November 17, 2015
Remote database administration has now assumed a critical role in the functioning of many businesses. Like many other activities, there had been a move towards offshoring these services in a bid to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness. However, in recent times the trend has been reversed to a great extent as more and more companies are waking up to the many advantages of bringing back DBA services to their own countries.
The Reasons behind Outsourcing
In the last decade or so, there has been a substantial growth in outsourcing. According to a study, in 2013 more than two million jobs were shifted to low cost countries such as India and China. The sector that saw the maximum outsourcing was information technology, where 43 percent of the work in that year was outsourced. Of all the jobs in research and development, a remarkable 38 percent was done overseas. Distribution at 26 percent and call center jobs followed at 12 percent.
The single, biggest motive behind shifting all these jobs out was to reduce cost and increase operational profitability. Other reasons that are often quoted for outsourcing include gaining access to resources and expertise that are simply not available within the country and as a method of freeing up valuable internal resources.
There is also a widespread view that outsourcing is the best way of improving the focus of the company or the focus on customers and is a process that should be undertaken for recolonizing the company on a global basis. A large number of companies also felt that project execution speeds can be greatly accelerated with remote DBA and the time taken to respond to market demands significantly reduced.
A significant number of companies also think that remote database administration can be useful for accessing management strategies that would not have been available otherwise.
The Drawbacks of Offshoring Database Administration
With DBA services in low cost countries being roughly 60% of what it costs within the country, it is not difficult to understand why so many companies have made a beeline to outsource their requirements. However, despite the very appealing pricing, there are a number of disadvantages that should be carefully reckoned with when considering whether or not to outsource the database administration.
As with every outsourcing decision, even database administration leads to foreign companies making substantial profits that in almost all the cases never come back to the country. The decision to outsource also leads to the elimination of many skilled jobs from the country, and leaves the workers high and dry forcing them to seek employment in profiles that they are often overqualified for.
One of the greatest disadvantages of outsourcing database administration services to a low cost country is the problem of communication that arises from the relative unfamiliarity of the English language by the staff in the remote country. The difference in time zones also means a lot of reworking of schedules as the workers in the foreign country would normally be working when you are not and vice versa. Peak customer demand for services in your company is likely to fall into the graveyard shift of the remote database services provider, and responses may be quite slow or lacking in quality.
Sub-Par Service Standards
One of the biggest arguments regarding outsourcing of database administration is that you can never be too sure of the quality of service as often the staff in the service provider may not have the proper skill set that is required to service your account. At the time of the selection of the service provider, the gap may not always be evident, as the service providers are invariably fronted by sales personnel who may be quite fluent and knowledgeable while the actual resources assigned to your account may fall woefully short.
Companies that have bucked the trend and brought back the database administration task back to the country have been prompted by considerations of quality of work rather than the cost of operation. When the work is done at a domestic location, it is easier for the company to oversee and control over the many aspects of database administration that would not have been possible with outsourcing. It is generally far easier to ensure that the domestic service provider is sticking to the time, delivery, and quality parameters as contracted than with a remote outsourcing operation.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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