The cost of database DIY – are you really saving money?
COMPUTING| Aug. 20, 2012, 9:17 a.m.
By Jaroslav Cerny, CEO at RDB Consulting
The database is the heart of the modern organisation, keeping business alive by supplying applications and people with the information and technologies they need to do their jobs, in much the same way as the human heart keeps the body alive by supplying vital organs with blood to keep them functioning.
The database, like the heart, needs to be kept healthy and functioning at its best for optimal productivity, and when something goes wrong we often seek expert advice to find out how to fix the problem. When it comes to the database however, organisations may then take this expert advice and try to implement it themselves, which could have negative consequences for the entire business.
In a tough economic climate, where IT budgets are always being squeezed, and in an effort to save money, organisations often opt for an approach of asking database experts for advice and then attempting to implement changes themselves. However, developers are often not highly skilled in database administration and support, and herein lies the problem.
Seeking a second opinion to validate the recommendations of an in-house resource is good business practice, but in order to preserve their own business the experts may not give the developers step by step instructions on how to achieve what they need to achieve. There are also certain industry best practices and guidelines which expert providers will be aware of and well versed in implementing.
These may not fall under the scope of recommendations and thus will not be put into practice by your resource trying to implement recommendations. This includes areas such as creating a backup of the database before any changes are made, something which an expert will be aware needs to be done, but which in-house resources may not be aware of or think about at the time.
Getting expert advice and ‘running with it’ can be detrimental to the database, because of a lack of background understanding of the issue. While organisations typically take this approach in an effort to save money, the long-term cost implications of getting it wrong are far higher than any small savings they may achieve. Database infrastructure does not come cheap, and this investment can amount to millions of rands. Risking this for savings of a few thousand seems illogical, and this is exactly what attempting DIY on the database is – a risk.
The consequences of getting any aspect of the database wrong could be dire. Any downtime on the database causes loss of business and loss of productivity as a result of people being unable to perform their jobs. The data itself can even become corrupt in certain circumstances. This leads to further downtime and requires an external expert resource to come in and address the problem. These issues both add up to additional expenses, as the more things go wrong, the more complicated and expensive they are to fix.
An expert outsourced consultant who handles the project from consulting, to implementation and sign off, will give organisations the assurance that the job will be done correctly the first time, with minimum downtime and disruptions to normal business proceedings. This means that risks are mitigated, which is important for corporate governance, and ensures that any database issues are handled with experience, according to the highest standards and international best practices.
If a person experiences a problem with their heart, this affects the rest of their body and could kill a person. If there is a problem with the database, the entire organisation is affected. However, if a doctor told a patient they needed open heart surgery to fix a medical problem, the patient would hardly attempt to do this themselves. The database should be no different. With critical information and applications at stake, which could kill the business if the database fails, it makes better business sense to leave fixing any problems to the experts. The cost of DIY with the database could well be higher than any money saved by implementing recommendations without help.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Metacom enables SA’s leading independent ATM networkSince 2005 Spark ATM has grown to be South Africa’s leading independent ATM network, with over 2,500 cash machines in some of the country’s most remote areas - all built on the basis of a uniquely lean, low-cost business model that has enabled it to put ATMs where ... Read More
Botswana to play part in SKA projectBotswana has confirmed its participation in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Radio Astronomy project. Read More
Hybrid cloud: the future of enterprise ITMajor enterprises around the world are moving to a hybrid cloud model to benefit from cloud functionality while still maintaining control of key applications and data, says IBM. Read More
SA, Kenya cloud revenues to more than double by 2018The combined revenues of the cloud computing markets in South Africa and Kenya will more than double to US$288 million in 2018 from US$114.6 million in 2013, says a new report. Read More
Microsoft sponsors DEMO AfricaMicrosoft Corporation has taken up platinum sponsorship for this year’s edition of DEMO Africa, to be held later in the month, in Lagos, Nigeria. Read More
Bank customers kick against ATM chargesBank customers have faulted the re-introduction of charges on users ATMs in Nigeria, arguing that it is a reflection of the ‘policy somersault’ that has been the hallmark of successive adminstrations in the country. Read More
Pamoja’s cloud service ecosystem taking shape in AfricaPamoja, a leading cloud services and content aggregation business entity in the SEACOM stable, has entrenched the value of its service in East Africa and officially made this high-growth region its base. Read More
Seagate ships world's first 8TB hard drivesSeagate Technology has announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive. Read More
Myth-busting the cloud for SMEsThere are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA. Read More
Sage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growthUmsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform. Read More
FEATURED STORYMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers
Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIG President speaks his mind
Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.
COMPANY NEWSVMware announces general availability of new solutions for building, managing and protecting softwar
VMware has announced the general availability of VMware NSX 6.1, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8, VMware vCloud Suite 5.8, VMware vRealize Operations Insight, VMware vRealize Suite ...