A new survey on data center staffing sponsored by the Uptime Institute indicates the skills shortages continue, and survey participants do not expect artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce skills requirements anytime soon. About 50% of the enterprise data center managers and operators surveyed claim to have difficulty finding skilled candidates, which is up from 38% in 2018.
There could be a light at the end of the tunnel: Three out of four respondents believe AI-based technology will reduce their data center staffing needs at some point. However, they feel this shift is more than five years away.
Let’s look at what’s happening right now. The pandemic brought the reliability of data centers into sharper focus. Lockdowns, quarantines, and sometimes just employees’ reluctance to enter buildings during the first few months of COVID-19 meant that many data center employees could not get system access to perform even the most basic operations.