Hiring and retaining data centre staff 'key challenge'

Continuing demand for outsourced data centres is likely to result in an estimated compound annual growth rate of 23 per cent in the sector’s major European markets over the four years up to 2013, equating to market growth rising from €725m to €2,007m, according to a report by analyst IDC for Interxion.

The report surveyed over 400 senior-level IT decision makers across a broad range of industries in the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, along with a selection of leading carrier-neutral co-location providers who, between them, account for 50 per cent of the European market by revenue. It also revealed that 95 per cent of European companies operate in-house data centres with accelerating migration to outsourcing.

Among the key perceived benefits of co-location - as defined by 25-40 per cent of respondents - include better resilience, scalability and flexibility, better security, and greater cost-effectiveness. Personnel issues also correlate quite closely: 20 per cent of respondents regarded hiring and retaining skilled staff as a key challenge, while 24 per cent believe that data centre operators have better skills.

The increase of digital content, as well as the growth of high-bandwidth consumer and business Internet-based applications, specifically social networking, public and private Cloud computing and SaaS, are the leading factors driving growth, the report reveals.

Other growth factors include the cost/benefit-driven movement of enterprises to opt for carrier-neutral data centre co-location over in-house data centre enhancement. The cost side of the analysis is being greatly affected by the need for power and cooling density to enable virtualisation, and the ready availability of appropriately skilled personnel in outsourced data centres, the report suggests.

The report also highlights a strong correlation between the main challenges of managing in-house data centres and the main perceived benefits of co-location. The key challenges (as defined by 25-40 per cent of respondents) are flexibility, security, managing operating costs, external connectivity issues, and securing capital expenditure.

Related content:
Data Centres Special Report

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