Business around IT infrastructure and cloud continues to pick up pace. Consider this: global spending on IaaS is expected to reach almost $16.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 32.8 percent from 2014, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 29.1 from 2014 to 2019, according to Gartner's latest forecast.
The folks spending this kind of money on their next-generation data center are also the ones looking to hire intelligent team members who can support it. Yet, IT managers are struggling to fill the following roles, according to the latest State of the Data Center Report:
Data Center Facility Technicians, Engineers, and Operators: 42%
IT Systems and/or Applications Personnel: 20%
- Network and Telecommunications Personnel: 19%
VDI is a combination of several critical data center technologies: virtualization, network, storage, compute and security systems. Modern architects and engineers must not only possess specific domain expertise but also have a broader set of skills to help support this diverse environment. With that in mind, let’s look at some important capabilities which can help IT professionals succeed with VDI projects:
See the big picture. With VDI, IT professionals must understand business challenges and how new kinds of content delivery (application virtualization and VDI) technologies can make a positive impact. For example, how will a cloud component affect a company’s competitive stance in three years? Does a certain VDI strategy fit in with the overall business needs? Even if you’re a storage architect, understanding how your part of the data center scales out into VDI is critical. Seeing the big picture often means taking off engineering blinders and thinking like a cloud and data center architect.
Develop strong interpersonal communications. Data center professionals need well-rounded communication skills which span IT teams and the organization. Those engineers who can communicate value to various business leaders are the ones who have a voice in the direction of their data center. The way to accomplish effective business-level communications is to literally, think “outside of the data center.” That means asking questions about business and user needs, economics of a VDI solution, and where IT and business plans align in the near future. If conversation is not your strong suit, youll have to work a bit harder, but its easier than it looks. Schedule brief coffee meetings with business counterparts, such as senior people in HR, operations and customer care, to find out how their user experience is lacking or vet any other concerns. Listen, have empathy, and make sure to follow back if you made any sort of promises.
- Align with cloud infrastructure and applications. In VDI, it's critical to understand the complexities of applications, how they can be optimized, and what type of environment best supports them. For example, can you deliver an app or desktop via HTML5 (clientless), which can improve endpoint performance and allow for seamless use of a Google Chromebook? Or, can you deploy a cloud-based VDI instance to host the application, enabling better performance per cost metrics while still interconnecting on-premise resources? Furthermore, engineers and architects working on VDI must take the user experience into primary consideration. Remember, you’re not trying to deliver an “as good” architecture; you’re trying to give the user a superior experience through VDI.
Deep, specific technology expertise will always be critical. To stay competitive, the cloud and data center professional must also effectively articulate technologies to stakeholders and help different teams with different needs use VDI effectively. These next-generation IT professionals will not only progress in their careers, but can have a positive influence on the entire business.
Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware.