The total database market has roughly doubled over the past five years, with cloud databases accounting for about half of that. However, organizations are still heavily active in the on-premises database market, with companies spending an additional $3.2 billion for on-premises database software in 2021.

According to Gartner analyst Merv Adrian, despite the massive rollout of cloud databases, on-premises continue to account for 95 per cent of the IT market. This is measured in terms of hardware, software and services spending.

While database workloads are shifting to the cloud as it provides the ability to bring data closer to consumers and data creators, the costs of this transition are not always outweighed by the benefits.

Adrian explained that on-premises workloads are growing at the rate consistent with how fast they’ve grown over the past few years, but this trend could soon come to an end as on-premises database software providers are rapidly developing their cloud capabilities at a fast pace. These vendors may also convince their customers to switch to the cloud, thereby reducing the use of on-premises software.

“If they don’t get in gear in the cloud, the market will pass them by — if on-premises revenue is dropping and cloud revenue is not keeping up with the market, troubles lay ahead,” warned Adrian.