The rapid growth in demand for colocation services and solutions has been good news for cloud providers, data centers and service companies, but it is producing strain and some of the challenges typical to every booming industry: a large and growing skills gap.
It can be challenging for tech companies to find and retain people who have the skills needed today, and colocation is a particularly fast-growing and changing industry, making it even more challenging. Fortunately, there are proven strategies colocation providers and users can adopt to deal with this challenge.
Growth of colocation
According to Synergy Research Group, the global colocation market grew at close to 10 percent in 2018. This is very rapid growth, especially when you consider that if the overall U.S. economy grows at 3 percent, it’s considered a good year.
Synergy Research Group also found that colocation growth in 2018 was as high as 24 percent in the so-called “hyperscale” sector of the tech industry. These include companies that provide software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service — those companies that account for a large proportion of the total traffic on the Internet.
The skills gap
This rapid growth in colocation and connectivity demand has created a significant and widening skills gap in the tech industry, according to a report from the global business advisory company BDO Group.
The rapid growth in demand for cloud computing and colocation services means there is a greater need in terms of numbers of people with the skills and knowledge needed to make it work.
Furthermore, nowhere is the furious pace of technological change and advancement in the tech industry more evident than in connectivity. We’ve all heard about the looming new standards of 5G and WiFi6 that are about to transform mobile and in-office connectivity.
Other trends that will affect the skill sets needed by both colocation providers and clients include artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and the Internet of Things.
AI promises a lot for both colocation providers and clients. This includes greater automation of tasks that require analysis and prediction, but also for protecting against security breaches. At the same time, however, AI can also be used to help hack past security. It’s an escalating arms race.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to be called the “internet of everything” by some. IoT involves embedding computing and connectivity technology into just about every manufactured item from trucks to industrial machinery to laser printers. This is going to add exponentially to data traffic, and therefore to the demand for the skills needed to manage it.
Quantum computing will be the next transformative information technology. By applying the principles of quantum mechanics to the way computers operate, quantum computers are able to process vast, complex datasets faster than today’s computers.
While usable quantum computers are not yet available, major players like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft Azure Cloud and Google Cloud and others are working on bringing viable technology to market.
A learning strategy
These are just a few of the developments that are going to demand a lot of learning and skill development for the colocation industry.
Companies in the colocation space can stay ahead of this curve by adopting a strategy to build the skills that they’ll need. This strategy should include:
- a survey of the company to identify skills needed and any gaps
- analysis of future skills needs and capacity to meet them
- a budget for training for existing and future employees
- continuing links with education institutions to attract quality prospective employees
Colocation gives your company more availability of mission-critical IT resources with reduced latency and greater security. But keeping ahead of the rapid developments in technology can be a challenge.
That’s why we at Broadline Solutions are here for you. Give us a call to find out how to make colocation work for you.