By Bryan Kirschner, Vice President, Strategy at DataStax\nI was recently asked what I expected in the \u201cdatabase management\u201d space over the rest of the decade. My immediate reaction was to adjust the question: where we\u2019re headed\u2014for those who aren\u2019t there already\u2014is all about managing data to good effect. Databases will be in the mix of tools deployed to make the right things happen, but the conversation will shift toward outcomes.\nIt\u2019s a natural\u2014if not inevitable\u2014consequence of every company getting into the business of building what economists call \u201cstocks\u201d (your arsenal of data at rest)\u00a0 and enabling \u201cflows\u201d of data that cause smart actions in real time (think getting data where it needs to be at the moment that matters most). For technical practitioners, careers will be less \u201ctool centric\u201d\u2014staking your claim, for example, as \u201can Oracle DBA\u201d\u2014and more about building a track record as a member of teams that creatively leverage an ecosystem to drive business impact.\nIt\u2019s a proven pattern, already. The tech team at leading media company Conde Nast thoughtfully built a smart content platform that increased click-through rates 30%; they assembled a stack composed of Apache Cassandra, Kafka, and Elasticsearch (among other technologies) to make it happen. And, to emphasize the point about being creative, they concluded Cassandra was ideal to serve as the feature store, rather than a traditional database use case.\nThe capabilities leading organizations like Conde Nast have developed bring to bear best-of-breed technologies and are well-established enough to be detected in survey data. In our 2021 State of the Data Race report, which was based on responses from more than 500 organizations, we found that today\u2019s data leaders are four times more likely to have deployed Apache Cassandra, Kubernetes, and two of any of the following open source technologies: Apache Spark, Apache Pulsar, Apache Kafka, or Elasticsearch. Companies using a robust open source software (OSS) data stack are two times more likely to attribute more than 20% of revenue to data and analytics.\nMeanwhile, the open source data ecosystem that those technologies are a part of continues to evolve, with, for example, Apache Pulsar, Arrow, and Flink expanding the horizon of what\u2019s possible.\nAs a CIO, you\u2019d be well-served making sure your people have the permission and time to build bridges between how line-of-business owners might use data in new ways, and the new ways of using data that this ecosystem makes feasible.\nFrom a vendor perspective, the message is loud and clear: we need to enable as many of your people as possible to be productive at tackling the use cases that will move the needle for your business\u2014without infinite tool sprawl. Analyst firm Redmonk has a rundown on ways this is manifesting across database companies becoming more broadly \u201cdata\u201d companies.\nTheir list includes my employer, DataStax, offering streaming capabilities using Pulsar alongside Cassandra. I\u2019d add to it the thoughtful engineering work our teams have done to implement a document API in front of Cassandra, as well. When companies like ours work \u201coutside in\u201d to adapt to market needs, in conjunction with enterprises working \u201cinside out\u201d to find ways that horizontal infrastructure can be used to transform their customers\u2019 experience\u2026innovation always wins.\nAnd that\u2019s something to look forward to in the data management space.\nTo learn more, visit us here.\n\nAbout Bryan Kirschner:\n\nBryan is Vice President, Strategy at DataStax. For more than 20 years he has helped large organizations build and execute strategy when they are seeking new ways forward and a future materially different from their past. He specializes in removing fear, uncertainty, and doubt from strategic decision-making through empirical data and market sensing.