Today’s data center is an evolving engine supporting new types of workloads and users. There are new kinds of demands being placed around resource controls, facilities management, and data center optimization. Businesses are spending more money on their environments to better compete in an evolving world.
Cloud is a big part of that evolution. Global spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service is expected to reach about $16.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 32.8 percent from 2014, with a compound annual growth rate from 2014 to 2019 forecast at 29.1 percent, according to Gartner.
As their approach to infrastructure changes, organizations are looking to invest in good people to support new initiatives. This means personnel needs to evolve with new demands of the market, which has created new positions, evolved others, and has forced the data center industry to invest in new talent.
About one third of respondents to our sister company AFCOM‘s latest State of the Data Center Survey, for example, said their personnel costs have increased because of new training and certification requirements. Yet, traditional data center infrastructure roles remain hard to fill.
It’s a competitive market, and it’s not always easy to find the right people. Respondents to the survey have had challenges filling the following top three roles:
Data center facility technicians, engineers, and operators: 42 percent
IT systems and/or applications personnel: 20 percent
Network and telecommunications personnel: 19 percent
Furthermore, 69 percent of respondents indicated that they’ve had to increase investment in data center IT and facility personnel within the past three years, while 71 percent said they will have to increase investment in data center IT and facilities professionals over the next three years. So, what are the driving factors for these increases?
53 percent indicated that there is increased demand for onsite coverage.
38 percent said that retention costs for existing staff have increased.
33 percent said that increased training and certification requirements drove up costs.
All of this translates to more career opportunities and growth within the data center space. Organizations are looking for diverse skill sets and data center professionals who can have more impact on business processes.
Here are the top responses to the question about skills data center and IT operations managers are looking for in potential hires:
Automation and cloud
Cisco UCS capabilities
Skills around load balancing and unified communications
Certifications are critical as well. The top five job skills where certifications are required for a data center operations role are:
Data and/or network security
Operations and process management
The demand around data center and cloud services will only continue to grow. Data center professionals will need to know how their underlying architecture impacts the business, the users, and the overall ecosystem. They’ll need to understand more about workloads they support and how to best align with business goals.