A mission critical system is a computer, electronic or electromechanical system that is fundamentally necessary to the success of a specific operation. When a mission critical system fails or is interrupted, the damage is often quick and substantial. Mission essential equipment and mission critical application are also known as mission critical systems.
A few examples of common mission critical systems include:
- Railway/aircraft operating and control systems
- Electric power grid systems
- First responder communications systems
Business Critical Systems Defined
Similarly, a business critical system is a system that an organization relies on to carry out the normal business operations that keep the business running successfully. Essentially, when mission-critical systems are necessary for the success of a business, they become business critical systems. When a business critical system fails or is interrupted, organizations can face financial losses, customer dissatisfaction and reductions in productivity.
A few examples of common business critical applications include:
- Online banking systems
- Cloud-based data storage and networking systems
Mission Critical Systems vs. Business Critical Systems
So, what’s the difference between mission critical and business critical? The answer lies in the overall impact of an outage. When a mission critical system experiences an outage, the results are a failure in some goal-oriented activity (such as saving lives, preventing serious injuries or delivering utilities); when a business critical system experiences an outage, the results are economic in nature (such as lost customers or breached contracts). While both can be significant in scope, the main difference between mission critical and business critical lies in the major adverse impact and the very real possibilities of loss of life or serious injury.
Note: As a general rule in crisis management, if a triage-type decision is made in which certain systems must be eliminated or delayed (because of resource or personnel constraints), mission critical systems must not be among them.
Critical Systems in Use
Despite the small distinction, the term “mission” or “business” really does not change the meaning of the term “critical” and the bottom line is that both of these systems are vitally necessary. Whether it is database workstations, hospital patient recording, call centers, stock exchanges, data storage centers, or flight control towers, critical systems should remain secure and connected regardless of industry.
Mission Critical Systems for First Responders
In the public safety context, the ability to dynamically link police, fire and EMS communication systems means first responders no longer have to assemble on scene, share radios and plan before engaging, they can engage right away. However, situations like natural disasters and geographical obstacles can impede or eliminate connectivity. This is precisely the reason that more than 500,000 first responders in North American rely on NetMotion to deliver seamless connectivity for their mission critical applications.
In fact, when our entire product suite comes together – NetMotion Mobility, NetMotion Diagnostics and NetMotion Mobile IQ – the IT teams that support first responders are able to deliver an unprecedented level of connectivity for mission critical applications across FirstNet and all other wireless networks.
A mission critical system is essential to the immediate operation of an organization; a business critical system is a priority for the long-term survival of that organization.
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