Agreed. Elasticity rather than cost is very often the clincher when it comes to cloud. But whether cloud or on-prem it seems to me that most of the interesting and cutting edge work done with data is not using SQL DBMSs these days.
So, Nova, bring me up to date. What is the cutting edge work being done without DBMSs? Anything I have seen and used that does NOT use DBMS technology has horrible performance and reliability issues. Case in point is the popular financial software called Quicken. I've used it since 1986, sadly due to its being the best I've been able to find. HOWEVER, it's performance suffers horrendously with large amounts of data because the company refuses to use a DBMS system, opting instead for a proprietary file structure of their own design. There are constant structural failures to the point that they write their own file structure correcting routines. The results are pathetic. The larger the data, the worse the structural failures become, and the worse the assumptions made to 'fix' your data. Software should NEVER alter my data for me, PERIOD.
Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )