Data centers are certainly mission critical.

Mission Critical, not “Mission Impossible.” Here’s why Russell’s Mission Critical work became a solid vertical.

What’s in a name? The words “mission critical” infer an important undertaking is in dire need to be addressed. Actually, the term seems a bit “007-ish” requiring the resolve of the infamous James Bond. However, according CIO magazine, mission critical is defined as:

Mission-critical computing has historically been defined as secure, reliable and scalable computing and process environments that support a company’s front office processes and operations… The operations are mission-critical because they are core to the company’s mission and, if they fail, they can cause significant financial or reputational damage to the organization. 

Over the years, mission critical has been used as a term for data centers. Thus, if you think in terms of banking, national defense systems, and infrastructure, one can definitely understand why these words are used—it’s a big deal. And, over the last year, Russell has accumulated $600M in data center construction sales with $100M revenue in 2023. Here’s why.

In simple terms, there’s an extremely high need. Russell executives began pursuing this sector several years ago, and then finally, opportunity came knocking. Below, we share some factors that led to this point.

  1. COVID-19 Pandemic. Since the pandemic accelerated the need for digital services, online communication and remote work, according to ActiveBatch, many organizations had to expand their data center capacity to handle increased online traffic and remote operations.
  2. Boosted Data Demands. With the proliferation of digital technologies and the internet, there’s been a massive increase in data generation. This is driven by the growth of social media, e-commerce, streaming services, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. As a result, organizations need more data centers to store and process this data, particularly artificial intelligence, according to CBRE’s 2023 Global Data Center Trends.
  3. Edge Computing. The emergence of edge computing has led to the construction of smaller, more distributed data centers that are closer to the end-users, according to JLL. These data centers are necessary to reduce latency and provide faster processing for applications like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and other real-time services.
  4. Disaster Recovery and Redundancy. Data centers are essential for disaster recovery and ensuring business continuity. Organizations need multiple data centers in different geographic locations to ensure their data and applications are safe from natural disasters, catastrophic events, and other disruptions.
  5. Regulatory and Security Requirements. Data privacy regulations and concerns about data security have driven organizations to build or use data centers that meet specific security and compliance standards. This has led to an increase in the construction of highly secure data centers.
  6. Energy Efficiency. There is a growing focus on making data centers more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. As a result, there’s a push to build new data centers with advanced cooling systems, renewable energy sources, and other green technologies.

Recently, Russell promoted Clinton Kurtz to vice president to focus on industrial and mission critical construction projects, with a concentration on data centers. Since his joining the firm last year as division manager, Clinton has helped grow Russell’s mission critical sector. “Under Clinton’s strategic leadership, he’s helped us become a premier data center builder, and in his new role, will move us closer to our vision of becoming one of the best-in-class data center builders in the country,” said Michael Swick, Vice President of Construction.

Russell landed its first data center in Tennessee in 2022 that was 72 Megawatts and 340,000 square feet and created hundreds of local jobs and served 10 new Russell employees. In 2022, Russell was awarded another data center in Texas that was 80 Megawatts and 290,000 square feet and created hundreds of local jobs and served another nine new Russell employees. In 2023, Russell was awarded its third data center in Virginia that was 80 Megawatts and 300,000 SF.

To learn more, about Russell’s mission critical experience, contact Clinton Kurtz at 404-330-1000.