DCD>Debate: Will the industry ever bridge the talent gap?

On June 25, 2024, Nusantara Data Center Academy participated in the DCD>Academy Connect Asia Pacific event, held at the Grand Hyatt Bali, Nusa Dua. This event consists of a debate titled “Will the industry ever bridge the talent gap?”.

This debate discussed current issues in the data center industry, particularly regarding the potential for growing a diverse and skilled workforce amid an expanding data center ecosystem.

Our esteemed founder, Erick Hadi, was joined by other distinguished speakers:

  • Mark Gusakov, Nomad Futurist
  • Dr. Terri Simpkin, Portman Partners
  • Lauren Ryder, Leading Edge Data Centres
  • Chris Molloy, Digital Infrastructure Associates

Together, they arrive at several conclusions:

  1. Mark Gusakov states that the data center industry must still increase its publications efforts to attract new talents. Ingraining their mindsets with curiosity and grit to solve problems is the ultimate solution. Age gaps are another problem that correlates with attracting new talents, as most of the workers in data centers fall into the older generation meanwhile, the younger generation lacks any interest in diving into the industry because of its complexity.
  2. Terri Simpkin touched upon the awareness problem of data centers from the education system perspective, in which the industry needs to be taught holistically to children in schools from the earliest to highest education. A holistic approach is needed to produce a large number of talented workforces. An extra push also needs to come from the new workforce to stay in the industry because of the many technical skills required for potential talents. We cannot stop, we need to keep moving forward despite the many challenges of the current talent situation.
  3. Erick Hadi focused more on the role of polytechnic and vocational schools, stating how Nusantara will keep expanding its “circle of influence” to the stakeholders in the data center industry, from academics, business, community, association, regulation, legislation, and media. The curriculum of the courses taught at Nusantara is designed to not only train but also create a holistic supply of talents according to industry needs. Nusantara is playing its part in decreasing the “Y.A.Y.A” phenomenon (“You Again You Again”). Nusantara believes that this industry can solve the talent gap problem if stakeholders also play their part.
  4. Lauren Ryder brings up issues of diversity as a potential way to balance the current workforce. The top leaders play an important role in the regeneration of the industry, they need to look into the future to make a difference. We all need to be mindful, as new workforces need to be nurtured, and it has to start now.
  5. Chris Molloy takes Singapore as an example where data center classes always attract industry players. He also states how the number of women in Singapore working in the data center industry is equal to the number of men, based on his observation when he participates in the training held by DCD>Academy. This stands in contrast to Hong Kong and Australia. The industry needs to cultivate a new source of talent with the competence and skills needed for work. An education system that creates new talent for data centers from the basics to work-ready is still very rare in the industry.

Join in on our latest discussions and events regarding the future of the data center industry in Indonesia here, in our LinkedIn platform (Nusantara Digital Community).



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