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Cloud permeates nearly every facet of data platforms technology


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Cloud permeates nearly every facet of data platforms technology


Results from 451 Research's "Voice of the Enterprise: Data & Analytics, Data Platforms 2022" survey reveal that cloud adoption and cloud migrations remain strong among enterprises, particularly for operational and analytic databases. Data lake adoption is also growing, and enterprises are expressing significant interest in "data lakehouse" environments, which combine a data warehouse's data structure and management features with the low-cost storage used for a data lake.

For some time, cloud adoption and migration for supporting data platform technologies have been common themes in our research and a core component of enterprise modernization efforts. Enterprise appetite for all things cloud shows no signs of letting up, according to results from the latest 451 Research enterprise end-user survey on data platforms and analytics. While on-premises data platform adoption is waning, cloud adoption is growing but with more nuance than before. The survey data indicates where operational and analytical workloads are migrating and highlights other data-platform-related trends. Data lakes continue to show staying power, and data lakehouses are piquing enterprise interest.

Summary of findings

* A private cloud is the most favored environment for deploying data platforms. Forty-six percent of survey respondents use on-premises private cloud, in addition to 27% using a managed database as a service, or DBaaS, offering. Meanwhile, 66% of respondents cite public cloud as a deployment location for their data platform systems, while 42% say their data platform environments run in an on-premises, non-cloud environment.

* Multicloud and hybrid cloud are commonly cited deployment patterns. Multicloud, defined as using one or more public cloud platforms, and hybrid cloud, defined as integrating different cloud platforms such as on-premises and public cloud, are emerging as useful or even necessary for organizations running data platform systems. Forty percent of organizations report using multicloud deployments, while 41% report using hybrid cloud. Moreover, most respondents agree completely or mostly agree that multicloud (79% of respondents) and hybrid cloud (85%) are important factors when selecting new data platforms.

* Existing on-premises operational workloads are staying put most of the time, although not always with a relational database. Given a choice of plans for existing on-premises relational operational workloads, 59% of respondents choose to remain on-premises, compared with 32% choosing an off-premises cloud environment. Location matters, but so does the database: 54% of respondents indicate sticking with a relational database — either new or existing — compared with 30% choosing a nonrelational database.

* For new operational workloads, relational databases hold firm, but the cloud is the preferred location. In total, 57% of organizations prefer cloud environments over on-premises environments for new operational workloads. One-quarter of respondents say they will deploy a new relational database in a cloud environment for new operational workloads, while 24% intend to use their current relational database in a cloud environment. Meanwhile, 8% of respondents say they will switch to a cloud-based nonrelational database — from an on-premises relational database — for new operational workloads.

* On-premises analytic databases are seeing increased pressure from data lakes. Thirty-eight percent of organizations are sticking with the same supplier for their analytic databases. Of that total, about one-third (13% of respondents) prefer the same analytical database deployed in the cloud, while close to two-thirds (25%) are keeping the same supplier on-premises. Data lakes, on the other hand, are preferred over analytic databases by 28% of respondents. Of that group, data lakes are staying on-premises for about two-thirds (19% of respondents), with the other one-third (9%) moving from an on-premises analytic database to a data lake in the cloud.

* For new analytic workloads, organizations are often choosing a cloud environment. Fifty-six percent of respondents prefer cloud environments over on-premises environments for new analytical workloads. The breakdown consists of 23% of respondents deploying a new analytic database in a cloud environment, 22% of respondents using their current analytic database in a cloud environment, and 11% of respondents opting for a data lake in a cloud environment.

* Despite big data challenges, data lake adoption remains strong. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of organizations report being either in the production, proof-of-concept or pilot stage with their data lakes. Another 25% of organizations indicate they plan to implement a data lake within three years. A mere 13% report no plans for data lake adoption.

* Data lakes provide not only agility but also workload flexibility. Forty-five percent of enterprises with a data lake in deployment, proof of concept or planned within 12 months cite improved business agility as the primary expected benefit of a data lake. Organizations also favor being highly adaptable to shifting market and environment changes, which requires flexibility for a data lake. For organizations that have existing data lake applications or plan to within a year, top use cases include analytics such as business intelligence (66% of respondents), operational applications (56%), data science (53%) and migration/staging (45%).

* The data lakehouse is real, and plans for adoption are now significant. The term "data lakehouse" and the analytic deployment pattern are here to stay. Seventy percent of enterprises are currently using a data lakehouse, piloting one or planning to implement one within the next 12 months. That figure rises to 93% among enterprises that already have a data lake in production.

* Once again, cloud-only database providers are missing an opportunity. Overall, 66% of respondents report that their organization uses cloud-only databases today. Of the 34% of all respondents not using cloud-only databases today, 38% say their organization would be more likely to use cloud-only databases if they were also available on-premises. Additionally, 64% of those using cloud-only databases say their organization would use those databases for more initiatives if they were also available on-premises.

The 451 Research "Voice of the Enterprise: Data & Analytics, Data Platforms 2022" survey was carried out between February 10 and March 30, 2022. The survey represents approximately 482 completes from prequalified IT decision-makers in our proprietary global panel of enterprise end users. The margin of error for top-line statistics is +/- 5 pts at the 95% confidence level.

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.
451 Research is part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. For more about 451 Research, please contact

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