How is Covid-19 impacting data centres?
It’s incredible to think that a virus could have such a huge impact on our lives and even change the way we use the internet. But the moment the World Health Organisation raised coronavirus’ status to a pandemic, data centres were affected. Virgin Media has revealed that since the lockdown was imposed customers have increased their data usage by 32.5GB, which is enough to stream 40 hours of video, send and receive 5,000 emails and stream 700 hours of music – and that’s just in one day.
While a lot of extra data usage has gone towards streaming Netflix – how else were people to entertain themselves with the shops and restaurants partially closed – more people are working from home, sending emails and accessing cloud technologies. Read on to find out how this change in internet usage during Covid-19 has affected the demand for data centres and consequently amplified an ICT skills shortage.
How data centres are meeting the rising demand
As the life sciences industry works around the clock to develop Covid-19 therapies, ICT professionals are helping to keep the world connected and facilitate collaboration between the organisations racing to deliver a vaccine. Despite social distancing measures, data centres can’t stop running meaning that lab systems engineers, data specialists and other personnel working in these centres have been classified as essential workers.
This ensures that information technology professionals can continue to respond to security threats and help to keep network and information systems running at this critical time. Keeping data centres open throughout Covid-19 has not only helped other essential workers continue fighting against the virus but it has also protected countless ICT jobs across the country.
Remote working accelerates the demand
For most people, remote working means saying goodbye to the daily commute and hello to the home office. This is particularly true for ICT professionals who can largely perform their work duties using cloud technology.
The Bitglass 2020 Remote Work Report reveals that 84% of organisations are in no rush to return to the office even when social distancing measures are lifted, meaning that coronavirus may have changed the modern workforce permanently. While this shift may put an end to the dreaded rush hour for some and reduce the CO2 emissions associated with travel, companies are now faced with unavoidable security issues. Since more employees are using personal devices to access managed applications and sign into cloud-based systems, companies must rethink their data storage safety. In an unpredictable twist of events, Covid-19 has created a surge in demand for data centres.
Covid-19 has amplified the ICT skills shortage
This increased demand in secure data storage naturally translates into a need for more personnel to manage these data centres. Meanwhile, as big data continues to get bigger this has wedged open the ICT skills gap and left many roles hard to fill. According to the Dice 2020 Tech Job Report, the demand for data engineers increased by 50% last year and that growth is only expected to continue. Other ICT roles that are expected to boom as a result of remote working and an explosion in the amount of data generated include data centre technicians and data scientists. This skills shortage is just one of the 4 reasons to consider a career in data centres.
Can data centres grow alongside the fight against Covid-19?
Like in data centres, the outbreak of coronavirus has required many factories to reduce the number of employees working on any shift. The reduced headcount was enforced to keep a safe distance between employees but has resulted in a disruption to the supply chain and delayed the production and shipping of operator equipment. However, as restrictions are eased companies are finding ways around the supply problem and where the construction of new innovative data centres was paused in some countries, particularly in Europe, we are beginning to see activity levels pick up as contractors return to work.
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