DBA Outsourcing Not Widely Embraced but May Become Strategic

July, 2010

Database administration outsourcing can help organizations handle growing database responsibilities, especially when IT budgets are tight or when needed expertise is in short supply. But it is a strategy that is not widely embraced or rapidly expanding.

This Research Byte is a brief extract from our full report, Database Administration (DBA) Outsourcing Trends

Database administration outsourcing, also known as remote database administration, provides supplemental expertise for the maintenance and support of operational databases, in particular outside normal business hours (24×7). A remote database service provider monitors the operations of an organization’s database or databases (known as instances), and ensures that critical parameters are maintained and performance goals met. Remote database administrators react to negative situations, such as database alerts, and attempt to resolve database problems.

Generally, database administration outsourcing does not include code development or application maintenance. Most remote database administration is performed off-site, though supplemental on-site database personnel can be employed. And most database administration outsourcing involves monitoring database instances running in either the client’s data center or a third-party data center, though some database service firms provide complete outsourcing services, including hosting their clients’ database systems.

According to our annual study of outsourcing trends, the overall popularity of database administration outsourcing rates low in terms of frequency when compared to the outsourcing of other IT functions, as shown in Figure 1. And, when organizations do use outside service providers for DBA outsourcing, they do not outsource a very high percentage of the DBA function. Furthermore, while the cost predictability of database administration outsourcing scores in the medium range when compared with that of other outsourced IT functions, the growth trend is low.

ACF552C - DBA Outsourcing Not Widely Embraced but May Become Strategic

Today, database administration outsourcing is more of a tactical maneuver than a strategic operation. However, as database sizes grow into the terabytes, and demands against these data stores from e-commerce and other online initiatives increase, remote database support may become a more integral and strategic function.

Our full study examines adoption trends in database administration outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing database administration (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present the cost experience, which provides insight into the risk IT organizations take in turning to outside service providers. This statistic measures the percentage of organizations that find database administration outsourcing costs more, the same, or less than expected. We also show how these trends differ by organization size and sector and examine the role of offshore service providers.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Database Administration Outsourcing Trends. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).