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Database-as-a-Service: A shift Is happening

Rose Siu
Rose SiuAP Commercial Marketing Director
As Commercial Marketing Director at a fortune 500 company, I support our sales growth and enhance our reputation through strategic planning and operations, brand marketing, corporate communication, digital marketing as well as retail & eTailer marketing. I have over 20 years of experience in driving marketing success at regional and global levels for some of the world’s leading technology brands.

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Businesses today have tools available to them that allow them much more freedom than was ever possible in previous decades. Small companies can scale up quickly. Organisations can automate time-consuming tasks. Businesses can provide their services and products to others anywhere around the globe without having ever even to step foot there. The key to enabling these possibilities is embracing the software tools that allow them. It takes an investment, it takes time, and it takes organisational change. None of which are easy. However, to survive against competition in business, utilising these tools is a must. These tools include everything from the cloud to automation software to search engine optimisation. And one of the newer tools that are proving to be a business necessity is Database-as-a-Service or DBaaS.

What Is Database-as-a-Service?

Several challenges come with an organisation’s need to have their own database. First, traditionally it has required physical hardware. And not only does this hardware require a significant monetary investment, that will likely only grow when newer and better hardware is released to the market, but it also needs to be set up, which is not a basic skill that just anyone can do. It requires much more comprehensive IT experience and expertise than most companies have at their disposal. Second, even if new physical hardware is not needed for access to a database, then businesses will have to budget for buying and installing new software, as well as budgeting for a new or existing employee to configure and oversee the database.

DBaaS eliminates any of these challenges, by changing database access into an easy process with a cloud computing service model. Maintenance and all administrative tasks are overseen by the service provider of the DBaaS. This means that all the company has to do to use the database is just use the database. There is a caveat to this last statement: If the company wants to have more control and oversight, many DBaaS providers allow for this option.

And for those who want a more technical explanation of DBaaS: An Application Program Interface (API) is used by a database manager component to control every underlying database instance. If the company chooses the option that gives them more control, they can use a web application management console to enable deprovisioning, as well as, provision, configure and manage the database and its instances. At its core, DBaaS is a software offering for making databases simpler.


How Is Database-as-a-Service used In Asia?

The potential of Database-as-a-Service in Asia can be seen in the race to provide this type of data storage. Both Oracle and Amazon are making a move into this region, offering up their various storage options, with DBaaS at the top. These two giant organisations simply see the lucrative opportunity in the burgeoning data storage industry all across Asia. The Middle East data storage market is estimated to exceed revenues of U.S. $6.5 billion by 2025, and Asia Pacific and the rest of Asia are not far behind this number.

And while Oracle claims to have a DBaaS that is more advanced and efficient than anything else on the market in Asia, Amazon is expanding faster. It has partnered with MongoDB to provide DBaaS across 14 Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions around the world. Originally, this service was only offered in five AWS regions, but demand in Asia pressured the company to expand their footprint.

One company in Asia that is already using MongoDB’s service is Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing platform. For Grab, making this move was a necessary one. With the mass amount of data they handle, which fluctuates on a minute-to-minute basis, and an industry that changes rapidly, a flexible database option was necessary.


What are the benefits of Database-as-a-Service?

The only reason to move over to new software or technology is because there are benefits. Otherwise, an organisation is simply forcing change for the sake of change, causing inconvenience both to their workforce and to their customers. That is why it is important to decide whether the benefits of DBaaS are the ones that your business needs to create growth, profits, employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty:

  1. Scalable: With how connected consumers are today, businesses can sometimes face the challenge of knowing that their product or service is about to take off. This quick expansion is not possible with the outdated methods of traditionally building a business, including hiring new staff, purchasing additional equipment, and ordering more stock. That type of upfront cost is too heavy a burden for many growing organisations to bear. This is where the on-demand scalability of products like DBaaS comes in handy. The DBaaS being used can be expanded with a simple online, or over-the-phone order and monthly payment. And when or if demand is reduced, the businesses DBaaS can also be reduced. This is a major bonus for companies that have seasonal offerings and need to be able to scale up and down with a few clicks of a button.
  2. Savings: One of the struggles with purchasing software and hardware is that it is often necessary for companies to purchase far more functionality and capacity than they need at that moment or will ever need. For small and medium-sized businesses this can eat away at an already tight budget. The beauty of DBaaS is that capacity and functionality can be purchased on the go. This means that organisations can pay for exactly what they need. No trying to get by on too little functionality and no attempting to get their money’s worth for all the additional capacity they were forced to purchase. Plus, with DBaaS, companies can avoid the expense of an on-site database.
  3. Storage: Through outsourcing the databases, companies can utilise the storage space that they previously needed for data. Old servers can be used for something else, allowing companies to store some of the data on-site.

Other benefits of DBaaS include faster provisioning, a lightened burden on in-house staff with the possibility of outsourcing and simple management of databases, improved security of all stored data, and a more auditable process for accessing and using the data from the database.


The Future Of Database-as-a-Service

Database-as-a-Service is not just another passing trend. It is a technological tool that can assist businesses in many of their goals. And just as so many other services are shifting to the cloud, databases are following along. Amazon is one example of leadership in industry IT. When they made the shift to the cloud, many were sceptical. CIOs of other big companies refused to follow, and it did not take long for their companies to fire them before their hesitancy to keep up with IT advancements brought the entire organisation down.

Data being moved to the cloud is no different. And once again, Amazon is leading the way with two of their biggest AWS products being Database-as-a-Service products, Amazon Aurora and Amazon Redshift. Make sure your organisation is on the forefront of technology advancements, rather than the backend by making the important switch to DBaaS.

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