A few months ago, Gartner published an update on the database market, which is highlighted in Adam Ronthal’s blog “There is only One DBMS Market” and made a rather profound declaration – the database markets have collapsed. No, the market isn’t crashing, it is having the best year ever, what has happened is the artificial segmentation between cloud, software as a service (SaaS), and on-premises database offerings are gone. The walls in the marketplace have collapsed, and the market has consolidated. Why is this important you might ask, and what does it have to do with my data warehouse? Simple, the market has spoken, and the era of cloud is here.
Why Consolidation of the Database Market is Such a Big Deal
Unlike other technology markets that have organically evolved as modernization shepherded in new and novel offerings, the database market took a different route. The legacy (on-premises) market for relational databases was dominated by a few key players that, for many years, were successful in defending their position and keeping new entrants from eroding their business. But then two key things started to happen. First was the introduction of non-relational databases into the market. The concept of non-relational databases had been around for a while, but it was only within this decade that people began to understand the benefits they could provide and created a market demand for these offerings.
The second development in the database market wasn’t a change in databases at all; it was a shift in infrastructure preferences from on-premises installations to cloud services. The rapid growth and adoption of commercially available cloud services meant that companies could forgo expensive hardware upgrades and the overhead maintenance costs of data centers and instead pay for IT resources and capacity based on utilization. What we saw happen in the database market as a result of these changes was the development of adjacent market segments instead of the evolution of the core market. If you were to look at market research from a couple of years ago, you’d see multiple database markets defined – on-premises (the legacy offerings), cloud databases, and edge databases. Each market had different players, and most competition was taking place within a segment.
Then 2019 happened, and customers had an awakening- there aren’t separate markets, there is just one! In the on-premises/cloud battle, the cloud won. Now companies are looking beyond core cloud towards edge capabilities for even more exceptional performance and cost advantages. Customers have realized that just like digital transformation is a journey and the shift to the cloud is a journey, the evolution of databases is a journey too. As IT leaders chart their company’s technology course, they are asking, “what capabilities do I have now, and what will I need in the future?” When it comes to market segmentation, consumers have little concern for how things stack up on paper and more concern for who can deliver the capabilities they need.
What Database Market Consolidation Means for Your Data Warehouse
The consolidation of the database market has a few key impacts relative to your data warehouse.
- You are going to have more diversity in data sources and types that your warehouse will need to support
- Now might be an excellent time to consider updating your data warehouse and migrating it to the cloud
- You will need better extract, transform, load (ETL) and integration tools to help you manage the flow of data from transactional systems into your warehouse
In short, its time for you to take stock of what data warehouse capabilities you have today and consider what your needs will be for the next few years. Are you ready to support data analysis augmented by Machine Learning and AI? Are you ready to support streaming data from embedded sensors, mobile apps, and IoT devices? Do you have the right architecture and infrastructure to support real-time analytics and the enormous big data challenges that are forecasted over the next few years? Have you figured out an edge strategy for distributed data processing?
If you are assuming the data warehouse you’ve been using for the past decade will continue to meet your evolving business needs, you’re likely going to receive an unwelcome surprise when your infrastructure costs balloon, your performance tanks, and users start complaining about impacts to operational performance. The good news is that there are some modern data warehouse capabilities on the market right now, like Actian, a hybrid cloud-based data warehouse designed with everything you need to deliver on your analytics needs today. Hybrid cloud-based solutions like Actian can prepare your company for new opportunities in the future.
If you would like to learn more, visit www.actian.com/avalanche. This market transition is a big deal for the database industry and an even bigger deal for your data warehouse. Best to get started right away!