By Simon Davis

In one of the tech industry’s biggest weeks of the year the surprises and innovations are flying thick and fast. With the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there is enough grist for the tech blogosphere to keep grinding for weeks. One of the tails currently wagging the dog is news about fastest-growing databases of 2014 as according to DB-Engines, and what it means for cloud-based software and services used for everything from basic bookkeeping and accounting apps such as QuickBooks and Wave Apps to videoconferencing apps such as Blue Jeans.

Oracle Never Foresaw This

Wired magazine reported that MongoDB came in at number one, with Redis and ElasticSearch coming in as runners-up. All three are open source, and are challenging software heavy hitter Oracle for dominance in the database race. These no-SQL databases further relational database structure out the window and enable developers to spread their data across the cloud to thousands of servers, and develop lighter weight and less resource intensive applications that don’t require so much structuring. Though Oracle has tried to break into the market with its own no-SQL database, closed source databases such as those developed and run by Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM hold a larger share of the market.

However that dominance could be ending with much the same crash and burn as telephone company land line usage, and the decline in subscriptions being experienced by the cable industry as disenchanted customers cut the cord. In fact, over a period from January 2013 to October 2014 commercial database licenses declined while open source licenses gained during the same period. The new diversity in the marketplace is being driven by the demand for new data management techniques pioneered by Google and the economic might of Amazon.

SYSCON magazine notes that this is Mongo’s second year at the top of the rankings of DB-Engines, and online knowledge base that offers information about database management systems. With 9 million downloads in 2000 paying customers, certain authors might sniff that Mongo is an ant charging an elephant, but as open-source no SQL databases become more widely available, the cloud will continue to grow, evolve, and foster innovation.

Cloud Adoption Continues to Grow

More businesses continue to take their everyday IT needs to the cloud, not because it’s the latest buzzword, but because it has multiple benefits that impact the bottom line. While smaller businesses are not in the vanguard of cloud adoption, they are finally seeing the benefits and helping to grow the cloud even more than the early adopting larger corporations. According to, networking giant Cisco estimates that cloud traffic will triple by the year 2017 from 2013 usage rates, including 19 trillion hours of videoconferencing conferencing using cloud-based apps like Blue Jeans. As cloud computing availability becomes more widespread the benefits become clear to even smallest business. According to IBM the top reasons for cloud adoption are:

  1. Cloud-based tools allow better data analysis, and can be used to share data across more readily across departments, operating systems, and devices.
  2. Cloud-based data makes collaboration and off-site work easier by allowing work to be accessed on multiple devices, from any location, and improves integration and communication between departments and teams.
  3. Messaging, videoconferencing, storage, productivity, and creative suites can all be supported by cloud-based computing. In many cases at far less expense than traditional off-the-shelf boxed software. For small businesses might not use expensive creative suites such as Adobe Photoshop more than a few times a year, there is also an option to simply pay a monthly charge in order to access and use what would normally be a very expensive creative suite.
  4. When using cloud-based videoconferencing services, the need for expensive room systems, and dedicated servers is completely eliminated. Along with the expense of the equipment, savings can be realized in the IT department.
  5. Cloud use allows for faster innovation, development, and deployment of products and services.
  6. Switching to cloud-based software and services provided 25 percent of businesses with a reduction in IT costs.
  7. 55 percent of businesses saw an increase in efficiency.
  8. Significant improvements in employee mobility were noted by 49 percent of companies after cloud adoption.

While using cloud-based resources is not a magic bullet for the various ills that any business can experience, it can help businesses better improve internal communications and collaboration, as well as customer service and outreach. Depending on the enthusiasm of staff and the rollout training, changing functions, storage, and software from off-the-shelf to cloud-based can either be a dream or a nightmare. Keeping your staff up to speed is one of the easiest ways to reduce anxiety over the impending changes. Greater transparency, better analysis, faster innovation and deployment, and increased employee performance all accrue to the bottom line in different yet tangible ways.

Simon Davis has been a full-time business writer for the last 4 years and has had the privilege of attending some of the most renowned business conclaves held across the world. When not writing about business he loves spending time with his girlfriend and a bit of adventure sports.  Follow him at @_Simondavis.