As the size and complexity of database estates increases, with more workloads and data being hosted on more platforms, both on-premises and in the cloud, so the appeal of third-party database monitoring tools has also grown. Their ability to provide a holistic view of an entire estate and monitor multiple databases and platforms from a single dashboard has been shown to save DBAs and IT teams many hours of time when compared to home-grown solutions.
While their adoption is typically driven by this need to have comprehensive and centrally accessible insights into the performance and availability of databases, they bring significant added value to teams and departments across the business, not just DBAs.
Improved collaboration and efficiencies ensure business continuity, for example, as well as enhance customer satisfaction and reduce costs. This in turn helps organizations to improve margins, protect revenue and brand value, and gain competitive advantage.
Why using a database monitoring tool improves collaboration and efficiency
The importance of collaborative tech stacks and cultures has long been recognized and it was given a significant boost by the same event that proved to be so problematic for many organizations: the global pandemic. This was highlighted in IDC’s notable report, Worldwide Collaborative Applications Market Shares, 2020: The Year of Mass Adoption, which revealed that the adoption of collaborative technologies accelerated by five years between January and June 2020.
The report showed that many less tech-savvy people were using collaborative applications to connect with each other and their work, and digitally transforming themselves through understanding how work gets done.
This was no short-term fix, either. Instead, it was a permanent shift in corporate thinking, as demonstrated by IDC’s Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2022–2026, which showed that global revenues in the collaboration applications market grew 28.4% year-on-year in 2021 to $29.1 billion – and would grow to $63.8 billion by 2026.
And one of the benefits that emerges? The use of collaboration platforms and applications for employees has become an expectation that enables better hiring and retention, as shown in IDC’s 2022 Annual Collaboration Survey.
Quite simply, practices like providing visibility into monitoring data for different teams such as developers, system administrators or management helps break down silos and enhances the collaboration and efficiency of cross-functional teams.
When issues do occur, everyone has immediate insight into the causes, and the responsible stakeholders can act to solve the problem as fast as possible and avoid negative impacts. A database monitoring tool can provide full visibility into server status, performance and deployment issues, so teams can work together to avoid problems affecting your customers.
Ensuring business continuity
According to the 2022 ITIC Global Server Reliability Survey, 91% of organizations estimated the cost per hour of unplanned server downtime was $300,000 or more, an increase of two percentage points in less than two years. More worrying, 44% indicated that hourly downtime costs now exceed $1m, and only 1% said a single hour of downtime cost less than $100,000.
Those figures, incidentally, only represent the costs of remediating the technical issues and business problems that caused the downtime, and do not include legal fees, criminal or civil penalties, or goodwill gestures to reassure and compensate customers.
This is where the use of monitoring tools comes into its own because it allows issues to be detected before they materialize, reduces downtime and customer impact when things do go wrong, and speeds up disaster recovery efforts.
Enhancing customer satisfaction
Customers are at the heart of every business and are important stakeholders when it comes to brand value. When systems fail, it can damage a company’s image if the customer-facing side of the business is affected. This in turn has a direct impact on revenue, corporate reputations and can even result in the loss of business.
This is a concern because over the three years of McKinsey’s annual Global Digital Sentiment Survey, customer satisfaction across all digital channels has been declining, falling by five percentage points alone in 2022, from 77% to 72%. Those same customers are also worried about issues around hacking and data handling, with trust in digital channels falling by six percentage points in 2022 from 53% to 47%.
This is where database monitoring tools again come into play by allowing you to identify problems and fix their causes before they affect your customers. They also help you ensure that customer data remains secure and compliant by raising alerts for security issues such as unauthorized access attempts, failed logins, database discrepancies, or SQL injection attacks. This allows you to provide a higher level of service, improve overall customer satisfaction, and protect your reputation and brand value.
At Redgate, we estimate that the annual savings realized with monitoring tools could be well over the $85,000 mark (based on 20 servers). Monitoring tools can save significant time by reducing manual effort. Without a tool, you have to run a series of scripts and checks on each server every day, which can easily take 10 minutes per server, even if no issues arise.
With a monitoring tool, you automate this process. You’ll get a lot of information, such as whether you need backups, whether there are performance bottlenecks or whether the hardware is working correctly, and you’ll save a lot of time trying to find the root cause of problems.
The risk of overlooking critical performance issues is also reduced, and by diagnosing and fixing operational and performance problems, DBAs can continuously optimize their processes. This frees up additional resources to create value for the business elsewhere. DBAs can be available for more projects and use their scripting skills in other areas, such as automating deployments.
Lastly, a database monitoring tool can help DBAs keep track of areas like server performance, disk space, licensing and the end of support for a version, which can help with budget optimization.
The rise of cross platform databases which are both on-premises and in the cloud, alongside decreasing customer satisfaction and trust in digital channels, has increased the importance – and value – of enhanced database monitoring.
An advanced, scalable and fully supported monitoring solution can help you improve collaboration, and ensure business continuity and enhanced customer satisfaction. All while reducing costs and freeing up resources.
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