Improving Data Center Efficiency: Key Strategies and Considerations

Improving Data Center Efficiency: Key Strategies and Considerations

According to Uptime Institute’s Annual Survey, over 60% of data center operators cite IT staffing and skills gaps as primary concerns. With new technologies like cloud, AI, edge computing, and virtualization rapidly evolving, today’s already stretched teams lack the skills mix required to maximize infrastructure performance, meet SLAs, and avoid outages/compliance risks. This poses a threat to the ongoing health and well-being of the global digital infrastructure industry, particularly data center operators which store, host and push data traffic all day, everyday.

In addition, research analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2025, 90% of data center managers who neglect strategic workforce development will face severe operational inefficiencies. The root causes extend beyond just technical skills gaps to include poor workforce planning, role confusion, misaligned training investments, and lack of clear career pathways. This suboptimal workforce management costs the average data center over $500,000 annually in lost productivity based on research by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA),  a leading advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem. To stay competitive, data center operators must prioritize developing their workforce’s capabilities and aligning skills with operational needs.

The Path to Optimized Data Center Operations

Industry experts consistently highlight the critical need for data centers to invest in upskilling their workforce on emerging technologies like cloud, automation, security and managing hybrid/edge environments. As Rhonda Ascierto of 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence states, “skills deficits are a major roadblock…organizations need workforce enablement tools to properly upskill and reskill staff.” Gartner’s Henrique Cecci echoes this, noting “training and certification pathways must constantly evolve to ensure teams can handle next-gen workloads.”

However, effective workforce development requires an integrated, holistic approach according to analysts. IDC, the premier global market intelligence firm’s analyst, Ritu Jyoti, explains, “data centers need skills management that aligns learning with operational roles, goals and KPIs – with visibility into skills inventories and targeted training plans.” Uptime Institute’s 2023 Skills Report recommends a comprehensive workforce enablement strategy that identifies gaps, curates personalized content, tracks skills acquisition, and ties development to performance goals.

Why Data Center Efficiency is Critical Now

The operational efficiency challenges facing data centers are becoming amplified by two significant industry trends. First, there are intense sustainability demands, with data centers accounting for 1-2% of global electricity consumption. Second, as edge computing architectures rapidly increase with micro data centers located closer to devices/users, data center staff must be capable of remotely optimizing and managing these distributed edge sites. Below are a few examples of the operational efficiency challenges facing data centers today.

  •  Minimizing environmental impact requires optimizing energy usage through renewable sources, liquid cooling, heat reuse, and more.
  • The rise of AI workloads is exponentially increasing rack densities and power needs, with 10% of data centers predicted to require over 1MW per rack by 2025 according to Gartner.
  • Efficiently managing high-density AI environments requires skills in liquid cooling, advanced monitoring, workload optimization, and more.
  • Remotely managing sites requires skills in virtualization, containerization, and software-defined infrastructure, which are critical for consistent hybrid operations.
  • The growth of data centers is straining electrical grid capacities, creating a need for data center professionals to collaborate with utilities on load balancing, renewable integration, smart grids and efficient power distribution.

In essence, these emerging efficiency trends are driven by unstoppable forces like data proliferation, new AI paradigms, and environmental accountability which data centers can only capitalize on through a comprehensively skilled workforce enabled by solutions like skills management platforms.

Optimizing Data Center Workforces

Innovorg’s skills management platform is proven to deliver measurable operational efficiency gains for leading data center providers. By enabling comprehensive workforce optimization, Innovorg helps cultivate a highly skilled staff aligned with evolving technologies and business goals.

According to Shannon Hulbert, CEO of Opus Interactive, the uniqueness and specifically tailored exercises offered by Innovorg are unmatched. Hulbert said, “Thanks to Innovorg’s expertise, our team is positioned for growth with training mapped to our services. Their customized approach is a game-changer!”

While Innovorg offers tailored skills management solutions, the broader trend is clear – optimizing workforce capabilities through assessments, personalized training, and performance alignment is critical for data centers to capitalize on emerging technologies and improve operational efficiencies.

The Data Behind Data Center Workforce Optimization

Gartner’s data indicates organizations that prioritize strategic skills development can achieve 60% higher operational efficiency versus those that do not, as well as 3x faster mean time to repair incidents.

Innovorg’s own customer metrics demonstrate the tangible impact of their skills management platform, with data centers seeing the following results:

  • 35% increase in training operational efficiency
  • 27% reduction in skills gap closure timelines
  • 41% improvement in role-skills alignment
  • 20% boost in training ROI

Based on research, organizations that strategically invest in workforce development through skills management platforms like Innovorg’s solution will be better positioned to capitalize on trends like AI/high-density computing, edge proliferation, and grid modernization.

As new technologies, architectures, and environmental imperatives continue to emerge, data centers must establish continuous workforce upskilling as a core business discipline. With measurable impacts like faster skills gap closure, improved role-skills alignment, and boosted training ROI, data centers can drive real operational excellence. Consistent skills assessments, personalized training programs, clear performance metrics, and leadership support for professional development will be essential to cultivating a future-ready workforce capable of maximizing infrastructure efficiency and business value.

Reach out to Innovorg at contact@innovorg.com to ind out more about how your organization can begin workforce development.

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