Thinking of cutting out your database administrator? Think again

Third-party cloud solutions aren't always your safest bet

Thinking of cutting out your database administrator? Think again

Once upon a time, there was a role known as the database administrator. Back when all data was stored locally, these employees were the keepers of the company database, responsible for making sure all information was accessible and tracking things such as financial information and customer details.

Typically, these employees would hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or similar subjects, while being well-versed in the major database management products (SQL, SAP and Oracle-based database management software).

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In 2017, however, the trend of enterprises moving data into the cloud continues to reduce the role of the database administrator (DBA) in big and small businesses alike around the world.

The DBA is typically responsible for tasks such as migrating, troubleshooting, installing, configuring, maintaining and designing a company’s database. For many institutions, it comes down to the DBA being the absolute bottom line in many situations—in layman’s terms, a true life-saver.

However, many companies are seeing more and more potential in moving to the cloud because of some overarching benefits. Working off of a cloud provides many potential benefits for companies, including major cost savings, seamless integration with other tools and products, and can make businesses more competitive in their market. This pay-as-you-go system offers more flexibility and a quick exploitation of database tools, making it particularly appealing to those with limited resources.

Moving to the cloud. What could go wrong?

It all sounds like an idyllic plan, so what could go wrong? A lot. When companies trust third parties to manage their most precious information, thus giving up immediate control of their assets, they create a situation where they cannot quickly respond to issues and access proprietary data on their own. A DBA can scrutinize all data coming in and out of a system.

Typically, the DBA has real-life application and training with a particular database product. The DBA is also expected to stay on top of trends of emerging technologies and new design approaches. Therefore, they can apply their relevant knowledge to real-life situations and make the best judgement call to benefit their employer. This kind of personalization, one that a cloud system administrator can’t apply, builds best possible outcomes for the employees who use the database every single day.

What else can go wrong with cloud outsourcing? A lagging response or no response at all—a problem within an enterprise that can't be fixed by quickly walking to the other side of the office. More often than not, the customer experience of dealing with a third party “help” line is actually not at all helpful because of the robotic, impersonal and generic responses from unseen phone operators.

It’s up to the key decision makers to make a choice. Adopting cloud technology is very helpful for companies looking to reduce the costs of a large physical data center. For example, data that needs to be accessed from different offices around the world should be put into the cloud to increase mobility.

It’s the highly valuable information, details that cannot be left in the hands of an outsider, that needs to be guarded closely and kept local. A call has to be made to keep the right data easily attainable and in front of the right eyes. It takes only one slip-up, out of sight and in the cloud, to send everything else crashing down.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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