Data Warehousing Survey Reveals Key Trends in Hybrid, Multicloud and Distributed Cloud for 2021

Despite COVID-forced IT budget cuts last year, data warehouse and data lake modernization is on the rise, with 76% of respondents investing more in analytics infrastructure

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yellowbrick Data, the innovation leader in modern data warehousing, today announced new survey results that show IT leaders want high performance, agility and security from their data warehouses, as they improve hybrid and multicloud cloud environments and move toward new distributed cloud patterns.

More survey respondents (53%) chose hybrid or multicloud data warehousing as one of the most important data warehousing-related trends of this year, over any other trend. Nearly a majority (48%) said real-time analytics was one of the most important trends. And a surprising 28% cited edge analytics support — for IoT, mobile and factory-floor needs, among others — as one of the most important trends, revealing that a growing number of companies are already solving for advanced data warehousing use cases, some with data gravity and data sovereignty challenges. In these cases, distributed cloud that brings analytics to the data, rather than data to the analytics, is emerging as the optimal, logical pattern to yield the fastest insights and best business value.

As enterprises migrate workloads to reap the benefits of public cloud and, hand-in-hand, look to modernize their data warehouses to build more flexible and efficient business intelligence systems, they are trying to better manage ever-increasing volumes of data, especially unused “dark data.” According to 451 Research, less than half of all data under management at the median company in 2020 was used for analytics, but by 2022 the volume of data used for analytics purposes is expected to rise by 91%. The new Yellowbrick survey indicates that data security, price/performance needs for business and investment in current and future tools are all concerns for enterprises.

Investment Booms in Data Warehouses, Data Lakes and Data Platforms

“Investments in data warehouse and data lake modernization accelerated frantically as the pandemic progressed, and we expect to see that trend continue even as it ends,” said Justin Kestelyn, VP product marketing at Yellowbrick Data. “And clearly, hybrid cloud and multicloud adoption are becoming popular requirements on the modernization checklist.”

More than half (57%) of survey respondents said their IT budget has returned to pre-COVID spending levels. A strong majority (76%) said that they are currently investing more in analytics infrastructure, such as data platforms and data warehouses, in this climate of uncertainty. When it comes to the highest analytics-related IT budget priorities for 2021, respondents cited multiple priorities, including:

  • Data warehouse modernization, including cloud journeys — 53%
  • Support for real-time analytics — 49%
  • Getting more analytics value from a data lake — 40%
  • IoT analytics — 34%

Enterprises Want Performance, Agility and Security with Modernization

For many enterprises, data warehouse modernization starts with moving to public cloud deployments. Survey respondents who either recently moved a data warehouse to the public cloud or are doing so in 2021 cited an array of reasons. But the top two, by far, were increasing overall data warehouse performance (31%) and improving agility for faster innovation (28%). When it came specifically to data lakes, which serve as reservoirs for semi-structured and unstructured data, almost all survey respondents (97%) are actively working to improve data lake analytics performance.

“Data warehouse modernization is about improving price/performance for customers, providing them with the fastest possible analytics and insights where and when they’re needed, and always keeping data secure and nimble for them,” added Kestelyn. “This is happening through the new pattern of distributed cloud. An emerging view on the power of distributed cloud holds that data and infrastructure are scattered by design; it’s a feature, not a bug. What that requires is a consistent platform for data warehouses that can be deployed anywhere and managed as if they were a single, logical cloud.”

When survey respondents considered how distributed or centralized their enterprise data warehouse is now, only a quarter (26%) said they have multiple data warehouses and data marts that are connected. But that quarter signals the future.

Read the entire report here.

Check out the recent Yellowbrick Summit 2021 here.

Read our blog for technical details about how Yellowbrick is bringing data warehousing to distributed clouds to deliver analytics anywhere — at the best price/performance:


The Yellowbrick ITDM Data Warehousing Survey was conducted in March of 2021. More than 500 IT decision-makers, managers through CEOs, responded. All respondents work full-time for enterprises with 1,000+ employees.

The two 451 Research statistics cited in paragraph 3 are from a Pathfinder Report, The Strategic Advantages of Hybrid Cloud Data Warehousing, commissioned by Yellowbrick and published April 2020.

About Yellowbrick Data

Yellowbrick offers the only data warehouse designed to address the challenges of distributed data across distributed clouds. The unique adaptive “cut-through” architecture of Yellowbrick Data Warehouse delivers the best price/performance economics in the industry for batch, real-time, ad hoc, and mixed workloads in private data centers, public clouds, and the network edge. Learn more at

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Jeff Spicer

Yellowbrick Data

[email protected]

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