DC People Development and Making the Most of Training & Education
As the growth rate for data transfer across the globe continues to accelerate at an enormous rate year-onyear and as global traffic is increasing at a phenomenal rate (Huawei has recently predicted 100 billion internet connections globally and 40 billion personal smart devices by 2025, creating a digital economy worth US$23 trillion). Data centers really are the beating heart of both business and, let’s face it, everyday lives. So, the DC sector is booming but what are some the challenges this presents?
Reliance on people – The real assets
Every business claims that its people are their most important asset and the primary driver of success and this has been supported by a recent Uptime Institute survey stating that all major data centre failures that happen in normal peacetime can be attributed to human error.
It stated 80% of the respondents believe that their biggest/ most recent outage (for those who had suffered one) was preventable.
They concluded that this suggests that the most common problems lie in processes and practice, rather than architecture or equipment.
So, the human error issues continue, and the situation doesn’t seem to be improving.
One wonders how many organisations genuinely have a structured investment program in education for mission-critical people to help support the business?
Even with advances in technology and the introduction and use of AI to work towards risk mitigation, people still remain the very lifeblood of any business and organisations need to understand this in order to continue to thrive.
There are ‘tried and tested’, industry approved technical education programs out there.
Ones that have been approved by external qualification awarding bodies for educational content against specific learning outcomes, and that deliver vendor neutral education and ensure codes of practice, standards and processes are learned to provide solid knowledge backed-up with industry recognised certification.
Choosing the right technical education
Choosing the right education program doesn’t need to be a laborious process; however, there is a need to understand the fundamental differences between outcomes and the benefits associated with each.
Certification proves that an individual has completed the learning process and achieved the stated objectives.
It can provide a post nominal title and the use of official certification material such as a brand logo to help prove your certification.
Certifications are unique; they show a commitment to life-long learning as recertification is required approximately three years after each new certification.
Benefits for the Employer
- Employees’ skills are enhanced every three years with new learning to bring staff’s knowledge up-to-date with the very latest changes and technical developments within the industry;
- Ensures employees are also aware of the latest working standards and codes of practice;
- Provides certification for a further three years after each re-certification;
- Allows training budgets to be forecast accurately on an on-going basis.
Benefits or the Employee
- Provides certification for further three years;
- Keeps knowledge and skills in line with industry requirements;
- Provides a post nominal title i.e. Martin Smith CDCDP®;
- Provides access to the latest program material.
Qualifications are valid for life, they do not need renewing.
They differ from certifications in that they are controlled by international educational bodies and only approved centres can offer qualifications.
There are different qualification levels that can be referenced across the world.
Benefits for the Employer
- Ensures your employees are trained to a specified level at that time, however does not have the ability to keep knowledge and skills up-to-date and in-line with the industry on an on-going basis;
- Usually incurs just a one-off fee;
- You can be sure the training/ education provider is a professional company as the criteria to become an approved centre is quite a rigorous process.
Benefits or the Employee
- Provides official recognition for your knowledge and skills at the time of taking the examination or passing the program;
- Qualifications are recognised globally by comparing the educational levels.
Usually consist of a short period of training which is certified to prove competency in relation to a certain subject.
Many vendors have their own training programs, these prove delegates understand their products and are proven to be competent users.
Again accreditations often have a timescale of 2-3 years associated with them before renewal is required.
Industry quality standards
Considering the reliance we all have on IP communications in the workplace and at home, it is hard to believe that there are no official industry standards to adhere to in order to help achieve continuity of service and supply.
Industry leaders in professional network infrastructure and data centre technical education, CNet Training refer to network communications as the 4th utility and for very good reason.
The company’s aim is to create an industry standard with its professional qualifications and certifications to ensure those working within the sector are educated to a specified and consistent level.
This in turn would provide confidence throughout the industry and help deliver business continuity, ensure quality of service and help reduce the rate of outages and associated cost that is currently incurred as a result of human error within a data centre.