The data center workforce that will be needed in the not-so-far future is predicted to grow from 2 million workers in 2019 to 2.3 million workers […]

IT’s Upcoming Silver Tsunami: DCIM Can Help

The data center workforce that will be needed in the not-so-far future is predicted to grow from 2 million workers in 2019 to 2.3 million workers […]

The data center workforce that will be needed in the not-so-far future is predicted to grow from 2 million workers in 2019 to 2.3 million workers in 2025. As the baby boomer generation continues to work beyond what used to be the average age of retirement, there’s a big question mark hovering above multiple industries that must contend with a limited pool of skilled job applicants: what happens when everyone suddenly retires?

There’s a silver tsunami coming — and data centers are in a vulnerable position. Why? Recent research from The Uptime Institute shows that, globally, data center staff requirements are forecast to grow from around 2.0 million full-time employees in 2019 to approximately 2.3 million in the year 2025. In the US and across Western Europe, Uptime’s researchers also found that there’s great concern that many employees are going to retire at the same time — which means that many remaining seasoned employees will advance to the C-suite while day-to-day operators will be hard to find.

Even more alarming? In 2020, the Uptime Institute’s research showed that the proportion of data center owners or operators globally that are having difficulty finding qualified candidates for open jobs rose to 50% in 2020.

While training and education initiatives will eventually help release more candidates into the job market, how can data center managers innovate to deal with a work shortage and a potential mass loss of institutional knowledge?

Four letters: DCIM. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) can help data center managers:

  • save time,
  • increase efficiency,
  • reduce manpower,
  • and stop institutional aka “tribal knowledge” loss.

Save Time

How does a DCIM tool help save you time? Increasing efficiency, the next point below, is tied into saving time by increasing the productivity of your staff. Your staff does not need to travel to remote offices or data centers that are a far drive away. With DCIM software, they can easily identify what assets are in the data center, where they are, get details about them, and manage its space and power capacity.

Data Center managers can have access to their data in real-time to understand its assets, attributes of each device to help further understand its assets, power, and cabling connections to help manage current and future capacity of its equipment and cabling infrastructure.

Increase Efficiency

DCIM software like netTerrain offers powerful search capabilities that can find information in seconds for you, to help reduce the time it takes to fix an issue. Instead of trying to find the corresponding spreadsheets or Visio diagrams, not knowing if it is up-to-date, or wasting valuable time manually drawing out diagrams and trying to find the right information, your network operations engineers and data center manager can utilize the search features, and see the device in red with DCIM’s visual cues to pinpoint the network equipment that has been affected as well as all of the other devices or applications that it is connected too and its impact.

In addition, it’s easy to manage changes in the data center through work order tasks. Work orders should be an essential part of your data center, whether it’s done through a Service Desk CMDB (and integration to your DCIM tool), or through your DCIM work orders. Reserve space, ports, record moves, adds, and changes. Both employee productivity and efficiency will improve considerably to ensure changes are being tracked in the data center.

Reduce Manpower

Let’s face it, the marketplace for talented IT staff is shrinking. Many people are retiring, and it is hard to find the right person with the qualified skills. Here at Graphical Networks, we have an open req for a new software engineer and saying that it has been difficult to fill is an understatement. Can you get by with having less staff? DCIM software can help you do more with less. With automation to bring in data from network discovery, pulling information from your ServiceNow CMDB, Network Monitoring tools like Solarwinds, Cloud (AWS, Azure), you can automatically obtain physical and logical maps of your infrastructure.

Employee Knowledge Loss

When your key employee leaves for retirement, does that employee take all their knowledge about the data center and network with them? Retain their memory in a place that you can keep all the data about your network and data center. By having a central repository of your data, like netTerrain DCIM, your new employees can view what exactly is in your infrastructure, instead of running blind and not knowing what is installed in the data center, obtaining an updated list of inventories, and knowing what is connected to what.

In sum, are you prepared for tech’s upcoming silver Tsunami? DCIM is a great way to batten down the hatches and get ready for the storm that’s coming. Time for a message from the sponsor: if you’d like to demo or discuss our software, netTerrain, we’re here to help. Click here to schedule a DCIM demo/discovery call and also get access to a free trial.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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