Our MD was alerted to this BBC article regarding a 'digital skills shortage disaster' and his opinion is that its not just the 'sexy' stuff thats at risk.
All companies in the UK now enjoy the provision of digital infrastructure, that is to say that almost every company makes use of ICT in their business and even at a personal level the amount of digital services we consume is on the increase, its almost impossible to not brush with ICT at some point in our daily lives, checking news stories on your smartphone?, watching netflix or other streamed services on your tv?, checking your bank account online or even at a cashpoint and you are accessing digital services.
It is imperative that we provide the necessary skills to all, so that these services can be accessed and consumed in line with our other and in our opinion overriding goals of energy efficiency and sustainability in order for the UK and the world to meet our net zero ambitions.
One thing that was missing from the article is the design, building and operation of data centres, these hubs on the digital highway, route requests for information, store and process data, and when they go offline, cause major problems, as we have seen with the British Airways failure in 2017 and more recently with outages from some cloud suppliers affecting digital services .
There is a global shortgage of people with the skills to design, build and operate these data centres, and its a problem the sector has been struggling with for some time, back in 2014, an industry survey put the average age of data centre people at between 47-52, move forward 7 years and this has become 54-59 and in the next few years, literally thousands of these critical personnel will be retiring.
We simply have to address this problem by recruiting more people in the sector, but these need to be trained people, equipped with the skills they need to design, build and operate these critical data centres.
The question is how?