The number one cause of data center downtime is human error. While some believe that design creates reliability, it is more about the human element. Adherence to operational protocol to eliminate or mitigate human error is essential. Having the right staff who will follow that operational protocol is critical.

At FORTRUST, we have had great success in hiring veterans to fill these key positions, and have made hiring veterans part of our company’s strategic plan. Veterans are a good fit in a data center because they have the skill sets, technical training, and disciplined approach that fits well into the data center environment.

A large majority of the staff in our operations department are ex-military people who have worked in highly technical environments. They are very acclimated around mission critical infrastructure – whether it's electrical distribution systems, mechanical systems, or fire life safety systems. They have a breadth of technical understanding of those systems, and the disciplined approach to work with them.

From my own 16 years in the U.S. Navy, I know that there are certain things you learn in the military that are not thought of or even trained in the civilian educational system. In the military, you’re often working with procedures and equipment where mistakes could be extremely costly or even cost human lives. It requires a very specific mindset that emphasizes discipline, compliance, attention to detail and ownership to eliminate or mitigate as much human error as possible. Making mistakes while on duty is not okay. In contrast, the civilian culture is very forgiving of making mistakes and errors. You approach things with a different mindset when errors are not okay.

Veterans have a great deal to offer the data center industry. Traits such as dependability, integrity, work ethic, discipline, attention to detail, teamwork, and leadership are what employers seek. When those traits are combined with the skill sets that many veterans possess, it is a powerful asset for any company.

For more information on why FORTRUST hires veterans, see our video.