With the adoption of virtualization and cloud computing, the information technology industry has definitely seen a trend of small to midsize companies moving to colocation facilities or managed service providers. Virtualization has reduced the need for smaller IT operations to maintain in-house data centers. And small businesses don’t want to spend the capital to purchase new equipment nor invest in a large IT staff to manage their IT operations.
By 2017, colocation and service providers will likely incorporate 30% of the new data center space in the U.S., says Rick Villars, IDC analyst. As we see data centers continue to grow, we will likely see a shift in IT employment opportunities from in-house data centers to data center providers.
ComputerWorld’s Patrick Thibodeau believes that data center outsourcing will become a “significant IT career issue”. He suggests that some of the best IT jobs might be at service providers instead of small to mid size companies.
Smaller companies are having difficulty with hiring IT professionals or are choosing to have their staff focus on business analysis or application development. One example Thibodeau gives is OneAmerica, who is reducing their 2,000 square-feet data center to a managed service provider. IT staffing was a big reason for their switch. OneAmerica had about 65 employees in their data center supporting about 18 different technologies. They were concerned with having enough technical backup to support all of technology platforms on a long-term basis. Now most OneAmerica’s data center employees have left the company. This has allowed the remaining staff to focus on application development and business operations.
Michigan Data Centers Experience Job Growth
Online Tech, Michigan’s largest managed data center, is no exception. Over the past year, Online Tech has been in the process of adding to their staff to prepare for future expansion. Online Tech has hired 26 new employees over the past 24 months with plans to hire 7 to 8 technical staff over the next 12-18 months including a Director of Infrastructure, Senior Sales Engineers and Account Executives.
“We are seeing a growth in IT job opportunities especially in southeast Michigan and in the mid Michigan labor market,” says Deb Webster, Human Relations and Administrator Director. These job opportunities will keep increasing as the Michigan economy continues to recover and companies look to grow and expand says Webster.