Feeds

How do you find the skills needed in the virtualised data centre?

Calling all-rounders

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Datacentre Staffing the constantly churning world of the data centre is becoming increasingly tricky. Not only is the technology moving fast, but many key IT workers are reaching retirement age. When they leave, decades of experience leaves with them, a problem that looms large among the concerns of many CIOs, according to Symantec’s annual State of the Data Center report.

Retirement is not the only problem. Most data centres are organised by technology specialism and staffed by highly knowledgeable experts in one area, such as storage or networking. Cross-specialist knowledge is hard to find and in great demand, as SANs, for example, increasingly run over Ethernet, along with all the other business-critical applications, each with its own requirements.

Demand for convergence and virtualisation skills is particularly high, and makes staff retention difficult. The result is a huge skills void at a time when businesses increasingly see the data centre and IT in general as a service, not as a technology provider.

If people with cross-disciplinary skills can command high prices, but IT budgets are flat, what is to be done?

Susan Snedaker of VirtualTeam Consulting says that cutting back staff, or freezing recruitment even though the workload is increasing, may work in the short term, and looks good on a balance sheet, but over-stretches remaining staff and increases the risk of errors that might prove costly.

Motivating staff to take on new projects helps to keep them up to date with the latest technology, but that should go hand-in-hand with a willingness to re-organise projects so you can do more with less. One company found that buying a couple of desktop management tools meant it could support more desktops without increasing staff numbers.

However, sometimes new blood is absolutely essential. Talking to local authorities, such as regional development agencies, can help with funding, and finding people involves the normal process of using personal contacts, agencies, headhunters, and advertising, with the inevitable delays and costs. Better and more cost effective to retain and develop the people you have.

According to Dave Cappuccio, vice-president of Gartner Research VP, if employees learn that cross-disciplinary skills are valued, especially when coupled with expertise in at least one core discipline, then they will respond. They are the people who are on the lookout for new things to learn, and the ones who are likely to get new projects finished on time.

Fostering those cross-disciplinary skills in-house will result in more motivated employees too. “Developing people with these kinds of skills can help alleviate both the baby boomer and skills transfer issue, as well as keeping your best people challenged, while continually increasing their value to the company,” says Cappuccio. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?