Tuesday Jul 26, 2016

AWS Schema Conversion Tool: What’s Real?

Author:  Pat Shuff 

On 13th July 2016, AWS announced support for converting Oracle Data Warehouse to Amazon Redshift using its Schema Conversion Tool. In this blog post, we analyze this tool and uncover what’s real and what’s not. Converting a production Oracle Database to a much lighter weight and less functional database is not recommended but that is the purpose of this tool. The migration effort and customizations needed to move a production database instance to Amazon RDS typically breaks support, breaks functionality, and does not work as expected. We will look at three use cases to analyze how well the tool helps you and look at the tradeoffs required to move your applications from on- premises to Amazon RDS or another cloud service provider.

The idea behind the AWS Schema Conversion Toolkit is that it will look at your existing database (MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.) and provide you the effort required to migrate from your source database to Amazon RDS. The tool claims that it can convert an Oracle Database to Aurora, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MariaDB. To test the tool, we looked at the sample database that is installed with an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition called Application Express 5.0 and a public domain package SwingBench that contains server-side code as well as database objects and stored procedures. We could have looked at an Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards or Oracle PeopleSoft installation but they typically need to run on Oracle Database Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition or in some cases Microsoft SQL Server. The targets supported by the AWS Toolkit are not valid database targets for these application packages and the tool does not support translating these repositories from an on-premises system to a supported target database in Amazon RDS. The tool starts out by asking you to attach to your source Oracle database instance. To do this you need to supply the SID of the database, the Service Name of the instance, the TNS Alias of the instance, or the TNS Connection Identifier. We tested our connection first using Oracle SQL Developer with all of these connection methods and the only one that worked with the AWS Schema Conversion Tool was the SID name. All connections to a multi-tenant instance of the Oracle Database 12c failed because the AWS Tool could not handle a complex Service Name. In our test database we could connect to the SID of ORCL but could not connect to the Service Name pdb1.metacsgse00028.oraclecloud.internal which is what the lsnrctl status command shows as the Service Name and TNS Connection Identifier. 

 For the Application Express 5.0 instance the AWS Schema Conversion Tool found 3,299 database storage objects and 1,097 code objects. As per the tool, 45 database storage objects and 180 code objects required manual conversion to get them to work on Amazon RDS for MySQL or Amazon Aurora.  

Oracle Database 12c comes with a demo pluggable database, but we couldn’t test it with the AWS tool, as it doesn’t support connecting to a database using a complex Service Name We did not reconfigure the listener to adapt to a different SID because few customers do this in real-life scenarios and use the Service Name or TNS name to connect to the database (both of which are unsupported in the AWS Tool).

For SwingBench v2.0 the AWS Tool scanned and found 13 database objects and 2 database code objects and could not convert 1 storage object and 1 code object. The database object that failed was a check constraint as well as a time zone timestamp conversion. Both of these require manual conversion that stops the code from being migrated to Amazon RDS. 

There are many hidden issues with the AWS Schema Conversion Tool. First, the conversion option that the tool defaults to is migrate from an Oracle database to Amazon RDS for MySQL or Amazon Aurora (alongside PostgreSQL and MariaDB). This is not an apples-to-apples conversion, as both Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora lack several key enterprise features (no DataGuard support, no Multi-Tenant or Pluggable containers, no file system access, no Oracle Label Security, and anything that requires sys or sysdba rights to install and configure to mention a few).

Second, contrary to the AWS guidance, the manual interventions required to port an existing code to Amazon RDS for MySQL or Amazon Aurora are not trivial. The AWS Schema Conversion Tool generates a report that shows bar charts summarizing the conversion effort but does not detail what needs to be converted. To get this information, you have to save to a CSV or PDF format to get the full report. The report summarizes the conversions that fail because specific collection types are not supported in Amazon Aurora or Amazon RDS for MySQL. It also lists synonyms and sequences that fail to convert. The conversion also does not support function indexes, check constraints, user defined functions, virtual columns, the DATETIME structure with Time zone information, hierarchical queries, pseudo columns, and performance hints. In our specific example, the changes recommended by the AWS Schema Conversion Tool are massive and complex and require a total rewrite of the database logic.

