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Oracle claims autonomous database capabilities can reduce admin costs by up to 80%, and one might suspect that these cost reductions would be driven by reductions in staff. However, the role of the DBA will not suddenly disappear due to automation.


  • The autonomous capabilities associated with Oracle’s Autonomous Database offerings will drastically change the day-to-day role of the DBAs involved, abstracting away tedious tasks and allowing for more focus on strategic initiatives that maximize the value of data.
  • For an enterprise looking to cut costs, immediate elimination or reduction of database administrative roles would be a myopic decision. DBAs are still needed to model autonomous databases and set priorities for resource consumption; moreover, IT management roles are growing in importance.
  • The role of the DBA, moving forward, must shift to more strategic, higher-level duties if it is to remain relevant. But this transition will require a cultural shift that will take some time, exposing those in database administration roles to collaboration with a broader range of enterprise stakeholders.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies the key messages and capabilities of the Oracle Autonomous Database offerings that were highlighted at the Oracle OpenWorld 2018 conference.
  • Evaluates Oracle's autonomous database capabilities, with special attention to security, and assesses their impact on the day-to-day role of the database administrator.
  • Compares the current role and responsibilities of the typical DBA to the potential future role and responsibilities of the DBA, given the presence of autonomous database capabilities.
  • Identifies current budget trends in IT management and highlights the strategic benefits of retaining database administrator talent.
  • Evaluates the cultural factors that will contribute to the shift in role and responsibilities of the database administrator, given the use of autonomous database capabilities.

Key questions answered

  • What are the current Oracle Autonomous Database offerings, and what capabilities do the automated features entail?
  • How do autonomous database capabilities impact the day-to-day role and responsibilities of the database administrator?
  • Given autonomous database capabilities, how should the role of the DBA evolve and adapt in order to remain strategically relevant to the enterprise?
  • What are the current IT budget planning trends in the enterprise, and how might that impact IT staffing decisions?
  • What enterprise cultural factors will contribute to and shape the role of the database administrator in the era of autonomous capabilities?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Autonomous database capabilities abstract away the drudgery
  • Now is not the time to eliminate or reduce DBA roles
  • Cultural shifts like this will take time


  • Further reading
  • Author

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