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What Happens When Your Oracle EBS DBA Retires?

Author: John Kaufling | | February 6, 2020

The tech industry is facing a quiet crisis, as many of the field’s most talented and experienced workers are planning to make their departure. In a 2015 survey, 20 percent of data professionals said that they planned to retire within the next decade, and just 6 percent of data professionals are under the age of 35.


As a legacy technology with a 30-year history, Oracle E-Business Suite is especially vulnerable, with many database administrators already retired or on their way out. This scenario of departing Oracle Apps DBAs recently happened to a U.S. manufacturer of high-end optical equipment. By joining forces with Datavail, this company was able to secure the continued support and maintenance that it needed for the successful operation of its business.

The Problem: A Looming Talent Shortage

This U.S. manufacturer has several U.S. government contracts, which makes the company subject to ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) export control. One condition of ITAR is that the contractor cannot use offshore resources for any of its business, including IT support. Naturally, this requirement posed significant logistical challenges.

What’s more, the company had two full-time Oracle EBS DBAs on staff who were planning to retire very shortly, creating the prospect of more staff pressure and shortages. Replacing these DBAs would mean a lengthy and expensive process of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding.

Still, there was a spot of good news: their internal IT environment was fairly stable, without many dynamic changes. Thanks to this stability, they realized that they might not have to replace all the 80 full-time hours that would be left by the departure of these two employees.

The Solution: Working with Datavail

The U.S. manufacturer decided to partner with Datavail to fill these employment gaps., searching for a replacement for their departing Oracle EBS DBAs. Datavail agreed to provide the following:

  • 24×7 Operational support
  • Health checks
  • Application optimization
  • Maintenance and scheduled activities

Moving to this arrangement was highly convenient for the manufacturer, who now had access to the skill set they needed at any hour of the day. In addition, working with a third-party service provider like Datavail allowed them to enjoy more oversight from a greater number of highly trained people, each one bringing their individual knowledge and perspectives to the table.

The Results: More Flexibility and Greater Expertise

Datavail helped a well-respected U.S. manufacturer solve their Oracle EBS coverage problems by offering them the 24×7 U.S.-based support they needed immediately, rather than going through a protracted and challenging hiring process.

Of course, this is far from the only company that will face Oracle EBS DBA shortages, now and into the future. 31 percent of organizations say that they face a skills shortage in database administration.

Tech professionals often speak of the “bus factor”: the question of how much a project, department, or organization would be impacted if a certain person or group of people were hit by a bus tomorrow. While the retirement of Oracle EBS DBAs is certainly less dramatic and immediate than getting hit by a bus, it too can have a drastic impact on your knowledge and capabilities as an organization.

Making contingency plans for the graying of the Oracle applications workforce will ensure that you address this question before it becomes a serious problem.

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