In summary, the AWS Schema Conversion Tool is not enterprise-ready, but is more of a marketing attempt at getting you to move from an existing on-premises database to an Amazon RDS for MySQL or Amazon Aurora. We are making the results of the AWS Schema Conversion Tool for our specific tests available here (APEX database, SwingBench), so you can save time and effort testing the conversion. A better conversion of your on-premises database instance would be to copy it to the Oracle Cloud using Oracle Cloud Database as a Service and all your current features and functionality will be supported without having to change your schema, stored procedures, or applications. 

Thursday Jul 21, 2016

Businesses Need CIOs Today More Than Ever

—By Michael Hickins, Director of Strategic Communications at Oracle 

Back in what now might seem like the good old days for CIO job security, CIOs were held hostage by complex technologies they were responsible for running, or fixing, in-house. Perilous though the situation was, it at least seemed like they were in control of their own destinies, for better or worse. Today, however, slick cloud applications that any line-of-business owner can pay for with a credit card make many CIOs feel an existential threat to their existence that's greater than at any time since career is over first became a punch line. 

But according to François Lançon, Oracle's SVP for Asia-Pacific, the exact opposite is true. "It may not be fashionable to say so, but cloud computing has in many cases simply compounded existing problems without fulfilling its cost-cutting and innovation-driving promise," he writes in this provocative column. CIOs can do much more than just clean up this mess; by virtue of where they sit in the organization, they have the best purview for understanding how all of a company's pieces fit together, how technology can be used to change business practices, and how to create a strategy that delivers on the cloud's promise of innovation and cost-containment.

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The ’Software In Silicon’ Edge

—By Chris Murphy, Director of Cloud Content at Oracle


In the cloud era, why does Oracle still pour so much talent and money into engineering its own microprocessors? “Our religion here is fairly straightforward: we want to build the best hardware products in the world,” said John Fowler, Oracle executive vice president of systems, at Oracle OpenWorld Latin America last week. Building the best means eliminating any barriers to performance and cost-effectiveness. Increasingly, many problems related to security, efficiency, and simplicity must be solved at the “software in silicon” level, Fowler explains in this article

Oracle last week announced its new SPARC S7 processor, designed to bring Oracle’s most powerful microprocessor innovations to smaller, scale-out workloads at commodity prices. Companies can tap the SPARC S7’s innovations in three ways: as a cloud service running in Oracle’s data center; as an engineered system that bundles hardware, software, and networking (SPARC MiniCluster S7-2); and as SPARC S7-based servers. Read more on how SPARC S7 technology helps companies with both cloud and on-premises workloads.

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Tuesday Jul 05, 2016

Strategy for All 3 Pillars of the Cloud

—By Chris Murphy, Director of Cloud Content at Oracle

Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison zeroed in on two points of focus for the company as it enters its fiscal year 2017: Grow Oracle's cloud software and platform businesses at double the rate of its closest competitors, and use "generation two" of the company's high-performance data centers to become an even more formidable player in cloud infrastructure. "We're growing fast in SaaS. We're growing fast in PaaS. Now we need to grow fast in infrastructure as a service," Ellison said on Oracle's Q4 FY 2016 earnings call on June 16. 

In SaaS and PaaS, Oracle plans to drive growth with a broader product line than its major cloud competitors and by reaching a new swath of midmarket companies. In IaaS, Oracle plans to use its new data centers to gain a performance advantage. Read more about Ellison's view on each of these three pillars of cloud computing—SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—and how they complement one another.

