Based on first-hand experience, I can tell you that there’s plenty of stress involved and detail required in even a minor data center construction project. Compound this with a 24×7 availability requirement, and the quantity and complexity of systems required in today’s mission critical facilities and what you have is today’s typical data center construction project.
Data center construction project managers often find themselves hard pressed to minimize the interruption to day-to-day operations, while still keeping costs in check. Many firms today simply don’t have the manpower, or the expertise to be able to effectively administer a construction project – especially a construction project as complex and crucial as a data center. If this sounds like your present situation, or perhaps is just one that you’d like to avoid, you may want to consider hiring a construction consultant to assist in the development of your facility.
A data center construction consultant can guide you every step of the way, from the first realization that some scope of change is required, to the final systems commissioning and use training. Here are some of the common areas that consultants typically handle:
– Assessment and Planning
– Design and Specification
– General Contracting Support
– Construction Management
– Equipment Sourcing and Scheduling
– Operations & Maintenance
Hiring a Consultant
When hiring a consultant to help with such an important project, you’ll want to take as much care in selecting that person or firm as you would one of your permanent employees. Make sure the consultant is responsive to your business needs and is able to communicate effectively with your existing staff. Additional factors to consider include:
– Has the consultant worked on similar projects in the past? You want to find someone who has experience working with budgets and timelines that are similar to your own.
– How much attention will your project receive? It’s usually a good sign when a consultant is in demand – you want to hire someone that has long-term, repeat clients. However, if the consultant doesn’t make your project a priority or has a hard time returning your calls, you’re in for trouble.
– Will the consultant sign a confidentiality agreement? By signing a confidentiality agreement, you and the other employees at your company can feel more comfortable working with your consultant, thus improving project communications and creating a more pleasant (and productive) work environment.
With the support of an individual consultant or a team of experts, you can achieve the up-to-date, state-of-the-art data center you need, providing you with the integrated, and completely manageable facility that makes your job easier, and your company more profitable.