If there was ever a time to be a “data geek”, it’s now. In the technology industry, finding individuals with the necessary analytical skills is more challenging than ever. IT professionals are rare, valuable catches in today’s market, and this talent crisis will only become a deeper issue. New research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) forecasts a 50 to 60 percent gap between the supply and demand of tech professionals by 2018. (1)
Let’s explore the four main causes of the technology talent crisis companies are facing:
The rate of technological change
If we look back at the last ten years, to say things have changed would be an understatement. We once believed the world around us would remain constant, but technological advancements the way we live at an exponential rate. This rate of technological change has even yielded big ideas such as Moore’s Law, the doubling of computer processing speed every 18 months. (2) With growth evolving this fast, the challenge has been to train individuals at an equally rapid pace. The sheer speed of advancements prevents tech companies from finding well-trained and experienced candidates.
The skill gap and the modern data center
The skills gap is one of the main challenges tech companies face, which is largely due to the data center environment. The skill gap emerged when the modern data center structure became the complex and expansive IT infrastructure that it is today. (3) The modern data center requires IT professionals to understand multiple disciplines as well as the facility design. This evolving, dynamic data center requires extremely specific skills to deliver performance, availability and security—this environment ultimately yields is under-skilled candidates. Results of a 2009 benchmark study find that the most startling statistic from the study was that at 37% of the organizations, IT executives reported having put projects on hold because of the skills shortage. (1)
The training methods
When it comes to college majors, Computer Sciences, despite the high demand and value, isn’t top choice. (5) Whether technology is fascinating to you or not, there is a stigma and lack of excitement over the inner-workings of industry. These looming myths are not the only challenge to training. When it comes to highly coveted experts, at the tech-architect level for example, there is no well-defined career track to acquire the position. (3) Fortunately, there are different routes to achieve higher levels of skill—requiring candidates to possess a basic set of capabilities.
The move to the cloud
Virtualization has become the first step many organizations are taking in towards moving to the cloud. These initiatives are relatively new ideas and begin with efforts such as using private cloud for some processes to gain the advantages of speed and security, extending into a hybrid cloud if necessary, and migrating certain systems to the public cloud. (3) Because this is a new frontier, it will require new skill sets. It will require skills that don’t even exist yet, which makes finding the right talent all the more challenging. (4)
Finding strong technogloy professionals is a challenge, but stay tuned for part two, as we share some insider information on how to attract that highly prized tech talent.
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