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Outsourcing Improves Retention of Existing DBA Staff

Author: Robin Caputo | | April 2, 2014

Seasoned IT professionals find they’re responsible for a continually growing number of databases, but they aren’t getting the help they need to keep them running smoothly.

This lack of staff resources — a significant challenge for organizations — can be resolved by adopting a flexible managed services contract for database administration, according to a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Datavail.

Over the past decade, many enterprises have doubled or even quadrupled the number of databases they maintain, but the number of database administrators on staff has not increased proportionally.

As a result, 71 percent of organizations taking part in the survey reported they now lack the staff resources to effectively manage their enterprise databases, according to Noel Yuhanna, principal analyst at Forrester Consulting.

Routine Tasks Grind Down DBA Experts

Considering these shortages, staff retention has become an increasingly widespread problem for large and small organizations alike.

“Staffing is definitely a big issue for organizations as DBAs are being tasked to do more things like tuning and optimization and backup and recovery and migration and upgrades,” says Yuhanna.

More experienced, senior staff members may be tired of having to spend their time troubleshooting and putting out fires rather than working on business-critical tasks. Yuhanna says senior administrators may choose to retire to escape the daily grind.

Outsourcing DBA Chores

Organizations can resolve those and other issues — and improve morale — by moving to managed services for routine database maintenance tasks. Such a move would free senior administrators to focus on business-critical tasks and to be ready to respond to market changes, and competitive threats.

“Adopting a managed services approach to database administration and augmenting our on-staff DBA team improved our DBA retention, as well as the quality of life of our DBAs,” stated the director of database administration at a major financial services company, one of Datavail’s clients. “We’re able to focus our on-staff DBAs to engage earlier on business processes and business issues, while Datavail handles many of our day-to-day operational issues. The result has been higher employee satisfaction and retention, and greater business value,” he says.

Taking such a proactive approach could help an organization save money, grow faster than the competition, and deliver innovative products and services. In fact, 41 percent of database administration decision-makers Forrester Consulting surveyed said outsourcing helped complement their existing staff.

Organizations are more frequently relying on outsourcing for database administration to bolster the quality of service they can deliver. “This doesn’t mean that they are going to reduce their staff. It’s more about complementing, supplementing the existing staff so they can do more,” says Yuhanna.

“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 what value outsourcing brings, and then expand your portfolio.”

Considering the ever-increasing variety, velocity, and volume of data and databases — coupled with scarce database administration talent — the time is right to consider an alternative approach to managing databases, says Datavail Chief Executive Officer Mark Perlstein.

Getting Answers

Could moving to managed services help your organization keep its valuable employees? Which other challenging database management issues might a managed services contract solve? How might such a strategy work in your organization?

To hear additional perspectives on the benefits of outsourcing from Perlstein and Yuhanna, access the webinar audio here. The full study is available online by visiting: Outsourcing Database Administration Saves Money, Improves IT Productivity.

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