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IDC Guest Blog: Oracle Exadata and Digital Transformation

Anne Plese
Director, Product Marketing, Cloud Infrastructure Database Solutions

I asked Carl Olofson, Research VP, Application Development and Deployment, IDC to give our readers his view on where Oracle Exadata Database Machine fits in a company's digital transformation strategy.  Here is his take...

Your company’s digital strategy may be about entering new geographies or markets, launching new products and services, or improving customer loyalty – all to drive business growth.  But this also puts your IT organization under intense pressures these days.

Many IT companies inherit the massive sprawl in most data centers caused by decades of the proliferation of both transactional and analytical databases, each typically sitting on its own server or servers, networked to applications similarly deployed.  The result? Hours wasted cobbling together undifferentiated hardware and software.

At the same time, there is the need to hold the line on IT budgets, or even reduce them, despite the fact that the work that IT staff must do continues to grow both in volume and complexity.  Add to that the pressures created by digital transformation, and you have a potentially unworkable situation.

  • How can IT support extension of operations to include data from the internet of things (IoT)?
  • Ingest data from external, unmanaged sources, log data, sensor data, and content, all being managed by a new class of applications designed to increase customer intimacy?
  • Improve employee effectiveness through what are called “systems of engagement”?

The reality? We can’t even keep up with the stuff that has piled up in the datacenter to date.  We need to simplify.

This is the third in a series of blog posts that I have offered regarding IDC’s work with eight of Oracle’s most successful users of Oracle Exadata, tracking the benefits companies have realized based on critical IT needs. The responses we got were consistent with what’s needed for IT today.  They told us that Exadata simplified their database management topology by enabling consolidation, but also reduced the burden of tuning and maintenance tremendously, allowing staff to build a path to ‘transform’.

We got responses like these:

“With Exadata supporting our database operations, we can make better decisions, which is resulting in more revenue and lower costs.  I'd say that we get 10% more revenue per year. Also, we’re saving money in processes like procurement and in areas like advertising – millions of dollars per year. It’s a lot of money.”

“The continuous delivery platform we’ve been able to put in place with Oracle Exadata helps us to be more agile. The reason that this helps the developers is that the environments are easier to provision, so turnaround time is better on applications and features. . .  We've got around 600-700 application developers who are now at least 30-40% more productive.”

As great as all that sounds, there is another reason for consolidation and simplification: the future for most data processing and management is in the cloud. BUT, the idea of moving a sprawling, tangled mess of databases from the datacenter to a cloud platform ought to overwhelm just about anyone.

Common sense says you need to clearly define and segregate databases and determine proper resource allocations for them all, is there time for that? IT leaders are beginning to draw a line in the sand and take control to accelerate.

There are new ways – on premises, in Oracle’s data center, or Oracle’s new Cloud at Customer service. Using Exadata to rationalize workloads can create a more ordered set of databases ready for cloud deployment. You can even choose to move those Exadata configurations directly into Exadata in the cloud. If you are intending to deploy the databases differently in the cloud, check out Oracle’s new Exadata Cloud Machine offering, Oracle will now deploy the system in your own datacenter, behind your firewall.  You don’t have to own or maintain it.

For Oracle customers who have chosen Exadata as a platform, not just for simplification of operations and management and for scalability, but also as a preparatory configuration for migration to the cloud, makes a lot of sense.  No matter where you are in your digital or cloud strategy, here’s a blueprint for why it makes sense.

Carl Olofson is the Research Vice President of Data Management Software for IDC. Mr. Olofson’s has performed research and analysis for IDC since 1997, and manages IDC’s Database Management Software service, as well as supporting the Data Integration Software service. Mr. Olofson’s research involves following sales and technical developments in the structured data management (SDM) markets, including database management systems (DBMS), dynamic data management systems, database development and management software, and dynamic data grid managers, including the vendors of related tools and software systems. Read more about his work and background on Mr. Olofson's Analyst Profile page or visit his Twitter @databaseguru.

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