Today, most business leaders know that leveraging data drives business results. Maintaining, organizing, and securing data is becoming more difficult, but it is also more important than ever before. The number of data sources is multiplying and there’s a greater need to integrate that data to create a picture of reality that will help grow a business. As a result, many companies are using database consulting services to help them meet this challenge.
The question many business leaders are struggling with is, “Should we outsource our database administration?” If you’re asking yourself that question, consider the warning signs that indicate your company can benefit from database consulting services.
What is Database Consulting?
Database consulting can take many forms. You might hire a database consultant to supplement your existing staff in completing daily maintenance tasks. In some situations, the database consultant will perform high-level tasks that require a database administrator (DBA) with a long history of designing and planning database architecture.
The best firms provide a wide range of database consulting services, depending on your needs. They should be able to provide DBAs with different areas of expertise and provide coverage at different times of day to help you cover a 24x7 operation.
When to Consider Seeking Out Database Consulting Services
- Your database to do list is growing rapidly
Customer service wants to add a new column to their database, the warehouse wants to update the inventory tracking system, and the senior executives want a new way to gather business intelligence. If you’re buried in new requests and don’t have the staff to satisfy everyone in a reasonable timeframe, you know you could use additional database support power.
When you acquire database consulting services, you’ll get the resources you need to keep your systems running at peak efficiency and you’ll also have more band width to address a growing to do list.
- You’re having problems finding qualified staff
A February 2020 survey found that 69 percent of employers were having problems finding qualified staff. That statistic has tripled over the last 10 years. At the end of 2019, other experts reported that the most difficult people to find are security analysts, data research scientists, and database administrators. There may be more DBA candidates in the job market after the COVID-19 pandemic, but many companies aren’t in a position to increase their staffing.
And, what will you do when your Mainframe DBA retires? A technology with a long history typically has experienced DBAs managing it who are planning to retire in the near future. If you’re having trouble finding qualified staff, the problem is only going to get worse. Working with a database consulting firm offers you the expertise you need at a cost much lower than bringing on a new hire.
- You need to address innovative projects, but you don’t have the expertise in-house
Many projects that take advantage of leading-edge technology also need highly experienced DBAs. If you don’t have the expertise in-house, you may consider hiring. But, if you don’t have the work to keep a DBA busy on a regular basis, hiring may not be your best alternative.
This is another perfect time to hire a database consulting firm that can provide you with the specific expertise you need to complete special projects.
- Your best DBAs are busy with maintenance tasks
Some companies run into the problem of having an experienced DBA on staff, but that person ends up spending much of their time putting out fires, deploying changes and doing maintenance tasks. It’s easy to fall into that situation because it’s usually the result of a loop that’s difficult to get out of.
The loop starts when your DBA must increase the number of low-level tasks they need to address. Then, the database stops running as effectively because the DBA doesn’t have time to do things such as performance tuning, index optimization and capacity planning.. Therefore, the DBA has to do more reactive types of tasks and that delays getting to the proactive work, which causes more maintenance work.
Database consulting firms offer DBAs at various levels of expertise. If you get additional manpower to handle maintenance, you won’t need to pay for a senior DBA, and it will free up your own staff members to do more value-added work. In addition, your entire organization will benefit from systems that run efficiently.
- You’re losing experienced DBAs who want more challenge at work
Most experienced DBAs want to do the type of work that will challenge them and let them demonstrate their value to the organization. If your experienced DBA is stuck doing low-level work, such as reacting to backup failures and other mundane tasks, they will often decide to seek out other opportunities.
In this situation, you have two problems. First, you need to hire a less-experienced administrator to do maintenance. Second, you need to hire a replacement for the experienced DBA who has left the organization. A database consulting partner can help you solve both of those problems.
- You’re afraid you’ll lose valued employees who are tired of putting out fires in the middle of the night
If you don’t have experienced DBAs to work all shifts, your DBAs are going to be roused in the middle of the night when there’s a problem that your people at work can’t fix. With the shortage of talent in the industry, DBAs often know they can find another job where they won’t get the midnight emergency calls.
Partnering with a database consulting firm can provide 24x7x365 support for your systems and let your DBAs avoid falling asleep at their desks and looking for other opportunities.
- You need to increase productivity
You’ve made a significant investment in your company’s mission-critical systems. If they aren’t running well, you’re not getting a return on your investment. If your staff doesn’t have the knowledge and skills to manage the network, or if your IT staff is overworked, your systems are vulnerable to inefficiency and unreliability. That’s not only a burden for IT. The entire business suffers.
Further, cloud technology and the digital workplace are going to provide a wide range of capabilities that will keep your business competitive. As the DBA role expands, they’ll be the people who know what data you have, and you’ll need them to help you make sense of it and develop the applications you’ll need to utilize it.
Bringing in the right level of expertise from a database consulting service is the key to making sure that you meet your business growth goals without breaking the budget.
Get Customized Database Support and Consulting Services
Datavail can offer you database consulting services that we customize for your specific needs. We offer flexibility in terms of the level of expertise you need, and the service delivery alternative that solves your problems.
You may need a DBA, architect, database developer, or someone to take over your low-level database tasks. We can provide consultants with various levels of expertise for a short-term project, a project of undefined duration, or consultants who can integrate into your staff for a long-term project. In addition, our consultants can work onsite or offsite, and are located onshore and offshore. Offshore consultants are particularly beneficial when you need to staff second or third shifts.
For more information, visit our Database Consulting solutions page.
Subscribe to Our Blog
Never miss a post! Stay up to date with the latest database, application and analytics tips and news. Delivered in a handy bi-weekly update straight to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time.
The “ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve the connect identifier specified” Oracle error is a commonly seen message for database administrators.