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Survey: Managed Services Model Helps Improve Service Levels

Robin Caputo | | March 20, 2014

Maintaining service level agreements — commonly known as SLAs — is an essential responsibility of database administrators.

Providing consistent service levels is a significant challenge for organizations, a challenge that can be resolved by using managed services for database administration, according to a new study by Forrester Consulting.

Most enterprises see their service levels improve when they outsource database administration, according to the study.

Enterprises often run into trouble when they lack a formal database administration strategy, note Forrester analysts. This leads to a reactive — rather than proactive — approach to troubleshooting databases that can erode administrators’ ability to maintain SLAs. Being focused on resolving immediate problems distracts staff from other essential tasks that may be delineated in their terms of service.

Improved Quality and SLAs

Outsourcing database administration helps organizations deliver both improved service levels and improved quality of service. Roughly 76 percent of survey respondents reported service level improvement after embracing outsourcing, and about 56 percent of respondents reported improvement in the quality of their database services.

“We saw in the survey that a lot of people improved their SLAs through managed services,” says Noel Yuhanna, principal analyst for Forrester Consulting. “The improvement in their SLAs is the result of the automation, simplification, and the formalization of database activities that drive their SLAs.”

More organizations are increasing the number of databases they outsource because of this and other benefits, he says. “It’s really good to see that a lot organizations are finding value in outsourcing,” notes Yuhanna, “whether they are interested in ensuring availability and their SLAs, or whether they are intent on improving their frameworks and database platforms or delivering new applications.”

Webinar Available On Demand

Yuhanna discussed these and other survey results in a webinar hosted by Datavail chief executive officer Mark Perlstein. The webinar is now available on demand.

In addition to improving SLAs, other advantages include:

  • Consistent 24×7 coverage
  • The ability to tap deep expertise in those areas in which in-house staff needed assistance
  • Multi-platform expertise
  • Improved retention of on-staff DBAs

“Outsourcing database administration is here to stay,” says Yuhanna. “I would recommend all organizations take a look at this. You don’t have to outsource all your databases right away. You can start with a few databases and see the improvement in SLAs that outsourcing brings, and then expand your portfolio.”

Given the explosion in the variety, velocity, and volume of data and databases, says Datavail’s Perlstein, plus the scarcity of database administration talent, the time is right to consider an alternative approach to managing databases.

Other Benefits

In addition to improving your organization’s SLAs, which other database management challenges might a managed services contract solve? How can such a strategy work in your organization?

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