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. Critical Mass

    Critical mass is the point at which a growing company becomes ...
  3. Market Failure

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

    Failure to deliver refers to a situation where one party in a ...
  5. Asian Development Bank

    Founded in 1966, its headquarters are in Manila, Philippines. ...
  6. Continuous Operations

    Continuous operations are activities of a company that are ongoing ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    The New Way to Leave a Lasting Legacy

    Following these steps can help you leave a lasting legacy that reflects your values and goals.
  2. Taxes

    6 Financial Strategies for Nonprofits

    With limited funds and resources, it's important for non-profits to follow these strategies.
  3. 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.
  4. Personal Finance

    Checking up on America's Financial Fitness

    Investopedia and American Century are driving a tour bus around the Midwest to talk to Americans about their financial questions and aspirations.
  5. Insights

    Why Curiosity Cost $2.5 Billion

    NASA's Rover, named curiosity, recently landed on Mars and cost Americans $2.5 billion. Was it worth the cost to taxpayers?
  6. 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.
  7. Small Business

    In Entrepreneurship, Failure Doesn't Have to Be Fatal

    There is an inherent risk to starting any type of business, but being an entrepreneur with a plan can help you succeed or try again if necessary.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Critical Illness Insurance: Do You Need It?

    Critical illness insurance could protect you from financial ruin if you're faced with a health emergency, but its important to weigh the pros and cons.
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. How is a market failure corrected?

    Find out how to think about market failures, how they tend to be corrected and different proposals about the best way to ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are key operating activities in a company?

    Find out the things that make up a company's operating activities, including examples of some the key operating activities ... Read Answer >>
  5. 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 >>
Trading Center