Optimizing Data Management Budgets and Time to Support Competitive Edge

As business decision makers seek information from a growing range of data sources, the pressure is on data management departments to help deliver competitive advantage. However, a  new survey finds that IT departments and resources tend to be mired in low-level database administration tasks, thwarting their ability to make innovation a larger part of their efforts.

The challenges of freeing up database budgets and staff time for more transformative IT initiatives are explored in a new survey conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., among members of the Independent Oracle Users Group. The study was sponsored by EMC Corp.

The survey report, authored by Unisphere Research analyst Joe McKendrick points out that along with budget shares, significant amounts of time as well is being devoted to routine maintenance activities. About a third of IT and data managers say that they spend a majority of their time each week engaged in routine database maintenance.

The survey looked at the practices of leaders defined as those that devote less than 10% of their budgets on database maintenance activities versus laggards, defined as those spending in excess of 50% of their budgets on routine activities.

Among the key points made in the survey are that enterprises are turning to standardized technologies, automation, and virtualization as a way to reallocate budgets and make more time for innovation. Two-thirds of respondents believe that decreasing the maintenance portion of their IT and data budgets will help fund more valuable activities.

In addition, the survey finds that only one out of six respondents say their enterprises have been able to reduce the portion of their IT budgets devoted to routine database management tasks to less than 10%. These leaders report higher levels of automation but are also more inclined to want additional funding for new projects.

The executive summary of the survey findings is publicly available, and the full survey report titled, “Efficiency Isn’t Enough: Data Centers Lead the Drive to Innovation,” is available to IOUG members at