Use of Remote DBA Services Takes One Step Back

July, 2013

The number of companies outsourcing database administration declined this year, marking a deviation from an otherwise slow and steady growth in the use of remote DBA and other database administration services.

As shown in Figure 2 from our study, Database Administration Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience, approximately 37% of organizations outsource some database administration work currently. That percentage is down noticeably from the 43% that outsourced at least some of this function in 2012.

DBAOut Fig21 - Use of Remote DBA Services Takes One Step Back

This finding may reflect a greater willingness to hire permanent staff as the economic outlook strengthens. When viewed as part of the longer-term trend, however, the 2012 finding appears anomalous. The five-year trend shows steady, incremental rise in the number of organizations outsourcing this function, from 26% in 2009 to 37% in 2013.

Database administration outsourcing provides supplemental expertise for the maintenance and support of operational databases, often outside normal business hours. A remote database service provider on the most basic level monitors and maintains the operations of an organization’s database or databases 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 work is performed off-site, although supplemental on-site database personnel can be employed. In addition, most database administration outsourcing involves monitoring database instances running in either the client’s data center or a third-party data center, although some database service firms provide complete outsourcing services, including hosting their clients’ database systems.

Outsourcing the database administration function usually is undertaken to reduce costs, achieve better cost predictability, and improve the level of IT functionality.

To help IT executives understand their options, the 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 success rates for the customer’s cost and service experience. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Database Administration Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience, 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).