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IDUG Study Reveals Growing Business Influence for Data Professionals


CA-Sponsored Survey of 853 DB2 Users Uncovers Major Concerns about Managing Explosive Data Growth

DALLAS.– The closer link between corporate performance and database performance is increasing pressure on data professionals to provide higher-level services to enterprise business customers, according to a CA-sponsored survey of International DB2 Users Group (IDUG®) members released today at IDUG 2008 – North America.

At the same time, the growing size and complexity of data infrastructures makes it more challenging than ever to optimize performance and service levels. But data professionals often aren’t getting the training and support needed to fulfill the evolving demands of their jobs, according to the global survey.

Of the 853 respondents, 83 percent spend at least some time each week directly consulting to the business—interacting with business unit executives and managers (29%), business unit IT teams (47%), and C-level/senior executives (10%). In addition, 44% of respondents are spending more time than ever on business consulting activities, especially in regard to data design/modeling and data storage/archiving issues.

Nine of 10 respondents asserted that database operations have a direct impact on corporate performance, either in terms of cost savings or revenue increases, with 52% saying that it has a “high impact.”

Management of data growth is the top concern among data professionals, according to the survey. Nearly 40 percent of respondents consider the explosion of data across their organizations to be a top priority. Concerns about compliance, on the other hand, vary by organization size—with larger organizations (31%) showing greater concern than smaller ones (18%).

56% of survey respondents rate database performance as their top operational data management challenge, followed closely by data recovery and availability (55%).

The survey also found that most data professionals acquire new skills by “ad hoc on-the-job” training. In fact, 67% said most of their staff improves their skills by knowledge transfer and on-the-job training provided by other staff members.

“Data infrastructures were once relatively underutilized—closely guarded and exclusively accessed by an IT inner circle,” said Adam Frary, director of product marketing at CA. “Today, they’re strategic corporate information assets that are intensively leveraged across and beyond the enterprise. This is forcing data professionals to grapple with new performance, design, integration, security and compliance issues. To succeed, they need more training and better tools-as well as more formal guidance as to how to most effectively collaborate with business customers.”

Other key findings revealed that, during the past year:

* 41% of respondents spent more time on data security, focusing on access control, authentication, and administration of permissions.
* 37% of respondents spent more time on application development and integration, focusing on SQL statement development and data modeling/design.
* 42% of respondents spent more time on database administration, focusing on database performance and tuning, and data availability.

“As practicing data management professionals, IDUG members have to be highly skilled at optimizing the performance, responsiveness, security, and stability of data infrastructures,” said Bernie O’Connor, president of IDUG. “The results of the survey highlight the fact that by helping its members grow and hone these skills, IDUG is also having a significant positive impact on the business performance of their employers.”

The survey by Unisphere Research included data professionals from around the world who work for organizations with annual revenue ranging from less than $1 million to more than $1 billion. The largest segment of respondents (38%) came from the financial services and insurance sector, with another 13% representing government, educational or nonprofit institutions. Three out of four respondents run DB2 for z/OS, while 65% have deployed DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows. Respondents also run Microsoft SQL Server (48%) and Oracle (36%).


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