I recently read an article in DatacenterDynamics which recaps the organization's DatacenterDynamics Converged event, held in June in Santa Clara, California. One of the big topics discussed was the skills gap forming between IT professionals and the tasks they're expected to perform.
The conversation, led by CEO Stephan Worn, was framed around three myths about the data management skills gap. They included the notions that:
- There is no shortage because operations are all in the cloud and that means fewer professionals are needed.
- Automation of data center infrastructure solves the skills gap because you need fewer people.
- You can cross-train with basic IT employees.
The three panelists, Richard Sawyer, Danny Johnson and Phil Reese, argue that the reality is much different. Firstly, there is a shortage, and it's growing worse because there is no industry-wide standard or certification for data management professionals. This erodes consistency in the talent pool and when it comes to automation, Reese points out that the system is still green and affected by bugs, so relying on it completely is "a scary thought."
Additionally, the panel argues that cross-training IT is never a good idea, because traditional IT and data management roles are already dealing with complicated tasks on their own. While an IT professional could certainly learn the ropes of data management, expecting these employees to do both is a bit much.
A number of companies are embracing enterprise data management, so it's critical that organizations understand the realities and myths at play in the field.