Data centers are mission-critical facilities. Organizations spend a lot to ensure that they work reliably. As with many private companies, colocation, hosting sites, and cloud services are subject to service-level agreements. It is important that you follow well-documented procedures.
Organizations that you don’t have all documentation. There is an accepted method to address gaps in policies or undiscovered weaknesses or vulnerabilities.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001) is a worldwide recognized standard that helps businesses implement quality management practices and procedures. The ISO 9001 standard has been updated four times. The latest update to ISO 9001 expanded and generalized it to include a wider range of businesses as well as the service sector.
Companies must have ISO 9001 certification to do business in Europe. However, it is also recognized and accepted internationally. Although there is not a data center-specific version of ISO 9001, Iron Mountain and Amazon Web Services are ISO 9001:2015-compliant. Organizations can make sure their customers get consistent and reliable products and services by implementing quality management processes.
What does ISO 9001 cover?
ISO 9001:2015 places more emphasis on top management involvement. It also introduces leadership requirements for quality control and risk-based thinking. Even if they are not ISO 9001 certified, IT teams can conduct an initial gap assessment to identify operational weaknesses.
Although the ISO 9001 requirements are common sense for admins, they are strict and prohibitive in terms of documentation.
ISO 9001 certification requires steps:
- You can learn ISO by yourself or by using one of the many online or professional consultant courses.
- To identify areas where operations are not meeting ISO standards, run an internal gap analysis.
- Begin documentation is the formalization on paper of processes, procedures, and ongoing plans for improvement.
- The organization’s top management is trained on the procedures and standards, and then the whole organization learns how to implement them.
- An internal audit is a self-examination that prepares the IT team to perform the external auditor. This audit can be performed by staff, a potential client, customer, or consultant to ensure that the organization meets all requirements.
- Two stages of a formal audit and certification are provided by a registrar. Stage one is used to determine if an organization is ready for stage 2. It can be performed remotely to reduce travel costs. Before stage two can be completed on-site, administrators must correct any deficiencies. The auditor will review organizational procedures, documentation, and processes during this stage. To ensure consistency for at least six months, the auditor interviews staff and checks evidence and records. Nonconformities must be corrected by the organization and an auditor will perform another, usually shorter, on-site audit.
What can admins do in-house?
Administrators can do everything, except for the certification audit, if they have read the ISO 9001 standard. However, it is a good idea to seek assistance. There are many documents in the standard. A good understanding of the requirements can save you headaches and help ensure that the certification process is smooth.
To get an overview of the process and possibly to help you choose a course, look at several online professional assistance courses. A gap analysis is a key task that is essential for the preparation of the documentation required for certification.
Even if the organization doesn’t achieve ISO 9001 certification yet, administrators will still discover and fix a variety of weaknesses in their operations. This is well worth the cost of the introductory course as well as the time and effort required to prepare documentation.