integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

June 2015

No full time DBA needed

June 16th, 2015

Bored DBAOur experience with Oracle and large SQL Server systems has taught us that a production database, if managed correctly, shouldn't require a full-time administrator. Combine that with the fact that DBA jobs currently exceed the supply of experience and trained personnel, and that's why we offer a managed services solution called Remote Control.

If you manage to find and hire a qualified DBA, it's actually a fairly risky endeavor. Because they're in such high demand, keeping them can be difficult and expensive. If they feel bored or underpaid, they're fairly easily able to move on to a different job.

On the flip side, your strategy can be to hire someone less experienced and train them. However, while you're training them, it's risky to have them managing the production database, as they don't yet have the expertise to effectively do so. And once you've invested the resources in training them, you're back in the position of employing a qualified DBA that's in high demand.

By using our Remote Control solution, you let us take care of the problem in a number of ways.

1. Reacting to issues

Of course, you can use monitoring software, and we can help set that. up. However, how do you know what to do when the problem actually happens?

Most drivers know when a light on their dashboard comes on that something needs attention. However, they typically have to take their car into the shop to actually fix it.

Similarly, monitoring packages can notify you about a known problem, but they can't help you fix it. And they can't notify you if a new type of problem crops up, either. They also can't design databases, patch production databases, clone environments to a development server, or help programming staff on optimizing their SQL statements.

2. Keeping DBA's engaged

One huge problem in retaining DBA's is keeping them actively engaged so that they don't get bored and move on to another job.

At LSG Solutions, our DBA's work with a variety of clients, and on a variety of projects. So the risk of them leaving out of boredom is far, far lower.

3. Concentrate on your core business

Finally, outsourcing or just augmenting DBA personnel allows you and your team to concentrate on improving your core business.

We enable businesses to achieve and sustain their annual and long-term growth goals via our Remote Control managed services .

If you believe that's worth a conversation, feel free to contact us at 405-285-2500.

Comments: None

Eliminating custom software mutual mystification

June 2nd, 2015

Always test your assumptionsIn the software development world, it can be common for miscommunication to cause delays and even change the investment amount on the client's part. While we've certainly had that happen occasionally, we've learned over time how to combat the issue.

The key is to eliminate assumptions.

Naturally, there will always be some assumptions made by both parties. If the assumptions are few, it won't cause major issues.

If, on the other hand, there are too many assumptions, it can lead to a high risk of major miscommunication.

As an example, one issue that can easily crop up is the speed bottleneck in the software. It's normal for a client to assume the new software will perform faster, even if that topic was never discussed.

Once the software is being tested, the following could be the client's thought process:

"I thought the new system would be faster after the changes. I wonder if I should tell the LSG consultants. Well, I don't want to embarrass myself trying to communicate exactly what's happening. I'm sure the LSG team will figure out the problem on their own."

You can see how that might be an issue, especially if we never explicitly talked about increasing the speed of the software.

The key to combating any assumption-based issue lies in our team at LSG being sure to ask plenty of questions, and restate our understanding of what has been agreed upon.

Here are just a few of the specific techniques we use:

  • If we spot unusual tonality or body language on the part of our clients, we dig in with exploratory questions.
  • If we or they use phrases or terms that might be misunderstood (very common in the technology world), we ask clarifying questions.
  • When our techs find themselves getting excited about a new challenge, they make sure to paraphrase back to the client what they believe was said.

At LSG, we want to ensure that we know what our client's expectations are, and that we can actually meet those expectations. By eliminating assumptions throughout the process, we can discover the "how" to make that happen.

Comments: None


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