Capterra IT Management Blog

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What is Database Management?

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Maintenance and management aren’t the same thing. You maintain your car. You manage a team. You maintain your composure. You manage to stay calm. I’m really out of these already?

Anyway, when it comes to information, most organizations maintain rather than manage.

What does it mean to manage your information? It means to actively align, link, and leverage it. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 75% of organizations that use enterprise information management (EIM) and invest in analytics will report substantially improved business outcomes.

EIM is about making choices about where to invest in data and analytics in order to achieve specific advantageous business outcomes, which include reducing costs and increasing compliance.

“Too few organizations realize, measure, or achieve a rate of return on their information investments.” Only half of data and analytics investments made over the past two years included a formal business case or detailed cost-benefit analysis among respondents in Gartner’s 2016 “Value of Data and Analytics” survey.

Pressure to reduce TCO has organizations focused on making sure they’re using IT resources as efficiently as possible. As competitors increase their speed to market and agility in quickly pivoting on processes and business models, organizations must learn to better manage their data assets. Digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean organizations must manage new information assets.  

One major IT investment is in database management software (DBMS). A DBMS manages and delivers data that usually has defined formats and structures. DBMSs are fundamental to an organization’s IT infrastructure. Organizations invest in DBMS software in order to support new and existing applications and to help manage their performance, increase compliance, and measure business growth.

DBMSs are used to realize the value in initiatives such as transactional applications, business intelligence (BI), analytics, and corporate performance management, all of which require continued growth and management of information assets.

The desire to reduce costs is boosting sales for lower-cost DBMS technology and tools, according to Gartner. Not only that, but legacy DBMS architectures may be able to handle digital asset classes and agile development as well as newer systems.

According to Gartner’s 2016 IT Market Clock for Database Management Systems, the DBMS marketplace is changing rapidly and in profound ways. Many DBMSs are beginning to decline in popularity due to mounting competitive pressures like cloud infrastructure, commodity hardware, vendor consolidation, and the increasing viability of software-only approaches.

What Is database management

Who uses DBMS?

Anyone who uses information at an organization may have need of a DBMS. This includes, but is not limited to, IT management, technical management, data scientists, and database administrators.

How Much Does Database Management Software Cost?

The vast majority of database management software vendors don’t reveal their pricing information right away. Check out this post for an outline of the most common pricing models for DBMS, so you can better navigate potential solution costs and budget more accurately.

Technology advances impacting DBMS

Database Platform as a Service (dbPaaS)

Running multiple DBMS instances on separate servers is a big money and labor suck. Sometimes, supporting specific asset classes and solving the problem with multiple vendors makes the most sense, like with data warehouse appliances, IMDBMSs (in-memory DBMSs), and nonrelational DBMS engines.

But, when feasible, one way to reduce costs is to consolidate your number of servers and licenses, thereby reducing how many DBMSs you must support.

As in every software category, the future is hosted in the cloud, and managed services make the most sense for most organizations. DBMS is no outlier. Using dbPaaS (database Platform as a Service) as your primary platform for DBMS assets makes scaling easier and reliability cheaper. Not only that, but your customers don’t have to worry about your DBMS operational skills, and you can target smaller customers than before.

“The market for alternative delivery methods for DBMS technologies (such as dbPaaS) is vibrant, with fast-moving innovation and vendors increasingly competing in sectors that have yet to begin standardizing,” according to Gartner.

Open-source DBMS (OSDBMS)

Many new DBMS options today come in open-source and commercial versions. Increasing demand for OSDBMS is putting downward pressure on legacy software pricing.

Blockchain

Gartner sees much of today’s DBMS functionality showing up in and integrating with blockchain technology. While the blockchain might be antithetical to DBMS today, tomorrow they may be used for similar purposes. The same data management features any blockchain will need for widespread adoption will result in blockchain instances suitable for a wide range use cases, including DBMS.

Going forward

Check out our list of 7 free database software and open source solutions. To help you make the right decision and right purchase for your business, we also have a list of the top three most reviewed database management software solutions, listing each option’s pros, cons, and cost (if available).

And of course, check out our database management software directory, where you can compare your options side-by-side and filter by feature.

Looking for IT Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best IT Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz helps B2B software companies with their sales and marketing at Capterra. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications. She has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and has been a columnist at Bitcoin Magazine. Her media appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. If you're a B2B software company looking for more exposure, email Cathy at cathy@capterra.com . To read more of her thoughts, follow her on Twitter.

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