DCN July 2016 - Page 38

IT Personnel All data centres need employees that are consistently capable, certified and confident. The data centre environment is evolving constantly with new technologies and updated approaches being introduced regularly, and because training is not always effectively implemented across organisations this can cause challenges. One of the challenges here is that whilst staff might be technically competent, in many cases, they may lack the confidence to challenge more experienced colleagues as and when required. So instead of the staff member implementing the actions they believe to be right, they may conform to an experienced colleague, or an existing way of working, which can result in the wrong d ecisions being made. This can lead to outages, downtime and other serious ramifications. 38 This compounds the challenges faced by experienced staff. Some will rely on their confidence and experience to get by and cover up any gaps in their competence or understanding, but in doing so, they are exposing the data centre to significant risks. Cognisco calls these individuals the unconscious incompetent. All data centres need employees that are consistently competent, capable, certified and confident in order to operate effectively and efficiently and reduce risk. However, a key challenge may be that current training programmes are not as effective as they could be, because no one is assessing the effectiveness of the training, whether people understand what they learned and if they apply their new knowledge effectively at work. With unique insight and data analytics into workforce competence and confidence, network and data centre managers can see that not everyone needs the same interventions and training isn’t always required. Some might need mentoring or coaching to develop confidence, whilst others might have skills more suited to a different role. Star performers who are highly competent and confident will also stand out and these individuals can be used to train others – ensuring all important knowledge transfer. Such insight also enables data centre managers to better deploy their resources and optimise the skills of their workforce. Providing targeted training and interventions aligned to people’s individual weaknesses is far more effective than ‘sheep dipping’ everyone with the same training, and it is more cost effective. Cognisco’s unique approach to competency and confidence assessment is currently being implemented by CNet Training to deliver an innovative, new approach to competence development in data centres. At the recent Data Centre World exhibition, CNet Training launched its Competency and Confidence Assessment Modelling (CCAM) Tool which is designed to give network and data centre managers unique insight into the competence and behaviour of their employees. The CCAM Tool is simple to use and relies on situational judgement assessments mapped to confidence modelling. It provides real time analysis and a view of the competence and confidence of all data centre employees, including the likely decisions and actions they will take in different scenarios – especially under pressure. Data centre managers will be able to expose the root causes of employee behaviour, assign targeted development interventions to individuals and any potential people risks will be highlighted, allowing action to be taken to pre-empt problems before they occur. Given the potential impact of outages on the reputation of a data centre, eliminating people risk needs to be a key part of the solution for the industry. With data centres poised to play an even bigger role in the global economy, it is clear that the tech talent shortage won’t be solved overnight – there are no quick fixes. Yet, the importance of events like Cassini Review’s debate, which bring the industry together to debate the issues and devise solutions, cannot be underestimated.