Mentoring in Mission Critical: Cyxtera’s Cindy Joos Says Its Time the Industry Addresses an Aging Workforce

Cindy L. Joos Cindy has been in the Data Center industry for the last 17 years, Cindy has held multiple leadership positions, and currently, she is the VP, Global Shared Services for Cyxtera Technologies. In this role, she manages Customer Care teams, Service Delivery, Capacity Management, Engineering Support, Maintenance contracts, Process, Standards, Procedures, Risk Management, BCDR and Metrics for all data Centers. In her role, as Senior Director in the West Region, She managed a team of 180 that managed 18 Data Centers in the West, supporting $20M of operational and $9M of capital expenditures. In the Engineering and Mechanical role, she had 24 mechanical and electrical engineers that supported six global regions with 59 global data centers, supporting 1.6 million square feet of data center space and 2.5 megawatts of power. Cindy has been a leading voice in the mission critical space for mentoring as well as an advocate for women in mission critical, and a frequent speaker at CAPRE Data Center Summits.

In this Q&A we connected with Cindy to preview the panel “The Rising Role of Women & Mentoring in Mission Critical Construction, Designing and Engineering” which will be centerpiece of CAPRE’s upcoming Construction, Design, Engineering Data Center Summit in Denver, August 13.

CAPRE: Thanks for chatting with us today Cindy. What’s the latest at Cyxtera as you celebrate two years of being in business?

Joos: Cyxtera is a big start-up. We have more than 50 data centers worldwide and are just really two years old. It’s an exciting time for both the colocation business and our cybersecurity business. There’s a lot going on for us, but it’s exciting. Our extensible data center CXD product is very agile, it basically allows you to just “plug and play” with your VLANs and your hypervisor. Our colocation customers can expand their colocation very easily, and that’s exciting.

CAPRE: We’re looking forward to seeing you at CAPRE’s Construction, Design, Engineering Evolution & the Optimization of Hyperscale, Colocation and Enterprise Data Centers Summit in August. What are you looking forward to about the Summit?

Joos: Well, this is always a great event. I love talking to the local industry and finding out what’s going on at all of their companies. The panel, we’ve done before but we’ve changed it up a bit for this year. It’s now focused on mentoring, and I’m really excited about it. Because this is an issue – not being able to replace people, and getting more people interested in the issue. So now that we’ve made some progress, and we’ve got more people working for us, so how do we keep them in in our industry and within our companies?

CAPRE: How do you approach this issue?

Cindy Joos, VP, Global Shared Services, Cyxtera

Joos: A lot of our companies have a younger workforce and a more experienced workforce, and we’ve got to mentor everyone up so that those nearing retirement have people who can step up and take on the challenges. It’s really exciting to talk about this – it’s not just women in mission critical anymore. It’s about all of us – how do we get better at our jobs? How do we help people be better at their jobs? And what will that look like?

CAPRE: What kind of advice do you have to offer in this regard?

Joos: We’ve recently created a mentoring committee at Cyxtera. Anybody can come in and be a mentor or a mentee. If you’re struggling with something or feel you’re not doing so well at something, we can match you up with a mentor, to try and close that gap in your career. It has really driven a lot of interaction with different groups. Because it’s not only a data center group, but also the people working in our offices, the business side of things, the cybersecurity folks, and there’s people around the world, even in Bogota – we have a lot of diverse teams. Getting all of those people together to solve problems is just really cool.

CAPRE: Let’s talk about Denver and Colorado. What is the most exciting opportunity in the region?

Joos: Well, I’m also on the AFCOM Board. And what’s most exciting to me is that we’re starting to come out of our shell. We’re realizing that we’ve got to, as an industry, get together and start talking about these important issues. CapRate Events has helped us to do that – to get out our shells and talk about what’s happening in our industry, not just within our companies. We have some new blood, some new faces in the region, on our board, and that’s exciting.

CAPRE: What kind of headwinds is the region facing?

Joos: Colorado is the best place to live in the world – we should be overpopulated with data centers. We’ve been talking about why that is recently. One thing is that electrical costs are high, and another is that there are no tax incentives. There are some issues with water usage as well — those are the top three that I can think of. But I think it’s just a chicken and the egg type of scenario. Once the demand starts to trickle in, I think it’ll take off. After all, we have a great airport, and there are no natural disasters (for the most part). So it’s a hard nut to crack.

CAPRE: Indeed. We look forward to hearing more from you about these topics in Denver on August 13.