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Friday Jun 17, 2016

Artificial Intelligence as Core IT

—By John Soat, senior writer, Oracle Corporate Communications 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is hot. Some of what you see in the media about robot warriors and autonomous airliners is so much hype. But there's nothing artificial about the money, resources, and human capital being invested in AI technology by today's smartest companies. 

In terms of enterprise IT, AI has become a fundamental building block. CIOs today must incorporate AI techniques such as machine learning and neural networks into their basic infrastructure and applications development strategies. They'll likely need cloud systems to store and manage the massive volumes of data that machine learning systems feed on. And CIOs should look to tap third-party apps and cloud services that make use of those techniques as well. 

CIOs ignore the AI wave at their peril. That's because, going forward—according to Toby Redshaw, consultant and former American Express CIO—the company that enters a market without benefit of AI-powered technology will be "the guy at the gunfight with a knife."

Subscribe to the weekly Cloud Leader newsletter by visiting the Oracle account page and updating your subscription preferences to include SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or DaaS. If you do not already have an Oracle account, you can create one here.   



Monday Jun 06, 2016

A Hard Look at HR Processes

—By Chris Murphy, Oracle Director of Cloud Content

 We've been talking with a lot of HR leaders recently, and we've been hearing this often: implementing a cloud HR system pushed them to take a hard look at why they run the business like they do. Because Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud has many best practices built in as options, HR leaders are using their implementations as an opportunity to ask whether they should maintain some long-held, perhaps less efficient approaches. To explore this, we're devoting this issue of Cloud Leader to these HR transformation stories. 

At Ruby Tuesday, HR Vice President Lois Collins welcomed the challenge to existing processes, and she describes her team's effort to digitize its HR processes in the article Ruby Tuesday Takes HR Digital to Better Engage Employees. A recent success for the HR team came in reducing the drop-off rate of candidates who start the job application process. Says Collins, "The first impression you make as a company is the minute that person applies to your organization." You can hear more stories like this and get advice from experts, including Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, in the archived version of our Cloud Leader newsletter.

Subscribe to the weekly Cloud Leader newsletter by visiting the Oracle account page and updating your subscription preferences to include SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or DaaS. If you do not already have an Oracle account, you can create one here.  





Wednesday May 25, 2016

How IT Must Change

—By Chris Murphy, Oracle Director of Cloud Content

It's a question I hear often when speaking with companies around the globe: Does cloud computing spell the demise of the CIO and IT department? 

That's how Daryl Szebesta, Oracle's vice president of cloud transformation and until recently CIO at another Global 2000 company, starts his essay on how the cloud is reshaping IT careers and IT's role. 

Szebesta's short answer is "no," but his long answer makes it clear that the cloud promises great careers ahead only for those willing to change. For example, the days of customizing code are almost entirely gone for enterprise IT, as configuration replaces development. Szebesta dives into how the needed change by IT pros looks different in the two distinct realms of deployment and maintenance of cloud systems. 

Read more in Will Cloud Kill the IT Star? 

Subscribe to the weekly Cloud Leader newsletter by visiting the Oracle account page and updating your subscription preferences to include SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or DaaS. If you do not already have an Oracle account, you can create one here

Thursday May 05, 2016

What Happens When Big Data Meets Cloud?

Oracle Big Data Strategist Paul Sonderegger recently wrote how Big Data and the Cloud are "a match made in Heaven." However, as he writes, "the devil is in the details."

Large enterprises are waking up to the realities of data capital. Data is not just a record of what happened, it’s a raw material for creating new digital products and services.

This means companies are in a race to create unique data capital assets through new mobile apps, wearable tech, and other intelligent, connected devices. Firms are also trying to figure out how to use this data capital to create unique value, whether that’s innovative digital products and services or increased efficiency rivals can’t match. 

Paul Sonderegger

Paul Sonderegger, Big Data Strategist

This is what big data is really about – the capture and use of more data in more daily activities as a way to gain competitive advantage. And this emerging competition requires a new kind of computing — in which the cloud plays a crucial role.

