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Want to Solve a Database Problem Economically? Address the Root Cause!

April 7, 2015, 2:01 pm
Posted by Lacy in Productivity
Want to Solve a Problem Economically? Address the Root Cause! By Scott Hayes, President and Founder, DBI Software

You can treat problems - or you can treat symptoms. Getting to the root of the problem and solving it takes know how.

You can treat problems - or you can treat symptoms. Treating problems is much cheaper - but you have to know how. Think about it for a second. It seems cheaper to treat a headache with an aspirin than to go to a doctor and address the reason for your headache - and it is - until the root cause of your headache lands you in the hospital - or a cemetery. But when things get bad enough that you’re in the hospital, chances are it’s more about containing the damage than solving the root problem.
The same is true in business. A large railroad in the Midwest reached out to my company in a moment of crisis. Their brand new database system kept crashing, and as a result their operations all around the country ground to a halt. They lost their ability to track their cars, their shipments, and their people. When your database is sick, your organization is unhealthy, your customers are unhappy, and your reputation suffers. They didn’t know it yet, but the root cause of their problem was a sick database that was putting an unnecessary and even ridiculous load on their newly-purchased hardware and software.
Now in a crisis like this, a business can buy itself some time by just buying more CPUs, memory, and licenses to accommodate the sick database - to the tune of millions of dollars. But what happens when you do that? The root problem is still there, still demanding to be fixed, still ready to strike when more users or customers or data or products chew up the headroom you bought for yourself. In other words, all you’ve done is just kicked the can down the road.

Or you can get to the root of the problem.

The railroad reached out to us after it had spent seven figures on a rush order of hardware and software. But while they were waiting for their order to arrive, we fixed the sick database (for a fraction of the cost of the hardware and software they had just ordered), which meant that the equipment they already had was more than enough. But unfortunately for our railroad friends, database hardware and software - like underwear - are non-returnable.

As a leader, you must insist that your team address root causes - make finding and fixing them a discipline. Your board - and bottom line - will thank you.

What You Must Know
The most economical solution to a problem is to find the root cause and solve it.

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