2020 Survey Results: Analysis of Global Oracle Database Licensee Behavior
The database landscape has been shifting significantly over the last few years. Oracle Database, the market leader in revenue, seems to be losing popularity as enterprises strive to optimize costs, increase flexibility, and avoid compliance issues.
Open source database management systems (OSDBMS), meanwhile, have matured to the point where Gartner forecasts that, “By 2022, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS or OSDBMS-based dbPaaS…”
Despite the trend, OSDBMS cannot be used for certain ERP applications from Oracle and SAP; OSDBMS support is another issue altogether. So Oracle Database will likely remain prominent, and licensees must contend with expensive maintenance, changing support programs, frequent upgrades, and Oracle Database license cost and compliance.
An interesting twist in the changing landscape is that by June 2021, all but two current Oracle Database releases will be in Sustaining Support, meaning they will no longer receive:
- new updates, fixes, security alerts, data fixes, and critical patch updates
- new upgrade scripts
- certification with new Oracle or third-party products/versions
Most likely, more change will come.
2020 Global Survey of Oracle Database Licensees
Rimini Street recently conducted a global survey of Oracle Database licensees to gather data and insight on the major challenges faced, strategies around Oracle Database, and their future database plans, including open source and non-Oracle Cloud options. The survey revealed several key insights; three are highlighted here.
Oracle Database costs are too expensive.
97% of survey respondents (Oracle Database licensee IT organizations) report that cost is one of their top Oracle Database challenges, and nearly 83% feel that Oracle Database costs for support and maintenance are excessive, or that they are paying too much.
Assess the ROI of your annual maintenance and support fees, including the cost of upgrading with Oracle to stay fully supported. If you find that you are continuing to spend more while getting less support and less value, investigate cost-effective alternatives such as independent, third-party support for Oracle Database.
Valuable, new Oracle Database enhancements are too few or nonexistent.
73% of respondents feel that they are not getting enough valuable Oracle Database enhancements, while 26% report not receiving any valuable Oracle Database enhancements.
Keep your current, dependable Oracle Database release, and switch to third-party support for Oracle Database to save up to 90% on total software maintenance and support costs. All of your Oracle Database releases will be supported for a minimum of 15 years from the time you switch, with no required upgrades or migrations. Invest newly available budget dollars into innovation and enhancements of your own choosing, not Oracle’s. Then take all the time you need to move to a new database.
The top Oracle Database strategy among respondents is to reduce the Oracle Database footprint.
41% of respondents are actively doing this ─ five times as many as the 8% reporting an active reduction in the 2017 global survey ─ and they identify high Oracle Database costs and license compliance as the leading motivations. 69% of respondents are moving to or considering moving to open source or other non-Oracle Cloud databases.
Analyze your Oracle Database costs, and consider any Oracle Database license cost or compliance issues. Is it worth keeping the current configuration of Oracle Database instances, or would you be better off with fewer?
Research flexible and cost-effective cloud and open source databases such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Amazon. And keep support top of mind, too, particularly for open source databases. Independent, third-party support is likely much more effective and efficient than community support or self-support.
Third-Party Support Helps Reduce TCO, Gives You Back Control of Your Oracle Database Roadmap
Regardless of your Oracle Database release and how many instances you have, independent, third-party support for Oracle Database can be more cost effective, more comprehensive, and more responsive than Oracle support. Third-party support can help maintain your current Oracle Database instances for years, reducing the total cost of ownership and freeing up funds from the current budget for hybrid IT and other business-critical initiatives.
Third-party support can also deliver significant cost savings and superior service for ERP applications that run on Oracle Database ─ or on open-source databases ─ such as SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft. Leveraging these support services for your licensed databases and applications puts you back in control of your IT strategy and roadmap while freeing you from high Oracle Database costs and vendor-dictated timetables.
For further insights and recommendations, please read the complete 2020 global Oracle Database survey research report.
 Gartner: State of the Open-Source DBMS Market, 2019, 17 October 2019.
 Lifetime Support Policy, Coverage for Oracle Technology Products, September 2020.