But for large enterprises in particular, new big data and cloud technologies must work seamlessly together, as well as with existing technology.

You can read the full post here: 

https://www.oracle.com/uk/big-data/features/bigdata-in-the-cloud/index.html

Wednesday Apr 27, 2016

Introducing the Accelerated Buying Experience

By Chris Murphy, Oracle Director of Cloud Content 


The cloud has changed how businesses acquire technology. They buy in smaller amounts, on a more frequent basis, and they expect to be up and running very quickly. To meet that need for speed, Oracle is giving customers a much faster and easier way to buy cloud services: the Accelerated Buying Experience. Instead of requiring the thick, printed contracts of the on-premises days, for example, the Accelerated Buying Experience lets companies buy Oracle cloud services online with a click of a button.

An in-depth Q&A with Oracle's Doug Kehring provides details on the differences customers will find with the Accelerated Buying Experience, including Oracle salespeople empowered with more contracting flexibility, reduced and eliminated approvals, simpler and shorter order documents, and extensive help throughout the process. The Accelerated Buying Experience is part of Oracle's larger transformation aimed at becoming the leading cloud vendor. 


Subscribe to the weekly Cloud Leader newsletter by visiting the Oracle account page and updating your subscription preferences to include SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or DaaS. If you do not already have an Oracle account, you can create one here.




Thursday Mar 24, 2016

Can you have your cake and eat it too?

by Nirav Mehta, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle  

The appeal of public cloud services is undeniable and unstoppable.  But, a vast majority of applications are constrained from moving to the public cloud due to data residency and privacy laws, intellectual property concerns, and sensitivity to latency of the traffic to and from the public Internet.

If the phrase ‘Private Cloud’ sounds like an oxymoron to you, you are not alone.

IT vendors have tried but largely failed to deliver on the tall promise of “private cloud” – the notion of a cloud behind your firewall with all the benefits of public cloud services without the need to send your data over the Internet to a public cloud service. Too many corners were cut in offering such solutions. Over the last 5 years, I have talked with hundreds of CIOs and IT directors and they gave me the biggest reasons why the promise of Private Clouds has not been realized. It is either ‘private’ or a ‘cloud’ but not really both at the same time. Here’s why:

1. These solutions are almost always multi-vendor. Hardware from one vendor, software from another, and often, management by another vendor. In the public cloud, there is no ambiguity about who is accountable for an application delivered as a service. It is the application service provider. Why shouldn’t you, the customers have the same single point of accountability with their private cloud?

2. The IT stack in the public cloud and private cloud is not the same. It is ‘similar’ but not the ‘same’. Few if any can offer updates and innovation on customer premises at the same pace as the innovation in the public cloud. What is the point of adopting the cloud if you cannot get the latest innovations? Private Clouds should not be an inferior pretender of Public Clouds. The true potential of Cloud will be realized when we enable agile and effortless workload portability between public and on-premises clouds. If the stack on either side is not the same, you have to depend on extensive orchestration to effect workload portability. Not good.

3. Who is managing the private cloud infrastructure? If the answer involves having you manage the stack on your premises or contract 3rd parties on their own, it is no longer a ‘utility’. Most solutions today do not offer turnkey management of the entire on-premises infrastructure. You want to ‘use’ the services; not ‘manage’ the hardware and software.

4. What about the pricing and commercial terms? Often, you have to purchase the hardware, software, and services (or some combination thereof); never achieving the elegant simplicity of subscription-based and consumption-based (operational expense vs. capital expense) model of Public Cloud services. This is hard for IT vendors to offer because someone has to bear the cost of on-premises infrastructure. But passing the risk on to you, our customers is not the answer. IT vendors have to do better; be bolder.

These challenges are not easy to surmount. Oracle has also struggled to solve the problem in its entirety. This time, we set out to solve the problem, we made it our mission to deliver a solution that eliminates ALL of these challenges. We set out to create a category of products called “Oracle Cloud at Customer”.

