We surveyed 122 IT professionals who had a role in the selection and management of database services or database software at their companies at the time of survey, 90% of whom were from medium to large businesses*. Respondents included: database administrators (DBAs) – 49%; database users (database developers and software engineers) – 25%; and CIOs, CTOs and other IT Heads – 25%.
*Medium businesses are defined as having 100 – 999 employees and large businesses as having over 1,000 employees
When it came to the organizational benefits and business advantage of DBaaS, large majorities of survey respondents shared similar views:
With respect to the technical benefits of database migration to the cloud, respondents named integration with other cloud services, high availability and elasticity, among others, as key. Naming more than one option, the most popular benefits were:
Interestingly, respondents had starkly different views about security as a benefit—with 58% of IT Heads, including CTOs and CIOs, naming higher security as a benefit of migration, but only 22% of DBAs and 26% of developers agreeing with that.
Among 61% of companies who have completed or are working towards a full cloud migration in the next two years, 79% are planning to increase their investment in database management and operations. Respondents explained what’s most often driving investment, citing multiple reasons:
Again here, a role-based difference emerged. Among the 43% who cited an increased demand for data analytics as a driver of investment, 55% of IT Heads saw higher demand for analytics as key, but only 37% of DBAs and 29% of developers felt that way.
While 52% of IT Heads, including CTOs and CIOs, said database automation will give vendors an advantage, the figure dropped to 35% of DBAs and 26% of developers. A similar divide existed for flexibility and elasticity—52% of IT Heads named those, but only 28% of DBAs and 23% of developers, respectively. Finally, with customer support, the same kind of tension existed: 58% of IT Heads said it yielded a vendor advantage versus 22% of DBAs and 26% of developers.
Drilling down into other realities of the DBaaS in the context of cloud migration, sentiments were clear on the necessity of multicloud and the difficulty of managing ever-expanding volumes of data:
Contemplating open source databases, respondents expressed an open attitude in general:
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Amid the increased business competitiveness (90%) and cost savings (88%) cited as cloud benefits of DBaaS, the survey revealed obstacles and fears associated with migration. Two-thirds (67%) of the entire sample reported facing one or more challenges in moving to a cloud database and, of the 73% of the sample who saw a benefit in moving to a cloud database, 92% of those respondents faced one or more challenges in moving. The most cited hurdle to smooth migration was the need to restructure applications and databases to fit the cloud model, but respondents reported multiple challenges:
Among the “worst nightmare” for respondents was failed database migration (46%), bad database documentation (38%), and bad schema design (36%). More than half (55%) of respondents also agreed that “there are legacy systems in their organization that nobody knows how to fix if they break.” Almost as many (52%) said that “the database team is the first to be blamed when things go wrong,” and 48% said that “data replication is incredibly painful.”
Among the biggest data-specific challenges that organizations are facing, according to respondents, are: data and cybersecurity (43%), increasing volumes of data (37%), and a lack of up-to-date IT skills and people (33%).
The survey offered clues to improve the situation. Survey respondents indicated that competitive advantage for database vendors in the next five years lies in providing automation and ease of use to customers, among other characteristics:
Some differences of opinion emerged depending on the role of the respondent. While 52% of IT Heads, including CTOs and CIOs, said automation will give vendors an advantage, the figure dropped to 35% of DBAs and 26% of developers. A similar divide existed for flexibility and elasticity, with 52% of IT Heads naming those, but only 28% of DBAs and 23% of developers, respectively. Finally, with customer support, the same kind of tension existed: 58% of IT Heads said it yielded a vendor advantage versus 22% of DBAs and 26% of developers.
When respondents thought about strategies to make their organization more adaptive to major changes in the market, they considered leveraging database vendors that provide automatic upgrades, important, as well is collaboration with in-house teams, embedded layers of security, and support for hybrid cloud. It is notable that 45% of survey respondents don’t want to use AWS databases because of the competition AWS presents to the respondent’s own company.
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