Storage skills in short supply, but set to surge

Organisations refuse to recognise the critical value of storage, and that's why there is a shortage of such skills when it comes to building and managing enterprise storage solutions.

IDC's Asia Pacific storage research director Graeme Penn said only a few of the largest organisations in Australia have a dedicated IT professional to maintain storage.

However, Penn said this will change drastically over the next five years when real career paths and opportunities will open up.

He said the shortage of people with skills to implement storage is due to lack of recognition in the business space, but in the next few years it "will emerge as a critical new job title".

"At the moment there are a lot of part-time, untrained people doing this job and they are not doing it well; but increased recognition of the importance of storage by Australian enterprise will turn it into a full-time, skilled job," Penn said.

Veritas software enterprise architect Simon Elisha said prospects are improving for those who can manage key components of an organisation's infrastructure.

Elisha said organisations are starting to create dedicated storage management teams, or there may be existing teams.

"Companies are looking for employees with experience in leading storage management tools across a wide range of open systems," he said.

The type of work available is in areas of storage provisioning work, SAN creation and expansion, backup and recovery planning, and operations, he said.

"Strategically, there is SAN assessment work, disaster recovery planning, and the creation of storage management groups from a team leadership perspective," he said.

The quantity of work is increasing with some organisations creating dedicated storage practices.

Elisha said most projects relate to SAN implementation, storage consolidation, disaster recovery planning, heterogeneous enterprise backup and recovery.

IT recruitment companies who spoke to Computerworld said there is little demand for dedicated storage specialists in the marketplace today.

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