Enterprising Developments

Data Centers on the Rise, But Where are the People?

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, December 19, 2013

Wired magazine just branded 2014 to be the “year of the data center.” This is based on the idea that the data center is well on its way to becoming more open and software-defined and, thus, achieving the nimbleness needed to change as the business changes.

While there are many technical shifts taking place within data centers, all this activity is creating another issue that needs to be addressed: finding the skilled people who can make it all happen.

Steve Beaver, an IT veteran with a lot of experience in data center management, says the rapid rise of cloud and virtualization in today's corporate data centers is creating a huge demand for skills to manage the transition.

He reports there is “plenty of work available for skilled virtualization and cloud computing engineers today, and though this strong demand is expected to continue well into tomorrow, there is a flip side to this coin: How and why have we come to this point of such worldwide skill shortage? A major factor in the skill shortage is simply the speed at which virtualization and cloud computing have taken hold inside our data centers. The growth has been almost like that of a vine or weed that quickly takes over a garden; it is perhaps not as entire, but at least as fast.”

Beaver optimistically points out that due to the inherent nature of cloud and virtualization, handling these environments is getting easier every day. In addition, simply working with the new technologies on a day-to-day basis will provide most professionals the level of competency they need.

However, in the case of insurance companies, they will increasingly find themselves competing with organizations from all other industries for skilled talent — whether it’s recruited or homegrown. Many IT professionals are being drawn by the lure of startups with funky names and on-premises pinball machines, as well as larger companies with reputations for fostering innovation and promises to change the world. Insurance companies, too, must present opportunities to move forward with new technologies and innovations. Dangling salary offers in from of IT prospects just won't cut it anymore.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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