According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), enterprises will spend an estimated $1.8 trillion on digital transformation efforts in 2022. That enormous figure underscores the urgent need for digital solutions across all industries, and it also presents investors with a big opportunity to build wealth as new technologies replace legacy products, and today's start-ups become tomorrow's industry leaders.

With that in mind, both MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB) and Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) look like good stocks to buy. Here's what investors should know.

MongoDB: Modernizing the database

Historically, the most costly part of application development has been storage. In fact, in 1970, it cost roughly $260 to store a single megabyte of data. So to avoid costly duplications, relational databases (which store data in rigidly structured tables) became the industry standard.

However, this type of database requires developers to reformat data prior to storage, which not only takes effort but also hinders flexibility and scalability later on. Even so, relational databases were a good solution at the time.

Person in suit touching digital dollar sign

Image source: Getty Images.

But times have changed. Storage is much cheaper today, and the cost-limiting factor is now developers' time. Moreover, modern websites and applications include things like email, videos, images, and social media, all of which generate large amounts of unstructured data -- in other words, data that doesn't fit neatly into tables. That's why MongoDB built a new kind of database: The non-relational document database.

MongoDB's solution is capable of storing large amounts of unstructured data, allowing developers to build applications more quickly and cost-efficiently. It also enables greater flexibility and scalability, meaning developers can easily make changes and expand the database as application usage increases. These things are either very difficult and expensive, or simply impossible, with traditional relational databases.

As a first-mover, MongoDB has become the most popular non-relational database in the world. And by improving developer efficiency and database scalability, MongoDB can often save its clients a significant amount of money. For example, customers switching from Oracle to MongoDB have cut expenses by over 70%.

Not surprisingly, these advantages have powered exceptional growth for the tech company.

Metric

Fiscal 2017

Trailing 12 Months*

CAGR

Customers

3,200

22,600

68%

Revenue

$101.4 million

$542.9 million

56%

Data source: MongoDB SEC filings. CAGR: compound annual growth rate. *Customer count and trailing 12-month period as of the fiscal 2021 third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2020.

Going forward, MongoDB should see continued adoption as enterprises seek to quickly develop and scale applications to meet consumer demand. Likewise, MongoDB Atlas -- the company's fully managed database-as-a-service -- should be a powerful contributor to future growth as it greatly simplifies database ownership for clients.

Ultimately, I believe these drivers will power the stock to double (and more) in the years ahead.

Adobe: Digitizing customer engagement

The world is becoming more digital at a breakneck pace. People are increasingly making purchases online, communicating through mobile apps and social media, and consuming content through an endless number of digital channels. Businesses must adapt to these changes if they hope to earn customer loyalty, and that means marketing content needs to be personalized and delivered through the right channels to reach the right consumers.

To that end, Adobe's Experience Cloud is a collection of AI-powered software tools and services that help marketers use consumer data to create highly personalized digital experiences. While Adobe faces competition from the likes of Salesforce and Oracle in this market, no competitor can match Adobe's ability to blend creative content and data science. Adobe Creative Cloud applications -- like Photoshop for photo editing, Spark for social media and web content creation, Premiere Pro for video editing, and Adobe XD for web and mobile app design -- set Adobe apart from its rivals and make the company a more holistic solution for users.

This advantage has translated to rapid revenue growth, but free cash flow has grown even more quickly, an indication that Adobe is becoming more profitable over time.

Metric

Fiscal 2017

Fiscal 2020

CAGR

Revenue

$7.3 billion

$12.9 billion

21%

Free cash flow

$2.7 billion

$5.3 billion

25%

Data source: Adobe SEC filings. CAGR: compound annual growth rate.

Adobe's recent acquisition of Workfront further strengthens the company's advantage over its rivals. Workfront's work management platform helps clients organize marketing workflow, enabling content creators to collaborate more effectively with marketing teams. This should help clients unlock even greater value in Adobe's product portfolio.

Also noteworthy: From 2015 to 2020, the percentage of Adobe's top 100 clients using three or more products increased from 61% to 93%. This means the company's top clients are becoming more dependent on Adobe Experience Cloud. That's encouraging, and it should translate into high customer retention due to increased switching costs.

Going forward, investors should pay attention to Adobe's revenue growth and gross margin. The marketing landscape is highly competitive, and if Adobe's revenue growth slows or margins shrink, it could be a sign the company is losing its edge. That said, management estimates its market opportunity will hit $147 billion by 2023 -- more than 10 times the company's trailing 12-month revenue. That gives Adobe a long runway for growth.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.