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Businesses are capturing and analyzing more data than ever, and they must ensure that their databases are secure and readily accessible. But despite these increased data demands, companies have been restraining the growth of their in-house DBA staff in recent years.
In 2019, the trend continues, as seen in Figure 1 from our full report, Database Administration Staffing Ratios. Database administrators have remained steady at 2.9% of the total IT staff at the median for three of the past five years, with just two slight variations during that period.
Several factors are working to restrain the growth of the in-house DBA headcount. We discuss them in full in the report. They include:
Software as a service (SaaS): SaaS in particular has implications for database administrators. In the SaaS model, users gain access to the SaaS provider’s databases and applications. The end user does not manage the infrastructure where the database and application run. This eliminates the need for the IT organization to install and maintain the database. Organizations that embrace SaaS applications in a significant way will most likely see less demand for DBAs.
The rise in newer, easier-to-administer databases: Many newer databases—including some open-source products and even Microsoft SQL Server—are time-saving alternatives to high-end database management systems. Oracle, meanwhile, has been touting its Autonomous Database, which it calls the first self-managing, self-securing, and self-repairing database.
Outsourcing: Organizations can turn to service providers for remote database administration resources. In a separate study, we report that companies that outsource database administration report a relatively high level of cost success and moderate service satisfaction.