What is 'Mission Critical'

Any activity, device, service or system whose failure or disruption will cause a failure in business operations can be described as mission critical. For example, an online business's mission critical is its communication system. A water filtration company will cease to function if its water filter system is down, and a bakery will have to shut down if it does not get gas or electricity services to fuel the ovens. In this case, the critical function of this business is to bake desserts, and it's mission critical is the power supply required to run the ovens.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mission Critical'

Mission critical is a popular term used to describe the essential services required for day-to-day operations. If a business operation cannot be interrupted under any circumstance without hurting production, then this operation is considered the business's mission critical because it is indispensable. Databases and process control software are considered mission critical to a company that runs on mainframes or workstations. Emergency call centers, computerized hospital patient records, data storage centers, stock exchanges and any other operations dependent on a computer and communication systems have to be protected against downtime or shutdowns due to the system's mission-critical functions.

The notion of mission critical ideas or initiatives fits with the growing importance of cultivating healthy corporate cultures. By determining and expressing those elements (mission critical) vital to success, managers can rally various groups around a common cause. Be it profitability, growth of some variety, or social good, such as giving back to communities.

Although some components may overlap, every entity will have their own secret sauce and set of mission critical strategies.

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