Career Evolution from On-Premises to Cloud-Based Environments
As increasing numbers of organizations move their databases into the cloud, the role of database administrators is changing – and quite dramatically. To remain relevant and enjoy the best job offers and salaries, savvy database administrators will embrace these changes, stay abreast of them, and update their skillsets accordingly.
In this article, we examine what this means for database administrators entering the job market today.
Cloud-Based Databases – Huge Growth
The transition to building and maintaining databases in the cloud has been underway for some time. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this. Organizations have needed to grant access to data to remote employees in large numbers, almost overnight. The cloud is big business, with 2020 cloud adoption statistics revealing that:
- By the end of 2020, 67% of enterprise infrastructure and software could become cloud-based
- 85% of businesses worldwide are already making use of cloud technology to store information
- 94% of the internet workload will be processed in the cloud by 2021
How Database Admin Jobs Are Evolving
As organizations transition their databases to the cloud, we’re experiencing shifting requirements for database administrators. In your role in database admin, you are more likely to have more autonomy and undertake work that offers greater career development opportunities.
Your role is shifting from maintenance to high-value tasks. These may include analytics and helping an organization develop its strategy for a world in which the Internet of Things and Blockchain (as examples) will drive efficiency, effectiveness, security, and customer service – all thanks to the cloud.
Here are a few ways in which the roles of database administrators are changing.
Less Mundanity, More Problem Solving
Your daily tasks are changing from tedious maintenance tasks to helping to access and analyze data to solve real business problems. You are more likely to work with business leaders and managers, developing data to remove the mundane and time-consuming work required.
Tip: Develop your problem-solving skills, improve your critical thinking capability, and increase your aptitude in communication across all communication channels.
More Autonomy in Your Role
As databases and data analysis benefit from AI and machine learning, they will become more autonomous and less reliant on daily maintenance. This also means that autonomy in your role is likely to increase.
Your managers and supervisors are less likely to micromanage. You will be expected to reflect this by being more proactive in your role, deciding which issues are most important and focusing your effort and time on these.
Tip: Demonstrate that you have good organizational and time management skills, and that you can prioritize your tasks effectively to improve business outcomes.
More Big-Picture Thinking
Cloud-based databases are more able to consume big data from a variety of sources. You’ll need to coordinate these inputs and database outputs, taking a wider and deeper perspective than when operating in a single locale.
Cloud infrastructure means that you must become all-round data specialists. You may need to work with DevOps and software engineers to deploy solutions in the cloud and locally.
Tip: Improve your knowledge and ability in coding – it could be a game-changer for your career.
Agents for Change
Database administrators are becoming agents for change in organizations wishing to adopt and adapt to the cloud. You’ll need to understand current systems and processes, and be able to articulate advantages and benefits of moving to the cloud.
You are likely to be involved in enhancing legacy applications to enable smoother transition and seamless migration of data to the cloud. You’ll also need to develop awareness of financials and costs, and of managing budgets.
Tip: Develop your understanding of business budgets, as well as your leadership ability and presentation skills.
The job of database administrator is changing as organizations develop their infrastructure in the cloud. Instead of focus on internal database management and maintenance, your role is broadening.
Data is now a strategic asset, and one that is increasingly used to shape business strategy. Embedding data as part of process is the realm into which database administrators are evolving. On your journey in this evolution, you will deepen your skillset, knowledge, and business acumen. In the right organization, this could lead to new and exciting career paths that were once closed to you.