As enterprises rush to digitize their business operations and enhance customer engagement, few are seeing the success they hoped. A recent survey points to a couple of culprits, including the difficulty of utilizing data held in legacy databases.
The survey, conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne on behalf of Couchbase, of 450 heads of digital transformation at enterprises across the U.S., U.K., France and Germany found 68% of respondents said getting the right technologies in place for digital transformation can seem an insurmountable task. In fact, 80% report having to scale back ambitions for new IoT or mobile applications.
The primary reason? Big challenges using their data. A sizable 85% of architects surveyed said legacy databases are limiting their ability to transform.
These challenges, however, aren’t easing pressure from business leaders to quickly perform. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they were under pressure to deliver digital projects. And 41% said they were experiencing “high” or “extremely high” pressure.
Despite the pressure to move forward, architects are still scaling back their ambitions, the survey found. It’s no surprise that aging systems and infrastructure can bog down progress, the survey suggests legacy databases may be one of the biggest hurdles enterprises face right now as upgrading legacy databases is something that can be fraught with risk.
The Couchbase survey found that 60% of respondents stated that too much of the IT team’s time spent working on digital transformation projects is spent managing their way through legacy technologies.
The survey also found the most commonly supported way to deploy databases, with 50% of enterprises, still remains to be private cloud infrastructure. This was closely followed by hybrid cloud (45%), on-premises (39%) and public cloud (34%), and 31% are using database-as-a-service.
Some other highlights include:
- A total of 90% of enterprises rely on legacy relational database technology, 38% “heavily.”
- Seventy-two percent of those relying on legacy databases said these databases limit the organization’s ability to implement digital transformation projects.
- Seventy-nine percent of enterprises are actively planning to reduce their reliance on relational databases–with 56% aiming to do so in the next 12 months.
- At the same time, 74% are moving more slowly than they should because they rely heavily on legacy databases for critical applications.
Respondents were asked what transformative technologies they are currently using, or plan to use. Interestingly, 50% said they are–or will be–edge computing, 42% augmented or virtual reality, and 51% blockchain.
Whatever technology enterprises do, or don’t, end up using in their digital transformation initiatives over the long term, one thing should be clear right now: they’re going to be using data to make those efforts succeed. Let’s hope enterprises find a way to unleash their data so they can achieve the transformations they need.