Data Center Advisory Org Uptime Institute Acquires IT Training Company

By expanding its training courses, Uptime Institute aims to combat the data center staffing shortage and help data center operators grow and diversify their workforce.

Wylie Wong, Regular Contributor

February 8, 2023

3 Min Read
A businesswoman takes notes during a meeting, workshop, or training seminar in the office.
Yuri Arcurs / Alamy

The Uptime Institute, known for its data center research, consulting, and certification services, has beefed up its educational offerings by purchasing Academia Group Ltd. and its global subsidiaries, including CNet Training Ltd.

New York-based Uptime, which announced the acquisition last Friday, did not disclose pricing. But key to the acquisition is CNet Training, a U.K.-based technical education company that offers professional data center infrastructure and network training programs worldwide. CNet Training, which has trained more than 83,000 data center professionals across 45 countries, is not related to CNET, the online media company.

Uptime Institute CEO Martin V. McCarthy said CNet Training’s educational offerings are a strong, strategic fit with Uptime’s existing course curriculum, which includes instructor-led accredited courses on data center design, management and operations, and sustainability.

“Our collective customers worldwide will now have access to the most comprehensive set of learning and development resources and education courses available to the market from a single source,” McCarthy said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.

Uptime Institute’s purchase of Academia Group and its subsidiary CNet Training is one of several IT training companies that have exchanged hands during the last month alone.

Related:Uptime Institute Rings Climate Change Warning Bell for Data Center Operators

Other Industry Training Acquisitions

In mid-January, CompTIA, an IT certification and training body, acquired TestOut, which provides online training courses and certifications. Before that, in early January, Interface Technical Training, a Phoenix-based IT training company, purchased Centriq’s corporate IT training business, which teaches IT and coding skills.

George F. Westerman, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, said it’s a smart strategy for these organizations to strengthen their IT training portfolio and diversify their offerings through acquisitions.

IT training is a good market to be in because many businesses continue to face a shortage of skilled IT workers, he said. “Training is repeatable revenue.”

One way companies can fill the skills gap and improve employee recruitment and retention is to offer them career development opportunities by providing them IT training to learn new skills, said Westerman, founder of the Global Opportunity Initiative, an organization that’s focused on helping people advance in their careers through workforce learning.

“If you can help grow your own people, then you’re no longer trying to compete in a very crowded market for talent,” he said. “You’re creating your own talent with people who are already loyal to you.”

The Target for Integrated Data Center Training: All Skill Levels

The corporate training market – targeted at every level of employee, from entry-level workers to seasoned staff – is exactly the market the Uptime Institute hopes to serve with its acquisition of CNet Training, Uptime’s McCarthy said.

The Uptime Institute, which is owned by private equity firm Dominus Capital, decided to beef up its training business now because data center staffing concerns persist and because the growing data center industry requires a growing and diverse workforce, he said.

In fact, a recent study by the Uptime Intelligence team shows that the number of staff needed to design, build and operate data centers will continue to grow globally from 2 million in 2019 to nearly 2.3 million by 2025, he said.

Together, the Uptime Institute and CNet Training aim to become the enterprise learning and development partner of choice for both data center operators and service providers alike, he said.

The newly combined company immediately becomes an educational powerhouse that provides customers the end-to-end corporate learning and development solutions they seek, McCarthy said.  

“[Our customers] are moving past the ad hoc approach of staff attending ‘a course here, a course there,’ to a much more structured and integrated approach to helping staff develop new skills,” he said.

About the Author(s)

Wylie Wong

Regular Contributor

Wylie Wong is a journalist and freelance writer specializing in technology, business and sports. He previously worked at CNET, Computerworld and CRN and loves covering and learning about the advances and ever-changing dynamics of the technology industry. On the sports front, Wylie is co-author of Giants: Where Have You Gone, a where-are-they-now book on former San Francisco Giants. He previously launched and wrote a Giants blog for the San Jose Mercury News, and in recent years, has enjoyed writing about the intersection of technology and sports.

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