With the South African economy in crisis, IT managers are under greater pressure than ever to tighten budgets and increase efficiencies. One of the ways to significantly reduce IT costs is to outsource your database and operating system administration to a service provider that has the requisite technical capabilities and database solutions.
“Organisations today face a shortage of database talent that is only going to become more critical,” says IT veteran and advisor to outsourcing company RDB Consulting, Ken Jarvis. “Databases are continuing to expand rapidly as a direct result of the data explosion. This is creating additional demand for database management administrators (DBAs) with specialised skills in cloud computing, Oracle SQL Server, virtualisation and more, which is outstripping the pool of available talent. We expect the shortage to drive more companies to database management services.”
Jaroslav Cerny, CEO of RDB Consulting, notes that it’s ironic that in an era in which data analytics is seen as the most effective competitive differentiator, there will be a shrinking pool of qualified professionals to help manage, secure and store data.
“Outsourcing companies have a crucial role to play now in addressing the needs of today’s analytics-driven organisation,” he adds. “It makes sense to turn to database solutions specialists when it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right talent with the appropriate qualifications and certifications. With the right consulting partner, you get full DBA support for important systems and databases without having to get costly full-time DBA expertise on site.”
In addition to the skills shortage, the current state of the economy is having a direct impact on profitability. Operating costs need to be kept low or decreased. Salaries are a great expense for companies, particularly when you look at the added costs of pension contributions, medical aid and performance bonuses.
“With the pressure to work with smaller budgets and become more efficient, it is far more beneficial to move from employing DBAs to outsourcing,” says Jarvis. “It becomes the service provider’s obligation and responsibility to provide the expertise. This helps to decrease costs while ensuring that the quality of the support stays the same or even improves. A similar principle applies for organisations that do not require a full-time DBA, but would benefit enormously from access to one as and when needed.”
Outsourcing gives the organisation freedom from costly employee contracts, and also gives it the opportunity to scale up or down as necessary. The potential savings are significant. With outsourcing you pay a flat fee and stick to your budget. There are no surprises, making it much easier to plan and forecast.
Cerny agrees. If your core business is not database administration, why not outsource the requirement to a company that focuses only on that?” he says. “Managed services companies have a vested interest in service delivery. They also eliminate the risk of employing the wrong people and remove HR problems that often come with hiring more staff. With an outsource partner, the organisation has access to stable and predictable resources, as well as immediate access to the wealth of experience and knowledge that resides in a specialist consultancy.”
Jarvis notes that contractual accountability has other benefits too. “The service to the organisation is measurable according to the Operating Level Agreement (OLA), and there is one single point of contact and responsibility, as well as proactive monitoring and alerting.”
“Qualified DBA service providers are able to leverage a collective set of assorted database skills that provide more affordable and often significantly better support for the database and operating system management needs,” he concludes.