April is National Stress Awareness Month, and we’ve got hardworking data and IT teams on the brain. Pure Storage® was founded on the belief that storage can be designed from the ground up to be a pleasure to operate. But many teams still struggle with old systems and constant frustration. That causes the stress to pile up. Here’s how service providers, including Pure, are working to give these teams a break.

Data Became IT’s “Essential Worker”

A study found that 73% of IT workers reported feeling burned out in recent years, and it’s no wonder why. The immediate demands of a digital-first shift made their workloads unmanageable. We needed remote security policies, work-from-home and virtual desktop support, low-touch engagement, and access to data—and we needed it fast.

In terms of continuity and digital transformation—two things on everyone’s minds—data became a sort of “essential worker.” But it wasn’t always easy to access. Database administrators (DBAs) were already tasked with a spectrum of responsibilities. Then, they had to do more from afar. And, as I mentioned in this article, their work can be complex and full of responsibility and shouldn’t be rushed. The pressure to move fast can lead to mistakes and be a real drag on morale.

Burnout Is Bad for Business

“In other sectors—such as technology—overwork is celebrated, even though research clearly shows that putting in more than 55 hours a week does nothing to improve job performance.” –HBR

Burnout isn’t just bad for morale. It can also be a threat to your organization and your bottom line. Managers and leaders shouldn’t overwhelm employees with responsibilities. Instead, they should make sure roles are clearly defined. Otherwise, the effects add up—from lower productivity and engagement to higher turnover rates and healthcare costs. And they add up big—to the tune of up to $190 billion.

Burned-out DBAs can be an expensive business problem in more ways than one—especially when you’re trying to leverage data to survive. So what’s burning them out? Tasks like patching, provisioning, diagnostics, performance tuning, and weekend maintenance for a start.

In a previous article, I discussed why automation should be considered an opportunity for DBAs, not a threat. By removing low-value tasks, you can open up DBAs to perform higher-value tasks and focus on the kind of innovation that will drive breakthroughs. After the last year—and how demands for data will only increase—AI and the simplicity it can create is looking more like a necessity than just an opportunity. And it’s those low-value tasks where automation can help.

Success with AI won’t happen overnight, and teams will have to walk before they run. It takes time and discretion to find where AI yields true ROI. But when the pieces start to fall into place and DBAs, in particular, get a taste of freedom, burnout could begin to cool.

AIOps Can Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity

A little emotional intelligence goes a long way in recognizing and preventing burnout. But operational intelligence can be just as important. And that’s where AIOps comes in.

A recent Gartner report highlights how managed service providers (MSPs), including storage-as-a-service (STaaS) providers, are leveling up their AIOps offerings. The result: Companies are saving time and money, reducing complexity, and taking a lot of administrative work off teams’ plates.

Related reading: Evergreen//One gives enterprise storage ops managers their mojo back >>

What Is AIOps?

AIOps is a growing set of tools, capabilities, and services from MSPs that companies can plug into to transform their own operations. When it comes to IT, AIOps can include autonomous AI- and ML-powered technologies that help with:

  • Enabling hyperautomation for advanced, end-to-end streamlining of processes
  • Removing the need for constant oversight of infrastructure with more self-aware environments
  • Optimizing resource utilization and intelligent capacity usage and resource allocation
  • Monitoring with autonomous analytics, support, and maintenance
  • Promoting proactive security and recovery

I mentioned that pre-2020, DBAs might look at that list and wonder if automating all of these would leave gaps so big their role would disappear. Automation has long been seen as a foe, not a friend. But with companies looking to accelerate digital business with data, they’ll need all hands on deck—and AIOps may help DBAs who are ready and willing to upskill for new challenges.

Related reading: How Automation Can Evolve (and Improve) the Role of DBA

Pure Storage Can Help Your Data Teams Battle Burnout and Drive Breakthroughs

When your data storage technology just works—and works well—life gets easier. Bottlenecks become breakthroughs, as we like to say. Pure has a growing set of AIOps tools to offload administration and help your teams focus on outcomes, including:

  • Predictive monitoring with tools like the AI-powered Pure1® storage management app
  • Automated scaling and workload predictions with Pure1 workload simulations
  • Pure as-a-Service™, which offers a full-stack infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go subscription model that offloads maintenance and many day-to-day tasks

When you factor in how much data is expected to grow, it’s not as if DBAs’ jobs will get any lighter. On-premises isn’t going anywhere, and many on-prem solutions are offering the same degree of automation you can get in cloud-based solutions. This flavor of automation can help DBAs focus less on menial tasks and more on big-picture strategic tasks.

There’s more on the horizon—more data, new open-source databases, and more data-driven initiatives. DBAs will be critical partners in the continuity of digital business. Upgrade to modern data storage solutions that offer simplicity and effortless operations to help ensure these pros aren’t burned out—but geared up. It’s an investment in their success—and the success of your business.