Survey finds server staffing challenges: as the rise of it generalists continues, the lack of specialist server skills grows.

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More than 65% of organisations surveyed in 451 Research's latest Voice of the Enterprise: Servers and Converged Infrastructure study say that recruiting for roles across both traditional servers and converged infrastructure is increasingly difficult. This comes at a time when organisations are looking to hire more server-based IT staff rather than reduce it.

The key driver for increasing server-related employees over the next 12 months is overall business growth at 67.7%, followed by IT organisational changes at 42.4%. The worldwide survey found that concerns continue over the long-term costs of using public cloud and this is spurring some IT managers to preserve or even expand their on-premises servers and converged infrastructure to support certain requirements.

"Most IT managers are closely scrutinising their deployment options instead of blindly following the pack to laaS and other off-premises cloud services," said Christian Perry, Research Manager and lead analyst of 45 I Research's Voice of the Enterprise: Servers and Converged Infrastructure Service. "When determining the optimal mix of on- and off-premises compute resources, there is no doubt this is hampered by the availability of specialist skills and regional availability. Whether organisations will realise their expected server staff expansion remains to be seen due to hiring difficulties."

With the rise of cloud migration, 45 I Research analysts expect that the worldwide pool of available full time employees dedicated to server administration will decline. The reasons cited for hiring difficulties are evidence of this trend: 69.7% of respondents said that current candidates lack skills and experience; plus a lack of candidates by region and high salaries point to a shrinking set of available talent.

The evolving makeup of IT teams also is impacting the availability of server personnel. When asked to identify which best characterises the layout of their IT technical teams, respondents were split nearly evenly between two key IT archetypes, with 40.4% choosing IT specialists and 39.4% choosing IT generalists. Over the last two years, 45 I Research has reported a trend veering toward generalists, particularly as automation, orchestration and software-defined technologies take hold.

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