Feeds

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

Calling all-rounders

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.