Home > Going Beyond Fixes: DBAs Become Business Leaders

Going Beyond Fixes: DBAs Become Business Leaders

Picture this: you step into your dream DBA job, and everything's running like a well-oiled machine. Your monitoring tools show you any hiccups before they become full-blown issues. you've got room to team up with your business counterparts on interesting projects important to the business and place your team in front of leadership. You’re focused on automation and cloud migration and learning Microsoft Fabric so the business can access the data they need directly. Sounds awesome, right? But for many DBAs, the story starts with a DBA working with a mix of hope and fear – hoping nothing goes wrong before they learn customers can’t buy, and employees can’t work. And some are still in the on-call loop, getting frantic texts about databases crashing in the middle of the night. By the time these cries for help reach you, there's already chaos in the office.

From Reactive to Proactive

We get it. In fact, it’s why we built our database monitoring tools in the first place. When you’re able to transition from reactively responding to critical fires in your environment to proactively choosing the performance-tuning projects and database management tasks you prioritize for yourself, it becomes a career game changer. And here's why this matters: Companies are starting to wake up to the fact they need data professionals like you to be part of crucial decisions. They want DBAs in meetings, working hand in hand with different teams, and helping make sense of the data platforms underpining their applications. Which isn’t possible if you have a tier 1 outage every other day.

Modern database infrastructure can become a tangled web of complexities. Think about it: as companies evolve, the business's applications become more diverse – supported by old-school databases and fancy cloud-based microservices alike. This complexity isn't common knowledge. Unless your company has embraced a full-blown cloud-native DevOps setup where automation-by-design is normal, most people don’t have visibility into what's happening with the databases.

The DBA holds all the keys

The truth is, your colleagues don't have your knowledge and experience. They need to lean on you to help them understand what's happening in the data platform as it impacts their goals and projects. To do this, you need the time and capacity to work with the business. That means the proper configuration of a database monitoring tool, automation where it’s appropriate to remove time-consuming tasks, and proper security and compliance procedures.

The DBA as a business leader

Let's raise the stakes a little more. DBAs should play a critical role in fostering understanding between the business and its technology. You have the power to help others understand issues, and then guide them towards choices that matches their business goals.

Remember, the database is the foundation of it all. Just like a strong foundation supports a skyscraper, a well-maintained database supports a thriving company. So, let's trade those firefighter hats for leadership ones. DBAs can become indispensable allies in making smart decisions and bringing together tech and business like never before.

Blythe Morrow
Blythe works as the head of product marketing for database at SolarWinds. She started 15 years ago as the Community Manager for the SQL Server…
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