Research Uncovers Server Specialist Skills Gap

Study shows majority of organisations find it difficult to hire server specialists

In their latest “Voice of the Enterprise: Servers and Converged Infrastructure” report, 451 Research found that 65 percent of surveyed organizations expressed that they encountered difficulty when recruiting for positions relating to both traditional servers and converged infrastructure. These results come at a time when companies are moving toward public cloud IT solutions, but organizations are still looking to hire more server-specialist staff, showing their continued reliance on on-premises IT.

The main reason for increased IT demand is projected business growth, mentioned by 67 percent of respondents. IT organizational changes were noted by 42 percent. Furthermore, respondents expressed concern about the cloud-based IT paradigms, with an emphasis on the long-term cost of cloud-powered solutions. While the cloud continues to grow quickly, many respondents were reportedly maintaining their on-premise servers and converged infrastructure, and some were even increasing it to meet specific demands.

According to 451 Research’s research manager, Christian Perry: “Most IT managers are closely scrutinizing their deployment options instead of blindly following the pack to IaaS and other off-premises cloud services.”

When determining the optimal mix of on- and offpremises compute resources, there is no doubt this is hampered by the availability of specialist skills and regional availability. Whether organizations will realize their expected server staff expansion remains to be seen due to hiring difficulties.

451 Research’s analysts believe the global pool of full-time server administrators will drop, and survey results support this position. Nearly 70 percent of respondents stated that current candidates weren’t experienced enough and lacked necessary skills. Regional factors mattered as well, as some respondents couldn’t find enough talent locally.

The high salaries demanded by IT employees were also frequently mentioned. Companies were largely split between two preferred types of IT employees, with 40 percent preferring specialized IT professionals and 39 percent preferred those with more general IT skills.

Perry elaborated on this finding: “The time and resource savings from these new technologies results in a slightly reduced need for server specialists. The good news is that there remains a need for specialists across both standalone servers and converged and hyperconverged infrastructures. This is especially true within LOBs or remote divisions or departments.”

In their analysis, 451 Research argues that demand for server-related specialization presents opportunities for vendors, particularly those providing server, converged infrastructure, and hyperconverged solutions. They also believe that vendors can fill a gap as the move toward software-defined infrastructure solutions continues to accelerate. Vendors can act as advisors, as their knowledge of industry trends can let them inform clients about what staffing levels they’ll need to take advantage of current and future technology.

451 Research’s Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit takes place in Las Vegas between 18-20 September.