Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Editor's Notebook: Oracle #CloudWorld 2013

It's been almost two weeks since
Oracle's CloudWorld events landed on US shores (learn more about how you can attend) and I'm starting to compile my notes into a bit of insight and editorial planning
for 2013.

First the insight:

  • What has Cloud done for me lately? - Executives and business users are now familiar with the concept of accessing a remote IT solution--or having their own solution managed offsite. So adding the word "cloud" to your slide deck is not enough to have a meaningful conversation about the impact a solution can have on your business. Indeed, one of the most common statements I heard from CloudWorld presenters as they showed off their products was "By the way, this is all in the cloud." To me, this statement underscores that it's the functionality of a solution that really matters. Sure, a cloud-based solution it has to perform, be secure, scale properly, and play well with other systems (just like an on-premises solution, BTW). But if a cloud solution can't deliver enterprise-grade functionality, the fact that it's "in the cloud" is just a distraction.
  • How fast do you want it? - A key driving force behind the adoption of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions is rapid speed-to-deployment. If you need a solution, and need it fast, you can get your credit card and get that application online right away. Certainly there are other benefits to SaaS solutions (system monitoring and maintenance, optimized business flows, backup/failover support, automatic upgrades, etc.), but reducing planning and install time appears to be emerging as the critical differentiator for applications on the cloud. However...
  • Cloud Wrangling - ...since it is relatively easy to acquire a SaaS application (see credit card comment above), an enterprise IT environment runs the risk of having cloud-based applications scattered all over the lines of business. Each LOB executive may enjoy the benefit of ready access to an IT solution they control, but that can put them at odds with the CIO's overall IT plan for the entire enterprise. Especially if one of those SaaS applications contains data (say for instance, key customer or sales records) that must be accessed by on-premise enterprise solutions (an ERP system, for example). Not to mention if a business process spans multiple SaaS applications and on-premise systems. These scenarios threaten to undermine the real potential value of cloud computing by adding new friction to an already complex computing environment. Oracle systems architect Tim Sent, who hosted an excellent CloudWorld session on integration, told me that this problem can be avoided with 1)intelligent use of virtualization in the mid-tier and 2) published requirements/policies that LOB managers must follow when acquiring a SaaS solution. But more on that in the August issue of Profit...

Now the editorial planning: the August 2013 issue of Profit will focus on Cloud. Keep an eye on your mailbox/inbox for that issue. And in the meantime, I'll continue to post notes from our reporting and information about exclusive content updates on this blog. More to come...

Bonus! Oracle CloudWorld featured Facebook's founding CMO Randi Zuckerberg as a keynote speaker. She presented her thoughts on the top 10 technology trends to watch in 2013. They are:

  1. Luxury living without luxury spending. How are you delivering top shelf service to customers?
  2. Your mobile phone is everything.
  3. The rise of the entre-ployees. How how you promoting employee innovation?
  4. Digital detox. Can disconnecting spark creativity?
  5. Big data personalization. Are you turning customer data into customer service?
  6. Everything you need to remember is now in the cloud.
  7. The car is the new mobile computer.
  8. The gamification of everything. A scale that tweets your weight?
  9. Everyone can have a second job. Monitizing hobbies, chores, common activities.
  10. Tech culture is pop culture. Tech fluency now presumed of mass culture audiences.
Zuckerberg might have a personal interest in #10...

Learn more about Oracle CloudWorld events.


Updates from Profit editor Aaron Lazenby and an inside look at the creation of the magazine. Also, exclusive online content updates and news about business and technology.


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