Today, I am very proud to announce the availability of the first offering in this category – the Oracle Cloud Machine. We have taken the Oracle Cloud for IaaS and PaaS and extended it to your premises.


Oracle Cloud Machine: Same Cloud Delivered in Your Datacenter

We believe it is the industry’s most complete solutions for deploying public cloud services “behind your firewall”. Let me explain why we believe this is true:


Oracle Cloud Machine: Benefits

1. We made sure there is a single point of accountability for the cloud services delivered behind the customer’s firewall – Oracle. Hardware, software, and all ongoing management of the entire stack is provided by Oracle. Oracle Cloud Operations remotely and securely manages the deployment so that customers can focus on their applications and their business just as they would with public cloud services.

2. We have taken great effort to ensure that the same software that underpins the Oracle (public) Cloud is delivered with the Oracle Cloud Machine as well. Oracle also ensures that this congruence between the private cloud and public cloud is maintained by frequently updating the Oracle Cloud Machine with the same updates that we deploy in the Oracle Cloud. It is in fact a requirement of the service contract that the on-premises cloud remain in lock-step with the Oracle cloud software. Why did we do this? One reason is to bring the latest innovations from the cloud to customer premises. But even more significantly – to unleash the potential of workload portability between private and public clouds. Imagine what you could do if the cloud deployment on the customer premises looks just as another datacenter in the public cloud. You would be able to more freely start development in the public cloud and run production workload on premises or vice versa. You would more easily burst for capacity from the private to public cloud. You would achieve disaster recovery to the public cloud more easily.

3. Oracle Cloud Machine is managed remotely by Oracle Cloud Operations using a secure, remote connection that honors least privilege principles to ensure that you, the customer, can truly have a hassle-free experience of consuming cloud services and NOT managing the underlying infrastructure. Every customer is assigned a Technical Account Manager (included in the cost of the service) who helps with capacity planning, performance optimization, and addressing any services issues.

4. Oracle Cloud Machine is sold as a set of subscription services. You buy IaaS and PaaS services and not hardware and software. The pricing mirrors the Oracle (public) Cloud pricing for a very simple buying experience for the customer. Pick the service you want and you choose whether you want to consume it over the Internet or entirely behind your firewall. Oracle takes care of everything else.

Lastly, while we are unbeatable when it comes to running Oracle workload, we have engineered the solution to run non-Oracle workload with all the same benefits. All the power of Oracle Cloud and marketplace of 3rd party of applications will also run on Oracle Cloud Machine.

I am sure many of you recognize that delivering true simplicity takes a lot of thought and effort. We are proud to have delivered a solution that has simplicity at its core. The kind of simplicity that could only have come from hidden sophistication and innovation. We look forward to working closely with you to realize your vision of a true cloud behind your firewall enabled by Oracle Cloud Machine.

Yes.  You may eat that cake and have it too!

Friday Mar 18, 2016

Kill Complexity with Cloud ERP

By Margaret Harrist, Oracle Director of Content Strategy 

In today's quickly changing business landscape, complexity is an anchor weight that prevents companies from innovating. 

Executives at Khaleefa Butti Bin Omair (KBBO) Group, an Abu Dhabi–based investment firm, were determined to avoid that fate with the company's enterprise resource planning initiative—even as they looked for a single system that could span a portfolio of companies ranging from healthcare to oil and gas.

 As they looked for an ERP platform that could standardize the technology and processes in KBBO's many companies based in the UAE and the UK, the firm explored cloud ERP options at a time when few companies of KBBO's scale had moved in that direction. And in January 2015, KBBO moved its financials, HR, payroll, and procurement functions to the cloud.

Here, KBBO's director of IT discusses what drove the company's decision—and the many benefits, including that the IT staff's workload has been reduced by 40 percent. 

