Introduction: Is There a Better Approach to Supporting Your Oracle Systems?

IT executives have seen an explosion in the amount of data their companies must store and manage, increasing the administration burden and the pressure to make sure data and systems are properly supported. Because managing these database systems is critical to the success of the company as a whole, you are increasingly looking for solutions to better support your production environments.

Without proper support and maintenance of your Oracle systems, your company may be faced with:

Challenge Description of Consequence
Increased database downtime This can bring an entire business to a halt. Though effects vary from company to company, downtime often results in lost revenue and customers, time-intensive repairs, and potential loss of critical business data.
Increased DBA turnover and training costs According to a recent CIO Magazine survey, employee retention and preventing burnout was the #1 concern reported by CIOs in regards to their IT staff (see Exhibit 1 below). The increasing pressures placed on DBAs can result in increased employee turnover and subsequent training costs.
Decreased database performance Performance issues can cause an array of undesirable issues, from significantly reducing a company’s productivity, to customer complaints, and ultimately to loss of customers and revenue.
Overburdened IT staff There is only so much any team can handle. An overloaded IT staff may not have the time to properly support the mission-critical database systems, and staff DBAs may not have as much time to work on special projects or take proactive measures to ensure optimal database performance. This strain may hurt your ability to get the reliability and performance needed from your database systems.

Table 1: Consequences of the understaffed and overstretched IT department

Today IT Directors are facing a perfect storm of factors that are making their jobs increasingly difficult. There is more work to do than ever before without the budget or resources to do it. In an October 2006 survey conducted by CIO Magazine, 66% of respondents reported their departments as understaffed, up from 59% the prior year.

This staffing strain combined with the increasing amount of time needed to manage and support databases has resulted in numerous costly and challenging problems.  Thankfully, there are several solutions to this common problem.