Feb 16 2012

The Necessary Skill Sets for the Optimized Data Center

These are the IT workers that optimized data centers will need in the future.

Workforce trends in the second decade of the 21st century don’t stop at the door to the data center. After all, the application-oriented, social media–devouring mobile generation entering the marketing, finance, product development, education and public service areas are coming to work for the CIO.

Users are calling on service-oriented data centers for fast development and deployment of apps, creative use of organizational data and support for work trends such as mobility and collaboration.

So it stands to reason that a workforce in tune with those requirements will help optimize the data center around it.

The optimized data center uses virtualization, green techniques and the latest storage and communications technologies to achieve agility and resilience — all driven by an efficient approach. Whether totally provided in-house or through a cloud service, the effect is the same: the provision of IT services as a utility, configured and provisioned quickly for fast-moving organizations.

A transformed workforce will also increase the prestige and clout of IT within the greater organization. Recent surveys show that although corporate managers overwhelmingly (87 percent in one study) believe IT innovation is a key to success, a large percentage (54 percent) don’t view the IT department itself as a source of innovative ideas.

To change that perception, the IT workforce will need to shift its skills and adjust its focus. Engineers trained extensively in mainframe and client-server environments will be in less demand.

Instead, the optimized data center of the near future will need:

  • Enterprise architects who understand both flexibility and scalability;
  • Agile developers who can work with user groups to craft iterative but speedy deployments;
  • In-house consultants who can translate user requirements into IT services;
  • Cybersecurity experts who understand insider and behavioral-based threats;
  • Systems engineers with expertise in the core technologies of the optimized data center: virtualization, wireless, high-speed networking, and scalable and flexible storage

For more tips and information on data center optimization, download our Data Center Optimization reference guide.