IM Local Edition – London
In 2017 supply in Europe’s four main data center markets (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) grew 21 percent, according to a report by CBRE, with 202MW of new capacity. Take-up reached 119MW – with London responsible for 45 percent.
It’s increasingly clear that Brexit has had no negative effect on data center providers in London, or on the growth in digital infrastructure within the UK.
On the 6th April the infrastructure Masons held an iM Local Edition in London kindly hosted by Google. Registrations exceeded availability which was limited to 120 (iM members being given priority) – and all 120 seats taken; The energy and passion within the group was formidable – with delegates, from across EMEA and USA, all having important input.
The format was the now proven iM Local Edition model of iM Think Tank sessions in the morning and lightening presentations in the afternoon. DCiRN (iM Parters) held meetings of their Executive and Technical Advisory Council in parallel – and contributed to the weight of digital infrastructure leaders present.
The Infrastructure Masons has the clear ambition of being a global professional association and forming iM Local Chapters is key to achieving this. Simon Allen (iM Executive Director) announced plans for 6 iM Local Chapters in EMEA by 21019 – UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands (Benelux) and Spain (Iberia). The formation of an EMEA Advisory Council is underway and will be announced at the November iM Leadership meeting in November (again in London). There is already keen interest from APAC and work will start on iM Local Chapters and APAC Advisory Council in 2019.
Think Tank 1
One of the most pressing challenges we face in IT infrastructure is talent. There simply are not enough available, qualified people in the current talent pool to do all the work that needs to be done to keep up with the breakneck pace of technological innovation.
This Think Tank focused on identifying and documenting a “Job Ladder” and which specific skills are most urgently required.
Think Tank 1 – Output 1
An “iMason Job ladder” framework was sketched out (a small sample below)– which listed category, function, job category and jobs. The group was split into teams and each team contributed to the “Job Ladder”.
The group agreed there were hundreds, if not thousands of “jobs” that should be included in the “Job Ladder”
The discussions then moved on to which skills were in most demand – which jobs will be the most difficult to fill. The group agreed that the problem was wider and we also need to address the more fundamental issue of attracting talent into the industry.
Dr Terri Simpkin drew a very informative picture of when people are influenced about life and career choices – it’s surprisingly young – we need to be promoting digital infrastructure as an attractive career choice well before University.
This is work-in-progress and iM members are welcome to contribute to the development of the Job Ladder, identification of skill shortages and share any intelligence generated from the work being done in this area. Results will be processed and distributed to iM Members
Think Tank 2
Future of UK Local Chapter – What should the UK iMasons Chapter look like?
- This was a lively discussion with all attendees agreeing that they would be keen to participate in future iM Local Editions and support the iM UK Local Chapter.
- The consensus was that UK iM Local Edition should meet every 6 months in London and retain the format of Think Tanks in the morning with Lightening briefings in the afternoon. iM Members participating in the Local Chapter should be canvassed on what working groups they would like to form – (which are the key / important issues to address) and which they would like to participate in.
- iM Members outside UK are welcome to attend iM UK Local Chapter meetings (even after Local Chapters are established in other EMEA Countries).
- Each Working Group would have a Lead and coordinate with other iM Groups globally working on the same issue.
- Updates from the working groups would be presented at the 6 monthly iM UK Local Chapter Meetings.
- iM Local Chapters should work with other groups – such as techUK. There are so many groups it makes sense to cooperate and coordinate as much as possible. techUK (Emma Fryer) said she would be pleased to work with iMasons and would appreciate the support and output from the working groups – particularly when the issue coincides with techUK agenda.
Afternoon: Lightening Sessions
The afternoon consisted of a policy update from techUK then 10 rapid fire, 10 minute presentations from selected industry experts or iMasons partners on new technologies and methodologies. Feedback was that the delegates appreciate the short punchy format and that there’s no sales talk – just briefings on trends and technologies and other topics of genuine interest.
iMasons wants to thank the following organizations for sponsoring the London iM London. Net proceeds of IM Events go to the IM Scholarship Fund for students entering and currently in digital infrastructure training/education programs in order to increase the flow of talent into our industry. iMasons is committed to awarding at least 50% of the scholarships to women, as the most ready and available source of under-tapped talent.