Research: State of Database Technology

Jan 13, 2012


Current State: Disgruntled and Overcharged

Databases are many things--critical, complex, expensive--and IT has long had a love-hate relationship. But lately, according to our InformationWeek 2012 State of Database Technology Survey, the pendulum is swinging toward dissatisfaction. Many of our 760 respondents, all of whom are involved with their organizations’ database strategies, express a sense that vendors need to step up and earn their money by helping customers deal with problems, including larger data volumes, more fluid data relationships, integration issues--and, in some cases, barely contained chaos. "Some [survey] questions assume there is a primary database," says one respondent. "There is no primary database in our company. Databases are designed by function, with over 10,000 various instances." Adds another: "We have multiple primary database platforms and data mart platforms in our organization as a result of multiple mergers and acquisitions to add product lines. Wherever possible, we are moving from proprietary software technologies to open source; in the database area, this has meant adding MySQL and Mongo over the past year."

In short, the well-established data structures that have served us effectively for more than 40 years are showing their age. Changes to how our organizations use data, as well as the sheer amount of data we manage, have led to new hosting and structuring options, including NoSQL, semantic data stores and hosted warehouse environments. Some of these are gaining traction, while others, unfortunately, remain largely ignored. Sometimes, as with cloud or virtualization, there are good reasons for holding back, but in other cases, particularly lower-cost relational database management systems and moving to commodity hardware, we’re passing on technology that could cut costs while increasing satisfaction.

Speaking of costs, just 11% say they're very satisfied with database licensing costs and terms. No surprise there. In this report, we'll discuss the results of our recent poll, including trending from our 2010 survey, and share guidance from our practice and respondents who have provided their insights and opinions regarding current practices and emerging trends. (R3950112)

Survey Name   InformationWeek 2012 State of Database Technology Survey
Survey Date   November 2011
Region   North America
Number of Respondents    760
Purpose   To determine the role of database technologies in the enterprise

Research Report