The roots of India’s digital economy are penetrating a dynamic ecosystem of app-ification, Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, and virtualization. Nurtured by robust cloud infrastructure, India aims to achieve ambitious economic goals by 2025.
The DNA of digitization is data. Businesses that process large volumes of transactions per day see great value and opportunity in leveraging a vital offshoot of digitization—cloud-based database management systems. Databases on the cloud have several advantages over on-premise counterparts. Not only do on-premise databases entail considerable operating and capital expenses, but they also need constant monitoring; and developing applications using an on-premise database involves significant development time and effort. This is where databases on the cloud come to the rescue. Further, the database-as-a-service (DBaaS) paradigm that consists of a cloud service provider setting up, running, and managing databases for a business, has proved useful. The global cloud database and database as a service (DBaaS) market size is estimated to grow from USD 12.0 billion in 2020 to USD 24.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.7 percent, according to a ResearchAndMarkets report.
Moving the needle for SMBs
Companies across sectors are reaping the benefits of cloud-DBaaS investments, and small and medium businesses (SMBs) also stand to gain. SMBs will play a more critical role in India’s digital economy in the coming months. The recent INR 20 trillion stimulus package, which is equivalent to nearly 10 percent of India’s GDP, should help revive the SMB sector amid COVID-19. As SMBs experience the shifts brought on by the pandemic, we already see an uptick in cloud adoption and as an extension, increased adoption of cloud DBaaS too. Many companies are already changing databases from on-premise to cloud rapidly. Others will soon realize that the explosion of data volumes through IoT, real-time transactions, and mobility will need more resilient databases that do not have issues with latency, speed, security, and availability.
Today, DBaaS providers handle the entire gamut of operations by setting up, backing up, and updating databases, thus removing the challenges faced by SMBs. A case in point is Nivel Technologies, a software development firm that builds web applications for other businesses. The company leveraged DBaaS to focus on application building while minimizing the complexity of database administration. Brad Kilshaw, Founder, Nivel Technologies, says that removing the complexity of setting up, tuning, and securing databases for production has been a game changer for them. They can complete complex database actions with a few clicks, unlike earlier when they spent days researching the right steps.
The right Cloud DBaaS solution
In our experience, SMBs hesitate to adopt cloud DBaaS for two reasons—data security and the complexity of managing a service provider. These concerns are unfounded in today’s highly evolved cloud DBaaS market. We urge them to evaluate cloud DBaaS providers on the following aspects before investing:
End-to-end security: Today, amidst rising cybercrimes, a cloud database must ensure that data gets encrypted in transit and rest.
Convenient setup: DBaaS solutions must enable SMBs to set up database clusters with a few clicks via a user-friendly interface. From there on, the service provider must maintain and operate the database for you and your team, freeing your time.
Useful insights and alerts: The DBaaS solution must offer an intuitive front-end that monitors performance, usage, and errors. CPU, memory, and disk usage must be available on-demand.
Failproof features: DBaaS must back up data frequently and restore data as needed. Also, in the event of a downtime, the cloud database must automatically switch to a different node to ensure availability.
Next-gen performance: Databases must operate at lightning speed and scale up quickly to support new business requirements.
Today, a few DBaaS providers can support multiple database engines from MySQL to Redis. As the demand for open-source databases rises, SMBs must choose cloud DBaaS that makes open-source database hosting worry-free. Also, we would urge SMBs to check the regional availability of these databases before investing and check if the provider makes available the latest versions/updates of the underlying database engine.
As SMBs come to terms with the pandemic, we see them playing a crucial role in the revival of the Indian economy. Partnering with cloud providers and investing in the right managed DBaaS offering will help them accelerate their journey and bear the fruits of faster time-to-market and higher performance.
(The author is Global Head – Go-To-Market at DigitalOcean)
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