Want more cloud strategy insights? 

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Monday Feb 22, 2016

Inside the Innovation Machine

By Chris Murphy, Oracle Director of Cloud Content

 You might feel like a button in your cloud app is responding slowly. But the app supplier, if it's paying attention, can know if that button's slow. "Our process is very simple: the slowest 10 percent of clicks we send as defects, or bugs, to development to make those clicks faster," says Steve Miranda, Oracle executive vice president for applications development. That precise feedback—click-stroke granularity, not just user interviews and recollections—is one of three big reasons that the innovation cycle for cloud software is measured in months, not three or four years as with the on-premises software model. 

A second reason for the cloud's speedy innovation cycle is faster implementation; when a software as a service (SaaS) supplier puts out a new version, users have access to those new features instantly. Last, companies can add their own features to SaaS apps, using cloud-based integration and development, without complicated customizations that often prevented businesses from upgrading on-premises software at all. SaaS provides other benefits such as lower costs, but speed of innovation is easily the most important, Miranda contends. 

Want more cloud strategy insights? 

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Friday Feb 12, 2016

Ten Challenges That Will Rock the Marketing World in 2016

A Guide to the CMO Revolution

—By Chris Murphy, Oracle Director of Cloud Content

Consumers around the world "have eagerly seized full control of the buyer-seller relationship and have absolutely zero intention of relinquishing any of that control." That new reality provides the foundation for "10 Challenges That Will Rock the Marketing World in 2016," a guide to the CMO Revolution from Oracle's Bob Evans.  

Evans' article and the accompanying infographic lay out why the CMO must be able to precisely understand revenue attribution, have tools that unify customer experiences, and have data-driven processes that deliver accurate predictions and metrics of marketing performance. For the doubters, Evans has another prediction: "Businesspeople expecting or nostalgic for the status quo are in for a miserable, stress-filled, and hair-on-fire year." 

Want more cloud strategy insights? 

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Friday Jan 22, 2016

CFOs: Make the All-Out Leap into Digital Business

Written by Margaret Harrist, Oracle Director of Content Strategy

In this data-driven, digital age, much of what drives business is intangible—including customer satisfaction, intellectual property, and brand reputation. Such tough-to-quantify, hard-to-measure areas as those offer a big opportunity for CFOs to work with leaders throughout the business to create new benchmarks—and thus play a leading role in their company's strategic future. "These profound business transformations promise to reshape the responsibilities of every C-level executive, and for CFOs the new challenges center on driving digital-first priorities, processes, and culture across teams," writes Oracle Chief Communications Officer Bob Evans in a recent article on Forbes.com.

Evans breaks down the top five strategic issues for CFOs as they face these challenges in 2016, including the need to go all in on cloud computing to modernize critical operations such as finance, human resources, and supply chain management.

After all, according to a recent survey of executives worldwide, there's a big gap between the data and insights CFOs need and the information that their current systems can provide. For example, 76 percent said customer satisfaction is a key driver, but only 25 percent said that their company can assemble and analyze data on customer sentiment. Overcoming this chasm will take modern technology, heavy analytics skills, and thinking way outside the box.

Want more cloud strategy insights?

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Tuesday Dec 22, 2015

Being First to Market is no Longer Enough

Written by Shawn Price, Senior Vice President for Oracle Cloud and Product Business Groups, at Oracle @ShawnPrice1000  

Being first to market has for some time now been synonymous with success, and not without reason. From Ford to Nintendo, companies have found an advantage in being the first to launch new and exciting products. But is this still the case? Does the so-called ‘first-mover advantage’ really mean as much as it used to? 

If you listen to Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, the answer to these questions is a resounding ‘no’, at least when looking at the case of Silicon Valley businesses. For Hoffman, the ability to rapidly scale a digital product or service once it has a customer base is much more important than being first. For evidence, he gives the example of Facebook, which successfully grew its businesses to a breath-taking size in just six years. 

