Change control can be applied to any process or system that is in place and that includes your database. The way that a database functions is dependent on the effectiveness of the process that is in place, and the level of effectiveness can change over time. As your data becomes more streamlined or as you grow and collect more data, the way that your database is set up may become obsolete and need a refresher. Years down the road, you could discover a completely new target market that requires a different method of database management and functionality. Your business will change and evolve over time and it is important to remember that the nuts and bolts can change along with it, and your database is your business’ most important asset.
The biggest concern with a lack of database change control process is the database performance. You can easily create unnecessary challenges for your business by having an open-ended process when you need to make changes. You can use up space without reason and you can end up collecting bad data as a result of trying to change your database process without a plan set up for how to do it. You can even create bugs in your database by corrupting data that interacts poorly with your system. This is why a process is important to have in place for database change control, but it is also important to have the right team in place who is the most familiar with the database and have that person be in control of the process from beginning to end. Too often businesses suffer big losses due to a change in the database system because the process has not been thought through or because team members are not fully versed on what needs to be done and what aspects of the system need to change.
A database administrator is a crucial team member to have involved when managing your database, but when the time comes for change to be implemented then the administrator is not negotiable. With an administrator on staff who knows all of the ins and outs of how your database functions, all of the existing challenges with your system and all of the ways that the database interacts with other systems and functions then they can manage the project without much need for supervision. They will be able to see the potential issues before they arise and be able to predict potential problems better than someone who is flying blind or only knows part of the existing system. The database administrator will also be able to put a realistic timeframe in place for how long the project should take rather than someone else who may be putting the timeframe in place based on business needs more so than the actual technology limitations and capabilities. Having the right team and process in place for database change control will be integral to your business’ ability to grow and evolve as technology does with as few of disruptions as possible.
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