Research@DBTA: Enterprises Move to Database as a Service

Database as a service, also known as DBaaS, offers a solution to some key issues that have vexed enterprise database shops for years. That is, how to maintain and update back-end technologies; how to integrate data from multiple, changeable sources without the need to rewrite the applications that depend on them; and how to make data readily accessible to end users who need it regardless of the device they are using. Cloud computing, which makes DBaaS possible, is now an accepted part of enterprises, and along with it, enterprises are increasingly embracing DBaaS as a solution to their data management needs.

That’s the key takeaway of a new survey, which finds growing interest in DBaaS as a viable approach to serving their enterprises, linking these efforts to cloud computing in general. The survey, covering 300 data managers and professionals and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., finds that organizations are employing a range of new strategies and approaches to improve the speed of data delivery and integration. Conducted in partnership with Oracle among members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the research represents the views of respondents from organizations of all sizes and across various industries (“Database as a Service Enters the Enterprise Mainstream: 2016 IOUG Survey on Cloud and Multitenant Strategies,” Unisphere Research).

The new survey finds that DBaaS isn’t just gaining a foothold in enterprises—it is poised to take off significantly, with adoption nearly tripling over the next 24 months. Over the next 2 years, 73% of managers and professionals expect to be using DBaaS within their enterprises, versus 27% who are doing so at present.

Which cloud services are used by your organization, and which cloud services do you expect to be in use 2 years from now? 
 Type of ServiceCurrentlyIn 2 Years
Software as a Service60%54%
Platform as a Service43%57%
Database as a Service27%73%

There will be a parallel development as well, with a significant amount of enterprise data moving to the cloud over the next 24 months, as enterprises look to the cloud to store and manage data. Another growth area also involving the invocation of database services as well as associated middleware—platform as a service or PaaS—is poised for growth within this period, likely to be adopted by 57% of enterprises in the survey. Software as a service (SaaS)—already a popular option among a majority of enterprises—is seen as reaching a plateau of adoption.

DBaaS isn’t just gaining a foothold in enterprises—it is poised to take off significantly.

DBaaS is a key part of the story. There is also a growing comfort with the cloud in general, the survey confirms–with the percentage of organizations running enterprise workloads and data in the cloud likely to triple over the next 24 months. At this point, 14% of managers and professionals report that they are running a significant share of their enterprise’s core workloads, such as databases and applications, in the cloud. (For survey purposes, a “significant” share is defined as more than 25% of workloads.) The percentage of respondents expecting to be running a significant portion of their enterprise workloads in the cloud 2 years from now will total 43%. 

What percentage of your enterprise’s core workloads (databases, applications) are now running in the cloud, and what percentage do you expect to be running 2 years from now?
 Percentage of Core Workloads Running in CloudCurrently In 2 years
None at this time 26%6%
1% to 10%37%11%
11% to 25%12%21%
26% to 50%   5% 18%
More than 50%  9%25%
Don’t know/unsure  11%20%

Of course, managers and professionals see DBaaS as more than a way to optimize their environments or improve development. They report a range of benefits to their businesses as well. Above all else at this time, cost control stands out. A majority of respondents, 52%, report they are saving costs through efficiency gains. Just about as many, 44%, report they are saving costs through the elimination of duplication, and a similar number cite higher asset utilization. Additional flexibility and agility to businesses are also cited as leading benefits being seen, or expected to be seen, from DBaaS. 

Respondents also see this new form of database management and access helping to advance their businesses through greater agility and flexibility, as well as to enable faster innovation and time to market. Another key benefit of DBaaS cited is enhanced availability, including backup and business continuity. 

What are the greatest business benefits your organization expects to see from delivering database services in the cloud?
Save costs by increasing operational efficiency through standardization  52%
Save costs through elimination of duplication/replication of resources/administration44%
Achieve higher asset utilization through consolidation to reduce costs42%
Advance business through greater agility and flexibility34%
Enhance availability, including backup and business continuity32%
Ability to innovate faster—improve time to market26%

What types of database workloads are being moved or will soon be moved to the cloud? Dev/test environments dominate, with 45% of managers and professionals in the survey stating that their developers are building and testing applications within cloud-based environments. More than one-third of respondents also report running transactional databases in cloud environments. Close to one-third point out that their Oracle databases are now cloud accessible. Another one-quarter of respondents say their non-Oracle databases are cloud-accessible. Analytics is another area now being made accessible through the cloud.

The survey report's executive summary is publicly available here and IOUG members can access the full report.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.