Digital innovation

Hoffman’s view is entirely correct, but it can be taken further. To a greater or lesser extent, all businesses today are ‘Silicon Valley’ businesses in so far as technology lies at the heart of what they do. After all, digital and mobile applications are every bit as important to, for example, a fashion retailer or restaurant as they are to digital service providers such as LinkedIn. 

In the case of the fashion business they can be used to improve everything from logistics and supply chain management to enhancing customer service, while for many restaurants digital applications are transforming how customers place their orders and the way kitchens meet these orders. Whatever the sector, it is easy to imagine ways the customer experience can be improved by enhanced web and mobile applications.   

Continual innovation

Business – and public sector organisations too – must therefore place digital innovation at the heart of everything they do in a way that allows them to continually grow and build further on their innovations. In fact, businesses serious about competing and winning market share need to embrace a philosophy of continual innovation. They must ensure that they never rest on their laurels. This means they should proactively look at how they can improve existing product lines and business models, launch entirely new ones, and be sure they can scale both with ease. 

This all makes good sense from a business perspective, but it also begs a key question: how can businesses embed continual innovation within their organizations without incurring high costs? And how can they physically build, test and launch new applications and features at the pace demanded by modern business? Indeed, how can businesses afford to risk all on innovations that may or may not work? 

Businesses need a way to reduce the time, cost and complexity that has traditionally characterised application development. They need to be able to risk failure on applications without that failure coming at too punitive a price. In a way, application development needs to be taken down from its pedestal and integrated into all parts of the business as a day-to-day task, where business units themselves can take on some of the development functions that have traditionally been the preserve of the IT team. 

Enabling continual innovation

Until recently such an environment was largely the stuff of dreams, but the rapid rise of cloud computing has meant that these dreams can now be realised. In fact, the ideal of continual innovation is today within reach of all businesses.  

One cloud platform – Platform as a Service (PaaS) – is particularly important in this respect. PaaS brings the qualities that have made cloud computing so compelling for business application provision to the world of application development; namely ease of use, price flexibility and scalability.  

Ease of use is important because it reduces the time it takes to develop applications. All the resources and toolsets needed for a development environment can be taken as a service, which means they can be delivered to the business almost immediately through the cloud. In the past, such resources and toolsets would need to be procured, set up and project managed by the IT department, a process that could take many months depending on what else the IT department had on its to do list.  

Cost is also important. When provisioning bespoke development environments for each application, as is the case in traditional on-premise set ups, the costs can quickly add up. Consequently, few businesses are willing to invest in the storage, infrastructure and database resources needed for application development, unless the business case is iron clad. Not only does this hinder innovation, but it also impedes the ability to scale.  

Faster innovation at scale

With PaaS, however, businesses can take whatever resources they need for any given stage of development. If a business wants to rapidly evaluate an application it can do so in the cloud, using pre-existing toolsets to build the application and test it using virtualised cloud resources. If successful, the business can then easily scale up, either by buying more capacity from cloud providers or moving the application to their on-premise or private cloud resources if preferred. 

Indeed, this is perhaps the most significant capability of PaaS solutions: to act as a bridge between public and private clouds and on-premise systems. We are facing what will be a decade of coexistence between cloud and on-premise computing. Crucially, the right PaaS solutions are compatible with both and therefore can act as glue, binding on-premise and cloud solutions in hybrid cloud infrastructures with a single unified view. 

PaaS, therefore, not only allows businesses to innovate, but ensures they can stay relevant by continually building on their ideas and winning over new customers in the process. It also means that if businesses hit on a winning web or mobile application they are able to scale it rapidly and make the most of the business opportunity. This ensures that regardless of whether they are first to market or last, if they have a service that customers want to use, they are able to build on it rapidly and fuel growth for the business.  
To find out more about how PaaS can enable scalable innovation, please download our report into the subject: The Oracle Cloud Agility Study.


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