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DBA Future Trends: Cloud-Native and Automation

Author: Eric Russo | 4 min read | March 28, 2023

Cloud is the future of databases and IT in general.

In some ways, it makes a DBA’s work more challenging. They lose a lot of control of platform services, requiring them to expand their skill set. Cloud automation through Infrastructure as Code (IaC) allows DBAs to automate and standardize many tasks, such as provisioning new database instances and cloud environments.

Cloud automation doesn’t replace DBAs. What it does do is take away the busy work and enable DBAs to play a more strategic role, taking on an engineer or architect role with proactive foresight of the database.

DBAs will be more efficient, focused, and effective because of automation, which will align with the long-term goals of their organizations.

JP Chen, Senior Director of SQL Server Services, Datavail, is a big proponent of database automation. “The best type of task to automate is anything that’s not already automated. I look at the manual tasks that I do every day and determine whether I can automate it, rather than doing it step-by-step each time. I can write Terraform or CloudFormation scripts for this automation and spend my time on other tasks. 

How DBAs Can Prepare for the Future?

DBAs that adapt to the changing market will find their job secure for years to come.

DBAs that are evolving with the IT landscape are those who are expanding into areas outside of core database management, such as taking a deep dive on the public cloud platforms, exploring DevOps, and becoming familiar with more than one database technology.

In the future, DBAs will be seen more as data architects, data engineers, or cloud specialists. The role of DBAs has changed dramatically. They play a crucial role in long-term business growth and success.

Justin Azevedo, Senior SQL Server DBA, Datavail, has an apt analogy. “Streetlights used to run on gas, so we had people on horses go around and light them. The next thing you know, they introduced electricity. All those folks lost their jobs, but we created a bunch of new jobs for electricians. The changing role of the DBA is similar – it’s a natural progression.”

Explore how the DBA’s role has changed over the last few decades by downloading the white paper, “DBA Past, Present, and Future.


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