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Predicting the Future… Many are Trying

For the curious mind, for some it’s better defined as the Monkey Mind, the thirst for what is next is never far from your immediate thoughts. I just spent an excellent week surrounded by some of the brightest people in the Data Center and Mission Critical world, and heard many answers to, “What’s next?”

The group was brought together in a very intimate setting not typical of trade shows, although having been to it, I would not really call this a trade show.

We discussed, listened to presentations, evaluated case-studies and all, well most anyway, were excellent. Even the worst one was good, by the way. It takes courage to get up in front and deliver, and they had the guts to do it.

Anyway, we talked high-density server racks, power distribution techniques, cooling techniques, and IT strategies in general. Many ideas were discussed on combating the problems that Moore’s Law, on steroids, has produced. The discussions went into building expansion space, green-field buildings, modular data centers, fire suppression and even a nice session on degaussing presented by Data Security, Inc.

PNG International presented this MC-DC learning seminar, and learn we did. Here’s the big take away… we are still short on technically skilled and well-trained people to help fulfill the needs of every company that was there.

Everyone there, without exception, would hire a skilled craftsperson to help their company gain an advantage over their competitor if it were an option. That scenario would be much, much better than the poaching of talent that all companies have either committed or been the victim of.

The IDC-A.org president, Mehdi Paryavi, did a really nice job of showing what his group is building and synthesizing to address this problem. Really, it’s a road-map or mindset versus a process, and it addresses many of the issues at hand, seven in all.

A funny thing that happened on the way to the airport at the conclusion of the event. I saw a LinkedIn post on the same topic. Suffice it to say it ain’t just me that sees this lack of proper training on the specific needs of a mission critical environment as a key component in the lack of talent flowing into the field. Training at all levels has to become at least tied for first place as THE issue to be solved.

People will naturally gravitate to different disciplines, meaning that if they enter into a program, say the #NCMCO effort, they will learn many cross-functional skills, however, that particular technician may learn that they really get into power distribution. The next candidate may be enamored with networking or heat rejection. The key is to get them started.

In fact, there are many great institutions, trade groups and unions apprenticeships and OEM’s doing training, as well as independent firms that specialize in these types of programs.

So, what’s the issue?
It’s simple… recruitment.

Simple? Yes, but not easy. Recruiting is simple, but getting traction and holding the attention of the recruitee is hard as hell.

As a society, we have placed a very high value on a very traditional College Education, that is a wonderful thing. However, in my view, and this is backed up statistically, that degree may not be landing our up-and-coming Gen Y’ers, Millennials and the current crop of talented young people, a job that is sustainable for them.

STEM programs, technical high schools, community colleges and technical colleges must continuously recruit, show, tell, explain and mentor new people into our industry or the machine stops turning.

Join me and help build our next generation of smart and savvy technical workers. We will all win in the long run.

Until next time,

Stay magnanimous,


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