by Aaron Lazenby
2013 has been the Year of the Cloud for Oracle.
From where I’m sitting, 2013 has been the Year of the Cloud for Oracle. Cloud became a billion-dollar business for Oracle. President Mark Hurd named 500 new cloud customers Oracle won in a single quarter—including the likes of eBay, Yahoo!, and Intuit. Oracle thought leaders have been discussing enterprise cloud strategy at a series of events held all over the world. Strategic partnerships with Microsoft, NetSuite, and Salesforce.com look to extend Oracle cloud solutions into new IT environments.
Producing this issue of Profit gave me great insight into Oracle’s cloud business—here’s what I noticed while I had my head in the cloud:
Functionality first. One of the most common statements I heard during product presentations at Oracle cloud events was, “By the way, this is all in the cloud.” It’s the functionality of a solution that matters most. Of course a cloud-based solution has to perform, be secure, scale properly, and play well with other systems—just like any other IT solution. But if a solution can’t deliver enterprise-grade functionality, being “in the cloud” is just a distraction.
A cloud-based solution has to perform, be secure, scale properly, and play well with other systems— just like any other IT solution.”
How fast do you want it? A key driving force behind the adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions is rapid speed to deployment. If you need a solution, and need it fast, you can get out 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, and more), but reducing planning and install time appears to be emerging as the critical differentiator.
Cloud wrangling. It’s relatively easy to acquire a SaaS application, which increases the risk of cloud-based applications popping up all over the lines of business. Such silos threaten to undermine the value of cloud computing by adding new friction to an already complex integration environment.
Execs ask, “What’s next?” Research commissioned by Oracle shows business and IT leaders are aware of the cloud integration challenge. But nearly half reported they don’t have a cloud strategy that aligns with the direction of their organizations. I hope the content in this issue of Profit provides some solid strategies that help remedy that situation.
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