RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady on the emergence of NoSQL and the shifting revenue model for software
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At the Information On Demand Unconference, we had the opportunity to catch up with Stephen O’Grady, co-founder of the RedMonk analyst firm.
In terms of data management, Stephen points to the different set of tools we now have to address different problems: from key/value stores to graph databases to map/reduce engines. Much of the development of these systems came out of the web development world which faced problems (high-velocity data transfer, scalability, etc.) for which traditional databases are not well-suited. Big businesses are now beginning to embrace the convenience and flexibility of these systems. One example is IBM’s support of JSON.
When it comes to the revenue model around software, Stephen suggests that software is less valuable today than it was a decade ago, particularly because of the growth of Open Source software. How do you make up this revenue? By collecting data that software generates and putting that to work. For instance, the provider of a data storage system could charge for metrics that help optimize the system, rather than charging for the system itself. Stephen does make it clear that he doesn’t believe ‘software is dead’ - there are still many companies (IBM included) who still derive significant revenue from software.