This is the most important thing we’ve done in a long, long time.

Those words were famously uttered by Larry Ellison during his Keynote address at OpenWorld17. The big announcement this year is Oracle’s Autonomous Database. And let me tell you, it’s a big deal. Let me say that again in case you missed it…this is a BIG announcement. Oracle’s Autonomous Database is scheduled to become available in December of 2017 for Data Warehousing. This new database is a game changer, but before I get into what it will mean for our industry, let’s look at what is offered in this new product.

“There is no pilot error, because there is no pilot.”

Oracle’s Autonomous database will fully automate database maintenance. The autonomous database will monitor itself, tune itself, back itself up, and even complete patches—all without human interaction. Oracle’s Autonomous Database promises 99.995% uptime. The remaining .005% of downtime will be planned, which accounts for 30 minutes per year. The new database is also elastic in its use of compute resources, meaning it can scale up or back on usage based on the need. Ultimately this will translate into lowered compute costs to customers.

So, let’s talk about cost. Larry Ellison made a bold proclamation that effectively put his money where his mouth is. Oracle is willing to guarantee that their cost will be half the cost of Amazon’s Redshift database. Larry proclaimed that Oracle “will guarantee contractually regardless of load, that our bill will be half the amount of Amazon’s Redshift.”

“If you eliminate human labor, you eliminate human error.”

How should we take this? What does this mean for the future? Make no mistake: if you’re a database administrator, you might want to start branching into other areas. Oracle was the first, but they certainly won’t be the last. Now that autonomous database technology exists, get ready for others like Microsoft to follow suit. This is where technology is headed, and Oracle just set the pace. At a minimum, this will translate into companies needing fewer database administrators on staff, if any at all.

But Ellison is also correct. Autonomous database technology will remove the risk of human error, lower overhead costs, and maintain constant and consistent overwatch of your company’s precious data. Most in the IT field would agree that this impact is a very positive step forward for businesses.