Database Skills More Important Than Ever in Emerging Digital Enterprises

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Some industry pundits have been speculating that with cloud and IT automation, the need for database administrators (DBAs) is going to fade. However, this is far from reality. In fact, the DBA is even more vital than ever to enterprises—and the jobs of DBAs are evolving rapidly to meet new challenges and technology paradigms. Organizations need data more than ever and require skilled managers and professionals to oversee the flow and availability of information. In today’s fast-paced business climate, rolling out new products and services is critical for staying one step ahead of the competition. To do this, organizations need to rely on their mission-critical applications and IT services. Behind the scenes are the administrators managing it all.

This is one of the key takeaways from a new survey of 301 data managers and professionals who are members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG). Within this sample, 255 are currently running Oracle Database as their primary data environment. This survey was underwritten by Oracle and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc. (“The Rapidly Accelerating Cloud-Enabled Enterprise: 2015 IOUG Survey on Database Manageability,” May 2015). Survey respondents hold a variety of job roles and represent a wide range of organization types, sizes, and industry verticals.

The challenge of managing and converting big data streams into actionable business intelligence is intensifying, the survey finds. Database footprints keep expanding, both in terms of sheer numbers, as well as capacity, leading to more challenges for administrators to handle. A majority of respondents, 62%, say their data volumes are expanding at a rate of greater than 10% annually. 

Annual Growth of Data Stored in Oracle Databases

Security, governance, and compliance...74%

Cloud computing...46%

Big data...43%

Private cloud...39%

Database as a service...36%

In-memory computing...35%


Internet of Things...30%

Hybrid cloud...29%

Public cloud...26%

Don’t know/unsure...9%

Enterprises who implement management and monitoring tools tend to be more engaged with complex issues around security, governance, and compliance, as well as cloud and big data problems. Close to three-fourths of managed sites are focusing on these issues. Seventy percent are managing greater influxes of unstructured or semi-structured data.

Accelerating time to market is affecting every aspect of data managers’ jobs, the survey finds. Along with security issues, cloud, and big data now have a direct impact on the way many organizations manage their data environments.

Keeping the performance of their systems at high levels and being able to rapidly fix any problems that may occur with the same resources as before are among the predominant issues. Two-thirds of respondents report that log files are their fastest-growing type of data, followed by more than two-fifths stating that new data formats account for much of the data growth being experienced.

Today’s manual database operations, processes, and approval time are among the causes of delays within the real-time enterprise, many database managers and professionals admit. Frantic development cycles and the accelerated pace of business innovation require that data and insights be available at a moment’s notice. Close to 41% of respondents report that it takes a week or more to approve change requests, as well as to configure new databases for key purposes, even for testing.

Keeping data environments up-to-date is not a simple task, the survey confirms. Close to one in three Oracle managers runs in excess of five different set configurations of patched or updated databases across production, testing, and development domains. This suggests a greater need for automation and more proactive management to maintain concurrency and consistency across today’s data environments.

In the cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things world, organizations continue to rely on data to achieve greater competitive advantage and better serve customers. Data is flowing into enterprises from an incalculable and ever-shifting range of sources. The expertise of data stewards and professionals at all levels is needed to turn this big data into actionable intelligence for the business. There is no one more qualified than the modern DBA to tackle the job of managing big data for the enterprise.

To download the executive report of this survey, go here