Strategic Outsourcing: Testing the Outsourcing Waters and Staying Afloat

Written by Jenne Wason

Continued from page 1

So how do you secure allrepparttar benefits of this outsourcing wave without getting dragged intorepparttar 137553 undertow? The key is strategic, selective outsourcing. According to Corey Ferengul, VP ofrepparttar 137554 IT research firm META Group, an increasing number of companies are choosing to outsource non-core IT tasks. Common responsibilities going to third-party providers include Web hosting, call centers, data storage, and database administration.

"There's a learning curve and a life cycle to outsourcing," said Caldwell, "and it can be expensive findingrepparttar 137555 right vendor, as well as going throughrepparttar 137556 transitions of taking your operations to that vendor." Stable, yet customizable IT functions provide an excellent training ground for outsourcing. Any function with known benchmarks for performance and results, as well as available, reliable outsourcing partners is a good place to start.

Ultimately you may want to outsource your entire IT department, but first you need to get a handle on managing an outsourced process. Some companies may discover they don't need to incurrepparttar 137557 risks and organizational chaos of switching to total IT outsourcing. By nimbly carving out and outsourcing small pieces ofrepparttar 137558 IT function that deliverrepparttar 137559 most cost and quality benefit, companies may find they are already receiving maximum savings at minimal risk. However, they will have done some carefully planned and executed experimentation before making that decision.

Gertrude Ederle once said ofrepparttar 137560 sea "I never feel alone when I'm out there." The channel became her ally as she swam her way to England in record time. By starting on a small, strategic scale, you'll turn IT outsourcing into your ally rather than a cold, tumultuous, foreboding sea.

Jenne Wason works with The Pythian Group, a leading database administration firm.

The Seven Deadly Habits of a DBA... and how to cure them

Written by Paul Vallee

Continued from page 1

Habit #5. THE BLAME GAME: "Don't look at me, it'srepparttar developer's fault that SQL is in production"

Some DBAs have a real "us versus them" mentality when it comes to developers in their organization. They see themselves not as facilitators helpingrepparttar 137552 developers develop quality code from a database standpoint, but rather as guardians who prevent poor-quality code from making it into production. This might seem like semantics, but a confrontational relationship between developers and DBAs results in a lack of developer initiative and significant slowdowns in release cycles.

Cures: Select DBAs who understand it's their responsibility to work as an integrated team withrepparttar 137553 developers they support. Cultivate a team attitude by structuring continuous DBA involvement in every project rather than at review milestones. Consider assigning an individual DBA in a developer support role. If it's clearly inrepparttar 137554 job description, there's more motivation to do it well.

Habit #6. THE SOLO ACT: "I know what I'm doing and don't need any help."

Database administration is increasingly complex and evenrepparttar 137555 most senior DBAs can't possibly know every last detail. DBAs have different specialties, which need to be culled and utilized. When DBAs feel like they know, or should know, everything, they don't ask questions and miss out on valuable knowledge they could be gaining from others.

Cures: Foster a teamwork culture where it's acceptable for DBAs to admit they don't knowrepparttar 137556 answer and to ask for help. Encourage your DBAs to seek out an outside peer group as a forum for brainstorming and testing their assumptions. No single person can matchrepparttar 137557 expertise and experience of even a relatively small group. Provide a safety net of tech resources such as reference materials, courses, and outside experts or consultants on call.

Habit #7. TECHNO-LUST: "Things would work so much better if only we had..."

DBAs are often on top ofrepparttar 137558 latest technology, which can help them do a superlative job. But whenrepparttar 137559 desire for new technology causes DBAs to recommend unnecessary hardware purchases or software add-ons, costs tend to skyrocket quickly—as do problems.

Cures: Never upgrade your hardware infrastructure without first exhausting all tuning opportunities. Remember, ten years ago enormous enterprises were run on servers one-tenthrepparttar 137560 capacity—all thanks to necessity and skill. Never consent to using advanced or new features until you're well aware ofrepparttar 137561 ongoing maintenance commitment and resulting costs. Watch out for DBA support software that presents friendly GUI interfaces for difficult tasks. This type of interface allows a beginner DBA to act as an intermediate DBA under certain circumstances, but simultaneously prevents that beginner from learningrepparttar 137562 actual skills behindrepparttar 137563 tasks. Moreover, these tools tend to hide real risks fromrepparttar 137564 DBA, making potentially damaging activities as easy as point-and-click.

Whether it takes a twelve-step program or one tiny adjustment, all of these deadly DBA habits can be kicked. Of course,repparttar 137565 first step is recognizingrepparttar 137566 problem. By starting with this list and doing a careful inventory ofrepparttar 137567 successes and failures in your team's database administration, you'll be well on your way to finding a cure.

Since the company's founding Paul has been Pythian's key trouble-shooter for our toughest technical challenges. Before launching Pythian, he worked as an Oracle consultant bringing his vast expertise to various companies across North America.

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