Oracle may be the undisputed king of the database market, but cloud-first rivals are threatening that dominance with cheaper, more flexible options.
Oracle has long been the dominant player in the database market. Even as the cloud has grown in importance, Oracle has managed to carve out a meaningful share of the market, thanks in large part to the strength of its database platform. Many customers see it as a full turn-key solution, combining the cloud and database solutions necessary. In spite of that, according to a report by Bloomberg, Oracle’s database dominance may be under threat from cloud-first rivals.
Bloomberg cites the example of Shutterfly, which recently made the decision to move its database to the cloud. Despite relying on Oracle for years, the company decided to go in a different direction with the transition.
“The amount of time and energy that was consumed purely running just the plumbing was immense,” Chief Technology Officer Moudy Elbayadi said in an interview. A review of the existing options on the market led Shutterfly to conclude that Oracle’s solutions didn’t “fit our desires to have that level of openness and flexibility,” Elbayadi added.
Unfortunately for Oracle, Shutterfly isn’t an isolated example. JPMorgan, Nasdaq Inc, JetBlue Airways Corp, and Automatic Data Process Inc are among the list of companies transitioning to non-Oracle options.
“We have actually quite rapidly been reducing our Oracle footprint,” said Nikolai Larbalestier, Nasdaq’s senior vice president of cloud strategy and enterprise architecture. “There are plenty of good alternatives today.”
Part of the problem stems from the complexity involved in running Oracle’s database and the cost to the client company of doing so. Mythical Games CEO John Linden emphasized the issue, despite his firm being valued at $1.2 billion.
“Oracle hits us up every week,” he said. But “we’d have to have a massive team in place to run it appropriately.”
Just as significant, Oracle’s tools seem to be developing a reputation for not being up to par with the latest developments, making the prospect of working with them unappealing to many developers.
“I can’t even hire people if I told them that we majorly use Oracle,” Yao Morin, chief data officer at JLL Technologies, told Bloomberg. “People are yearning for better tools.”
To be clear, Oracle is still the company to beat in the database market, especially among companies that want on-premise database solutions. Nonetheless, the company clearly has some significant areas it needs to improve on if it wants to remain relevant in the coming years. Otherwise, it may find itself in the same situation as IBM when personal computers replaced mainframes — the undisputed leader of a niche market.