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Symantec Research: Data Center Managers adopt virtualization; face skills shortage

My advice to firms hiring staff, and this I am telling you from past month juggling around and talking to big and small firms all over the country, is to act now. It has been an exhausting month, really, but I did end up learning a lot out there. :
  1. Go for Versatilists now! : These professionals are hard to find but trust me these guys will define the way how your businesses will and ought to change. Many companies are at cross-roads and are at their nerve ends to make such moves. I have said it before and cannot stress it enough: Get out of that "state-of-flux" and get started now, before your LOBs are rendered useless.
  2. Groom them to be the execs of the 2010-2012 past era: If you do get lucky and get a guy/gal like this in your shop, give them room and space to prove what they are worth. This is the wake up call for many shops, both big and small, these professionals are capable of doing more work for you than the typical business school grads. Well if they do lack that business acumen, invest in them. Have binding contracts for them to stay with you and bond with them so they will want to stay.


Pervasive Challenges: Service Level Agreements, Staffing and Growth

Research results suggest the primary challenges for data center managers are stringent internal service-level agreements, ongoing data center growth and staffing issues. Budget growth is not keeping pace with data center growth, while stringent SLAs mean data centers must deliver ever-increasing levels of speed, agility and availability. While increased SLAs may indicate the value IT can deliver to the business, if they are unmet the performance of the business may suffer. According to research results:

--  65 percent of respondents report formal internal SLAs exist in their
organization.
-- 32 percent report service-level demands have rapidly increased.
-- 51 percent report they've had more difficulty meeting service-level
demands during the past two-year period.

The research suggests that ongoing data center challenges such as complexity, heterogeneity and an ongoing skill shortage are driving the difficulty in meeting SLAs. Both qualitative and quantitative research indicate finding qualified IT staff who understand business issues is more problematic than understaffing problems caused by budget constraints. To add to these challenges, data center growth is persistent and expected to continue, driving enormous costs. Research shows that Global 2000 enterprises are spending more than $6.6 billion annually(1) to help manage data center complexity. According to the research results:

--  52 percent of respondents report their data centers are currently
understaffed.
-- 69 percent of respondents reveal their data centers are growing at
least 5 percent per year, while 11 percent report 20 percent growth or more
per year.
-- The average reported budget increase during the last two-year period
is a modest 7 percent worldwide.



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