Mike Manos kicked off his “chiller-side chats” concept on his blog. And, this is good to see someone bringing up the conflicts in data center design and operations.
With this post, I am kicking off a series of posts in which my sincerest wish is to help all three groups during these stressful times. Having spent significant time in all three camps I will offer up my own personal take on the issues at hand. I am calling them Chiller-Side Chats. From time to time I will post my thoughts on various issues aimed at bridging the communication between these organizations. I strongly encourage anyone reading these posts to drop comments or offer up suggestions so we can have a lively discussion on these topics.
The three groups Mike refers to is real estate, business users, and data center eng/ops. Mike goes on highlights an issue.
Three worlds have collided and its never pretty. In my experience and in conversations with many customers in all three categories its a time that fosters frustration, mistrust, and stress. Its also a wonderful time for less than scrupulous vendors, contractors, and consultants to take advantage of the situation and cause poor decisions to be made. I am not saying that all consultants are bad or ill intentioned, in fact, there are some phenomenal organizations and products out there. Its just that you need to be aware of the biases and “religious” debates in this space.
Different firms have different biases and religious affiliations.
Sometimes the firm that wins the deal is the one who has the best sales team.
Mike is helping to create awareness for a problem I’ve seen for many years in the data center industry.
And, the good thing I’ve already thought of an answer/method to address this issue.
Modeling enables Trust of a technical solution.
For a trustful and friendly use of technology, the user must be able to have a clear mental model of its use and functioning (way of working), being it partial, superficial and even wrong, but at the same time sufficient for having precise expectations and for knowing how and what to do, i.e. sufficient for reducing uncertainty and perceiving safety and reliability.
So, why model the data center? It increases trust in the data center system including its users. Higher trusts promotes knowledge sharing.
It is clear how trust is a precondition for knowledge sharing and a result of it or, more precisely, that trust is a mediator, a catalyst of the process: it is a mental and interpersonal (cognitive, dispositional, and relational) precise condition for the two crucial steps in the organisational flow of knowledge.
The relationship between trust and knowledge sharing is circular: in order to trust Y, X must either have information about Y, helping him to evaluate Y's trustworthiness, or having knowledge in common with him that encourages the establishment of a trust relationship so as values sharing; on the other hand, in order to share knowledge, it is necessary to have a trust relation or atmosphere.
While caring of making knowledge capital explicit and circulating, an organisation should care of what are the beliefs of the actors about the knowledge itself, about the organisation values, authority, infrastructure, and about each-others, and what they expect and feel on the basis of such beliefs. In knowledge management organisations should monitor and build the right expectations in their members. Knowledge management entails a cognitive, affective, and structural "trust management" in organisations.
The trick is to get the right modeling tools, and this has been a difficult search. The good thing is I’ve found a partner on this topic, and we’re working on data center modeling solutions.