By Dave Eastman, VP of InCommand Services, Server Farm

Whether you’re using a commercial Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tool or a collection of home-grown products and worksheets, important data often goes stale overtime, which severely undermines the anticipated ROI.

The question that enterprises need to answer is why does DCIM data go stale?

Service Providers working with their enterprise clients often discover that the culprit is an interruption in “data maintenance” caused by process and training breakdowns. Vast amounts of effort are spent selecting a commercial DCIM tool and/or creating comprehensive worksheets to provide the data required to make important decisions. However, the effort required to “maintain” the data is at best underestimated and at worst assumed to not pose a problem. After all, once spending hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars on a solution, it’s often assumed maintenance of the data is the easy piece of the puzzle. Or, is it?

The problem is that proper use of a new DCIM tool requires modification of operational processes. This takes time and effort to model and document “as-is” processes and then “to-be” processes. After a plan is modeled and documented, training is necessary to reorient the operations team with the new way of doing business.

What comes as a surprise to many is that sometimes the “new way of doing business” takes more time than the previous way. And, sometimes people just don’t want to change. Additionally, sometimes team members leave, and new team members don’t get hired, or they do, but don’t get properly trained. And, sometimes management doesn’t identify the issues causing data maintenance to suffer, and your important data goes stale.

It happens just that fast. And, “sometimes” becomes “most of the time.”

One way to fight this battle is by using a professional services partner that specializes in DCIM deployments, data maintenance, process engineering, staffing and training. This way, the responsibility falls on the service provider to maintain DCIM data while your team sustains operations without missing a beat. With this approach, you get all the crucial information required to make important data center decisions.