7 Skills Needed by Data Center Managers

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Nathan Hatch is President and CEO of C7 Data Centers, a privately held company focused on providing high-value data center solutions for colocation, disaster recovery, data backup and virtualization.

Nathan HatchNATHAN HATCH
C7 Data Centers

Hiring the right data center manager is critical for customer acquisition and retention. Thorough candidate interviews with several members of your management team are indispensable.

Also, making sure you have two to three positive industry references will improve your chances of getting the best candidate for this important customer-facing position.

At the center of hiring, the personal skills needed by candidates can be grouped  into seven areas. Here are the areas to consider when hiring a data center manger.

•  Organization Skills
•  Self Motivation
•  Availability and Commitment
•  Communication and Customer Service Skills
•  Leadership Experience
•  Professionalism and Maturity
•  Work Experience

1. Organization Skills
It has been said that a poorly organized person invites crisis. A well-organized data center manager will significantly reduce incidents caused by human error.

2. Self Motivation
A motivated data center manager will actively seek out ways to improve his data center and staff. An unmotivated data center manager will only react to the immediate pressing needs, which could lead to preventable customer downtime.

3. Availability and Commitment
A data center manager needs to be on-site, involved, and aware of all of the happenings in the facility. Totally invested data center managers will respond to phone calls or follow up on emails, regardless what time of day or night it may be.

4. Communication and Customer Service Skills
Poor communication and customer service between the data center manager and the current or potential customer can create a bad impression on an otherwise well run company. Mis-communicated information can also lead to customer downtime.

5. Leadership Experience
Not only should a data center manager be comfortable managing staff, but they should also understand the importance of leading by example. A good data center manager will always feel the weight of responsibility to ensure that employees understand the data center rules and procedures.

6. Professionalism and Maturity
Data center managers must exhibit confidence and act professionally with employees and customers while on the job. A successful data center manager will know his employees as well as he knows his facility. The nature of managing a multi-tenant data center requires that the data center manager take seriously the responsibility of dealing with customer concerns and any emergency that could arise.

7. Work Experience
The data center manager candidate should have experience working closely with customers, responding to data center support tickets and escalating client concerns. Other valuable experience would include successfully managing and motivating security and technical personnel in a data center setting. Records show that data center managers who perform well have very good communication skills as well as the ability to be firm and reasonable in day-to-day customer and employee situations.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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