Datacenters, essentially, are the brain and backbone of the modern internet. The sector has experienced rapid growth and acceleration due to the innovation of modern technology. According to CSG, 2023, the datacenter market is projected to reach $342.10 billion this year, with the largest area being network infrastructure. However, despite the impressive façade of datacenters lies a pressing issue- the talent shortage. There is a global talent shortage in the sector with the difficulty in finding qualified candidates for open jobs at 53% in 2022, up from 38% in 2018.
From the onset of personal computers to smartphones, we’ve grown more interconnected than ever with vasts amounts of data generated every second. Datacenters house an intricate network of servers, storage systems, and networking equipment that store and process data critical to businesses and individuals. As technology advances, the demand for these services has skyrocketed, creating a substantial need for skilled professionals to manage and maintain these facilities.
Why is there a talent shortage in the datacenter industry?
- Rapid Technological Advancements: The rapid pace of technological innovation and as the digital world expands, the datacenter sector struggles to keep up with its talent demands. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud computing dominating currently, the traditional skill set required is evolving rapidly. In addition, heightened security risks are an issue that frequently affects datacenters. The talent shortage becomes more pronounced as businesses seek individuals who can navigate through cutting –edge technologies and keep pace.
- Lack of Targeted Educational Programmes and Training: Traditional educational paths often fail to address the specialised skills demanded by the datacenter sector. Universities and training programs need to collaborate with industry experts to develop curricula that align with real-world demands.
- Specialised Skills Set: A shortage of skilled personnel can compromise the security of sensitive data and increase the vulnerability of datacenters to cyberattacks.
- Limited Awareness and Attractiveness of Datacenter Careers: Datacenter careers suffer from a lack of visibility and misconceptions about the work involved. Many young professionals are unaware of the exciting opportunities for growth and innovation in this sector.
LotusWorks tips to address the talent shortage
Education, Training and Continuous Learning: Upskilling initiatives and the investment in education and training programme’s tailored to the needs of the datacenter sector is crucial. Partnerships with academic institutions to obtain graduates and develop training courses will help nurture the future generation. LotusWorks partnered with ATU Sligo and Haute École Louvain en Hainaut (HELHa) in Belgium to co-design the Bachelor of Engineering in Data Centers Facilities Engineering course. The partnerships between with industry leaders, like LotusWorks and academic institutions ensures college curricula stay relevant with new emerging technologies including Artificial Intelligence.
Cultivating a culture of continuous learning is of vital importance. Embracing a mindset of lifelong learning is essential to keep up with the evolving demands of the datacenter sector. LotusWorks encourages this through an educational assistance programme that assists employees in pursuing further studies in an area of interest. Developing talent for the future and ensuring talented teams keep pace with the rapidly evolving sectors our teams work in is a primary focus area through structured learning and development opportunities and career progression within LotusWorks.
Attracting New Talent: LotusWorks is unique as an employer as the exposure to different sectors including Datacenter, Semiconductors, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices means employees have the ability to experience cross functional upskilling on the job training and development. As an employer with clients in multiple sectors and locations worldwide, showcasing opportunity to gain exposure into the latest and greatest technologies has assisted in growing the talent pool within LotusWorks. Datacenters and mission critical environments have wide scope ranges and innovative work environments.
Fostering a Supportive and Inclusive Work Culture: Creating a workplace where employees feel valued, supported and empowered can contribute to talent retention and attract new professionals. A diverse team brings a broader range of experiences and perspectives, fostering creativity and innovation. Encouraging underrepresented groups to enter the industry can tap into a pool of talent that might otherwise go untapped.
Powered by experience, LotusWorks leads with a People First strategy. This places employees’ well-being, growth, and satisfaction at the heart of our company priorities. By emphasising a positive and supportive work environment, this approach significantly enhances talent attraction and retention efforts. Employees who feel valued and supported become more likely to contribute meaningfully to the organisation’s goals. A people first strategy nurtures a culture of open communication, collaboration, and continuous learning, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose among team members. Ultimately, by focusing on employees’ needs and development, companies can cultivate a thriving workplace culture that not only attracts and retains top talent but also drives overall success and innovation.
The datacenter talent shortage isn’t just an industry issue, it’s a global challenge. Without the right talent, datacenters are unable to reach their full potential. By recognising and addressing the talent shortage, LotusWorks can gear up to ensuring they have the talent required to continue partnering with some of the world’s leading datacenter clients worldwide. Collaboration between educational institutions, business and industry associations is key to nurturing a skilled workforce. By embracing technology, promoting diversity and investing in education and training, the industry can bridge the gap and ensure it’s sustained growth.
A: Datacenters power the digital realm, processing, storing, and disseminating data for myriad online activities.
A: Rapid tech evolution, a gap between education and industry needs, and swift digital expansion are primary culprits.
A: It leads to reduced efficiency, increased security risks, and hindered growth and innovation.
A: Investing in training, syncing with academic institutions, attracting new talent, and offering competitive benefits are some measures.
A: While it’s a significant issue now, with proactive steps, the industry can navigate and mitigate the problem.