Thursday, 17th October 2019
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Database 'inertia' could stifle digital transformation

Lack of flexibility and scalability top legacy database issues.

Fifty-one percent of business and IT professionals rely solely on legacy database technology, despite facing issues that could limit their ability to compete, a recentCouchbase survey finds. When asked about the top issue they’re facing, almost a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said that their legacy relational database is not flexible enough to enable them to react to changing business needs, while a fifth (20 percent) said the biggest issue with their legacy database is its inability to scale. These pain points are also reflected in the fact that a quarter of professionals cited improving scalability as their top priority for overall database management in the next 24 months.
“While traditional databases are still being relied upon by many organisations, the emphasis that business and IT professionals now place on scalability and flexibility is increasingly at odds with this,” commented Huw Owen, Head of EMEA & APJ at Couchbase. “Without the ability to react in real-time to constantly changing data, scale up at times of peak demand, or enable the wider digital goals of the business, organisations can’t be sure their database will help them reap the benefits of digital transformation. After all, data is at the heart of many of the sophisticated digital experiences that rival companies might well be delivering.”
While the findings highlights some of the key operational issues with traditional relational database technology, it also found many organisations haven’t yet realised the benefits of the alternative approaches. Despite NoSQL databases being hailed as a necessity to support next-generation applications by leading industry analysts as far back as 2016, 15 percent of respondents admitted they haven’t heard of NoSQL. More than a third of respondents (34 percent) do not currently use any open source databases in their organisation, and 51 percent do not use NoSQL, with 28 percent of professionals believing it currently has limited use cases in the enterprise. Eight percent of respondents, however, say their company has adopted a modern NoSQL database to support one or more of their mission-critical applications.
“The pressure to digitally transform has accelerated substantially over the past 12 months. IT professionals are feeling the burden, but this survey suggests many are still unable to move past the limitations of their legacy databases,” continued Owen. “The pioneering eight percent that are modernising their approach to databases are likely to gain an early edge on the competition, but there’s still time for the laggards to catch up. It’s broadly accepted that NoSQL has a place in the database stack, the question is which organisations will make the best use of it and how long it will take them to do so.”

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