At a recent Oracle event, after a presentation on a significant new Oracle technology, audience members were invited to ask questions. I watched and listened only to the first question, which started off with a thank-you for the presentation and ended with “What’s next?” Yes, the question—after a major presentation on a new Oracle technology—was about the next technology Oracle was going to introduce.
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At first I felt bad for the Oracle representatives, industry experts, and Oracle customers who had delivered information, validation, and demonstrations during that presentation. In my own admittedly biased opinion, the technology presentation delivered—and deserved—more than a little shock and awe. At a minimum, I didn’t think the new technology could possibly have been so thoroughly absorbed, sorted, and analyzed that an audience member would choose to skip over it to ask what’s next.
But then I remembered a few things, including the fact that technology has always been about what’s next. I also remembered that what’s next has a rich history.
I don’t have survey numbers to support it, but I’m willing to leap to the conclusion that many Oracle Magazine readers have attended business meetings featuring multiple topics separated by the what’s-next question. The question drives—or at least prompts—schedules and project plans, from products and solutions to marketing and content for those products and solutions.
What’s next also drives months of public speculation on what the latest smartphones and tablet computers will look like and do and how new phone, tablet, and desktop application releases will embrace cloud computing, a mobile user experience, and social media. And in enterprise hardware and software speculation, what’s next also addresses more. How will the next enterprise technology enable business to be more competitive and more successful while also managing and analyzing more information and doing all of that in a more cost-effective way? A good enterprise technology what’s-next question is—like the enterprise—a complex, interconnected, multipart experience that ends with an answer that confirms the business will be better with the technology than without it.
There was an answer to the audience member’s what’s-next question at the aforementioned Oracle event: Come to Oracle OpenWorld, September 28 to October 2, 2014, in San Francisco and see for yourself. Oracle OpenWorld has been a platform for delivering what’s-next service, solution, and technology announcements and content from Oracle and Oracle partners and customers for years. Past Oracle OpenWorld announcements have answered what’s next for Oracle Cloud, engineered systems, databases, database options, applications, middleware, and partnerships, and I for one am selfishly looking forward to many more answers to what’s next at this year’s conference. I say “selfishly” because Oracle OpenWorld announcements have been framing what’s next for Oracle Magazine content for a very long time.
Photography by Dmitry Ratushny,Unsplash