor military veterans. Some refer to it as Armistice Day, others as Remembrance Day, and here in the United States it is known as Veteran’s Day. It is a time for us to stop and reflect on the sacrifices they made for their country, allies, and citizens. These men and women came from all walks of life. They had put their lives on hold and, all too often, in grave danger to defend loved ones or to offer aid and support to those who could not care for themselves in times of disaster and war. We should be thankful such brave and selfless people exist in our world.
When they come home, however, many return to civilian life without a job. This is despite the fact that they are highly skilled…often with valuable technology skills and experience in the areas of communications, security, and IT computing and networking. They are accustomed to working in a high stress “mission critical” organization. Failure was truly not an option for them. These vets have the ideal skill set to work in a data center environment. We should all make an effort to hire these men and women, not because we want to thank them, but because they will make our data centers better.
Schneider Electric’s Mission Critical Services team does a fantastic job of efficiently and reliably operating our customers’ data centers of all shapes and sizes around the world. I spent a few months with this team as a research analyst to understand what makes them successful…to see what makes them “tick”. One of my key findings was that our Facility Managers operate with a mission critical mentality that had come directly from their experience and training in the military. They had managed nuclear reactors, commanded submarines, managed IT networks on the front lines and the like. This “war room” mentality is defined by a constant focus on risk mitigation, being analytical and process-driven, all while acting with confidence and patience. This was the real “secret sauce” behind their excellent implementation of data center Operations and Maintenance programs. They also regularly trained and drilled in a militaristic fashion going so far as to actually simulate major failures in test data centers.
So I think it’s wise to seek out our military veterans when hiring for your data center or IT room. The Uptime Institute agrees. In fact, they launched a great “Hire A Veteran” program a couple of years ago that is still active today. You can check it out here.
Thank you, Veterans everywhere, for your service!