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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Critical Path Analysis - CPA

    Critical path analysis is a project-management technique that ...
  2. Market Failure

    Market failure is the situation in which there is an inefficient ...
  3. Failure To Deliver

    Failure to deliver refers to a situation where one party in a ...
  4. Critical Path Analysis - CPA

    A process by which projects are outlined and sequenced to have ...
  5. Economic Think Tank

    An economic think tank is an organization whose mission it is ...
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics ...

    Australia's national statistical office. The mission statement ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    The Importance Of Strategic Planning

    Planning out the future of your business is the best way to ensure success. Here are some tips.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Investing in More Than Money: A SRI How-to Guide

    Here's how socially responsible investing stacks up against green and impact investing. Which category is right for you? Read on.
  3. Investing

    Why Real Estate Investors Need a Business Plan

    And how to write one that will serve as a road map to give you direction and motivate you to stay on track.
  4. Retirement

    Saving Toward and Maintaining Your Retirement Goal

    Your retirement plan should include deciding how much money you need to save, how you will save it, and how you will maintain it.
  5. Investing

    Facebook's New Mission Moves Focus to Groups

    Facebook aims to bring the world closer together by promoting local community groups, rather than just simply connecting people across the globe.
  6. Investing

    Microsoft's New Reporting Structure: A Closer Look (MSFT)

    Learn about the changes being made to the reporting structure of Microsoft's books and how they will affect the way investors read the company's financials.
  7. Insights

    SpaceX to Send Passengers on Lunar Voyage Next Year

    Space X is set to take paying passengers for a trip around the moon late next year.
  8. Investing

    Evaluating A Company's Management

    Financial statements don't tell you everything about a company's health. Investigate the management behind the numbers!
  9. Managing Wealth

    Most Effective Charitable Organizations

    We look at some of the world's top charities and see how much of their donation money actually goes towards fulfilling their missions.
  10. Investing

    How Lockheed Martin Makes Its Money

    Find out how the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin makes billions in profits and manages their lucrative aeronautics and defense business.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is Apple's current mission statement and how does it differ from Steve Jobs' ...

    Jobs saw Apple products as tools to improve the quality of life. His company now sees them as its reason for being. Read Answer >>
  2. Why do some people claim the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional?

    Learn why some people believe it was unconstitutional for the government to establish the Federal Reserve Bank and why they ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is a good operating margin for a business?

    Read about what it means to have a good operating margin and why that answer depends heavily on competitive and historical ... Read Answer >>
  4. Operation management in healthcare

    Discover how operations management theory is applied across a broad spectrum of operational and management issues in the ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative ...
  2. Internal Rate of Return - IRR

    Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a metric used in capital budgeting to estimate the profitability of potential investments.
  3. Limit Order

    An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a set number of shares at a specified price or better.
  4. Current Ratio

    The current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures a company's ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations.
  5. Return on Investment (ROI)

    Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency ...
  6. Interest Coverage Ratio

    The interest coverage ratio is a debt ratio and profitability ratio used to determine how easily a company can pay interest ...
Trading Center