Not so long ago, maintaining a data center was an entry-level management position. Data management was barely a blip on the radar for CIO positions.
Needless to say, that's changed. The business need for cost-effectiveness means more companies are focused on data crunching, which means the hot new skill set is data management.
We're not just talking the typical IT aspects of data, such as running and securing a blade server. No, the savvy data center manager is now becoming the Data Center Architect and must know all about heating and cooling technology, energy use and facility management, according to the experts in this NewsFactor Network article.
And, the experts contend, the growing business significance of data means the Data Center Architect will report directly to the CIO and be well-positioned for moving into that position.
We'll see. The key problem with this article is that most sources are working within data management and that makes their position seem a bit self-serving. Obviously, data management is more critical than ever, but do the technical merits of that skill set lend themselves to managing an enterprise? That remains to be seen.
The end of the article offers a more likely advancement scenario: Data centers will eventually evolve into complete, separate facilities. But again, this scenario would more likely lead you to become a facility manager, and perhaps eventually Chief Operating Officer, rather than the CIO position.
And there are other ways to achieve the same effect without investing in a single leader. At Hewlett-Packard, the Data Center Architect research is handled by a team with backgrounds in computer systems, electrical and/or mechanical engineering.
True, HP is running a research lab, but there's no reason large organizations couldn't build similar teams. And perhaps they should, since those aren't exactly skill sets one person could quickly pick up.