The recent Data Centre Transformations event in Manchester was an opportunity for the members of the Data Centre Alliance and broader sector to come together for one day and immerse themselves in emerging technologies and sector issues.
Dr Terri Simpkin, co-author and course leader of the Masters program, was there with her CNet hat on to deliver a session on the importance of competency and confidence and introduced CNet’s CCAM (competency & confidence assessment modelling), a profiling tool to reduce human error and to add a good deal of comment and argument about the current and future skills and labour shortages.
In one of the capstone sessions of the day, she contributed as a panel member with Ian Holford from GCHQ and Sarah XTulip from aql. A packed room discussed a raft of issues contributing to the skills issue.
Terri suggests that one of the major underpinning issues is the lack of cohesion of the sector. “The data centre sector is relatively new, fragmented, politically motivated and is not seen as a career ‘destination’. People have fallen into it and they’ve dragged with them expectations, ways of working and organisational cultures that do not fit with the demands of the data centre business.” She says that similar issues had been identified and tackled in other sectors decades ago and so the data centre sector is lagging behind with a consolidated, intelligent and coordinated approach to managing capability shortfalls.
One of the major points she raised was the issue of skills wastage, the loss of highly capable people to other sectors and occupations. “Skills wastage is tragic and expensive. People are taking their capabilities elsewhere and so our competitor industries are reaping the rewards from their targeted branding that’s more visible and appealing,” she said.
These issues are discussed during the Human Resources and Organisational Capability module on the Masters Degree program giving learners a more consolidated view of the problems but also some of the resolutions to labour and skills issues at the organisational level.
Masters Degree News
As we head into the first semester of the 2017/18 academic year, we see our first learners heading into the most weighty and academically challenging elements of the Masters program. The post graduate major project is what makes the Masters such a robust qualification. It is the piece of work that allows learners to really become immersed in an original piece of research that puts all the previous learning and industry experience into practice together.
The work demands academic engagement, creativity, rational and critical thought. It provides an opportunity for individuals to examine a particular issue, problem or phenomenon in a way that is unique and valuable to the sector as a whole.
One of the most notable points about the post graduate major projects on this program is the highly specialised and distinctive work that can be developed. There is dearth of academic material that scrutinises the business leadership aspects of data centres putting the work of our learners at the forefront of thought leadership in the sector.
It was always expected that our graduates would be seen as leaders in their fields as professionals who meld technical capability and business leadership acumen. The post graduate major project really is the vehicle by which this thought leadership is enacted and delivered back to the sector.
We wish all of the final year learners all the very best with their projects knowing that there is some intensely challenging, fascinating and highly specialist work being done across the cohort.
More Networking Opportunities
There are several upcoming data centre events offering excellent opportunities to network and to meet with CNet should you wish, see a list of events here.
To arrange a meeting with CNet at one of the events please email firstname.lastname@example.org.