For DBA. understanding business required for long time. Without this understanding hardly possible to tune application and db right. How to understand what exactly to tune – what is important to business? What backup and recovery strategy to develop? MTTR and MTBF? How company is confident in paying $500K only for oracle database enterprise edition? All this related to dba.
On the other hand, there are still loads of pure technical work to do, for example (what first comes to mind):
- Developing and advancing backup and recovery strategy
- Actual backups testing, restoring and testing
- Different crash scenarios modeling and recovery testing
- Recovery documentation and testing
- Proactive monitoring and analysis
- Moving data between test and development, sensual data scrambling
- Maintaining security, patching, auditing, logs analysis
- New features, new releases, new platforms, docs refresh, etc, etc
All this require time and professionals, and if more integration with business is needed, more resources is needed as well (simply add more resources – Grid Era :) This means, that pure technical DBA certainly will be needed. This is probably area for DBA assistants and regular DBAs. Seniors will probably do more business integration, or delegate this role to separate DBA.