WHAT’S BUZZING

Skills shortage generates uncertainty for APAC data centres

More data centre operators in Asia Pacific will be migrating to the cloud or relying more heavily on managed services by 2025, as a shortage of skilled workers impacts the sector’s ability to build new on-premises capacity to meet post-pandemic demand.

Research carried out by tech firm ABB in partnership with Data Center Dynamics (DCD) reveals that more than two-thirds of senior industry experts expect 75% of their data centre equipment to be housed in co-location or cloud soon.

This may be due to the industry’s struggle to build new capacity. More than 40% of the respondents said data centre construction in Apac struggled to keep up with demand over the past 12 months as the perfect storm of an unpredicted surge in demand and a reliance on traditional construction practices held progress back.


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Growth plans for Apac data centre operators were also found to be hampered by issues created or made worse by the pandemic. These include supply chain resilience (82%), health and safety precautions (77%) and access to specialist sub-contractors and trades (74%).

“The shortage of suitably skilled people can have big consequences for operators, from extra costs to delays in project delivery times. But attracting talents and upskilling take time, so the short- to medium-term [fix] is to utilise smart solutions for the installation and maintenance of power equipment. This can take the pressure off existing staff and speed up installation and commissioning times to get new data centres to open faster,” says Kent Chow, ABB’s data centre segment leader for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Region.

Study reveals a large trust gap between shoppers and retailers

A recent Zebra Technologies’ study has confirmed the large trust gap between shoppers and retailers


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Although 55% of retail decision-makers surveyed believe they are completely trusted to fulfil online orders as promised, only 38% of shoppers indicate complete trust in retailers.

Even retail associates are wary of their employers’ capabilities, with only 51% completely trusting their employer’s ability to deliver or fulfil customers’ online/mobile orders as promised.

To improve this level of trust, retail decision-makers are increasingly embracing solutions that elevate the contributions of frontline staff and improve how inventory is planned and executed in stores and the broader supply chain.

The study also reveals the rise of a “do-it-yourself” trend. Fifty-eight percent of shoppers say it is faster to look up information on their smartphones than ask associates for help. This leaves retailers unaware of when in-store customers are contemplating mobile commerce (m-commerce) purchases, possibly with competitors.

More than a quarter of surveyed shoppers have also placed click-and-collect m-commerce orders while out shopping, with some even completing mobile orders for home delivery.

With retail channels blending more than ever, the majority of retail decision-makers say increasing the efficiency of online order processing and fulfilment is a priority. They plan to do so by deploying workforce and task management software next year.


IN PICTURE

Schneider Electric and ITE Labs
Photo: Scheider Electric

Schneider Electric and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) recently launched a Predictive Maintenance Centre (PMC) at ITE College East.

The centre will train ITE’s Mechanical Engineering students in cutting-edge real-time maintenance solutions that reduce costly unexpected breakdowns and extend the lifespan of equipment. This helps to expand the skill set of students who are training to be maintenance technicians and potentially implement predictive maintenance solutions for their future employers.

Besides providing training and equipment to set up the lab, Schneider Electric will also offer awards for top ITE students and internship opportunities.


DIGITAL LIFE

Need an information boost? Here are three business books (which are also available in e-book format) to check out, according to The Financial Times.

Net Positive book cover

Net Positive lays out the principles and practices of next-generation companies that deliver the scale of change and transformation the world desperately needs.

Aristocracy of Talent book cover

From the Greeks to grammar schools, The Aristocracy of Talent explores the history of meritocracy and explains why we need to renew it to promote social mobility.

This is how they tell me the world ends book cover

Written like a thriller and a reference, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyber arms race to heel.

Main photo: Unsplash