Our EMEA team's recent blog post on data centre compliance by my colleague Vijay Mistry, who heads up operations on the other side of the pond, talks about the mind-boggling complexity of regulation and compliance issues in the EU, where each sovereign nation has different laws governing digital life and business. Here in North America, our clients are more concerned about mitigating business risks.
You'd be surprised how many Fortune 2000 companies now have Chief Risk Officers-and how much internal influence these women and men have. Sometimes risk management falls to the strategists, sometimes to IT. Whatever the title, these folks must have a firm grasp of business, technology and law. It's their job to foresee and protect against every kind of threat to their companies' success.
I like to say there are gigantic forces in the universe whose power to mess with your IT environment you can never underestimate. One is the tendency of legislative bodies to roll out regulations. The other, of course, is the weather.
So what is risk, really?
To me, and to our clients, risk is uncertainty affecting the business environment, whether that's physically or fiscally. To mitigate risk is to make technology and vendor choices that will ensure business continuity, no matter what the universe throws your way. For example, you don't want to put your data in the hands of a company that has great servers but iffy financial practices. Financial solidity is a must.
You can't afford to trust your data to a company that doesn't keep up with the latest, the fastest, and the most efficient technologies. Your data centre facilities have to evolve quickly so your business can keep up, or ideally stay ahead of the pack.
The way I see it, vendor lockdown is a big risk, too.
The freedom of connection-that's one of the big Digital Realty advantages. Our web of alliances is so robust that our clients will always have access to a broad selection of vendors-and the ability to upgrade technologies without disrupting service.
As I say to prospective clients, you don’t want to settle your kit with us, then have to change the plug.
Financial stability, cutting edge technology and freedom of connection. To me, that adds up to an acceptable level of business risk for your data centres.
– Andrew Schaap, Senior VP, US Sales