As we prepare for Oracle OpenWorld (OOW), September 18-22, I believe that developing strategic roadmaps to move to the cloud, and managing the business complexities in doing so, will be top of mind for many executives. Almost all enterprises embarking on a significant digital transformation—adopting cloud storage and applications, mobile, big data—choose to spread those costs, organizational challenges and technology adoption curves out over a few years.
Of course, this approach makes sense. However, it results in organizations having to manage complex environments where some technologies are on-premises (usually the core business systems or those creating the highest competitive advantages), while others are on servers at remote off-premise physical locations or in the cloud. On top of those complexities, enterprises selecting cloud must choose between a public or private cloud solution, each with its own maintenance requirements, business models, security and governance demands.
If you’ve ever seen circus performers who scramble to keep plates spinning on top of poles before they lose speed and crash to the ground, you can identify with the pace and stress that business leaders face in managing these complex cloud configurations while ensuring they effectively serve the needs of the business.
Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld
Oracle announced at its quarter end on May 31 that its cloud revenue jumped 66% to $690 million for the quarter and 48% to $2.2 billion for the year, and is on pace to exceed drops in its traditional software licensing business. With this growth and shift to the cloud, I believe that cloud migration strategies and success stories will be the big story at this year’s OOW.
TCS looks forward to sharing the stage with our clients at the conference. We will share insights around a common question we address in our engagements: “How can we best manage our hybrid environments with the overall goal of moving to a unified or better integrated digital solution over time?” If this sounds familiar, I offer three technology trends to keep your eye on as you consider your cloud roadmap and make plans to optimize your time at OOW:
- The continuing integration of SaaS and PaaS: While Software as a Service (SaaS) seems to receive the most attention as a cloud benefit for the enterprise, Platform as a Service (PaaS) should be an equal partner and integrated closely with SaaS solutions. Here’s why. Given this heterogeneous environment, integration of data and process is absolutely paramount. PaaS is a powerful set of technologies that can connect disparate legacy systems with new cloud apps and services, providing tight integration between those applications and the data used to run business processes. And as a development environment, PaaS also helps organizations extend SaaS solutions with new capabilities. I believe PaaS integrated with SaaS represents one of the key building blocks needed to realize the full promise of cloud architecture.
- The rise of the industry or vertical application: Enterprises moving to the cloud used to have a relatively limited choice when it came to business software. They could choose to move their legacy apps, customizations and all, to cloud; they could rely on out-of-the-box vanilla software that cloud vendors provided; or they could combine the two and hope to integrate them to some degree. Customers who lost out were those whose core applications were rich in capabilities and deeply tailored to their business processes — think of the specific needs of a reinsurance company or a Hollywood talent management agency. These can be very complex and time consuming to integrate into a cloud environment. Now we have a new choice: the industry vertical. Companies can buy cloud-native, function-specific solutions such as finance, HR or procurement, in industry-specific domains and for geo-specific locations, and put industry-specific core systems as separate IaaS to make a unified cloud stack. The win is improved performance of critical processes and easy access across the enterprise thus providing speedier results, quicker time to market and greater cost efficiencies.
- Hybrid cloud management services: How do we meet the management challenges of hybrid technology deployments, particularly with cloud? The key piece is process orchestration. Once the hybrid solution has been installed, the administrative work starts. Just keeping on top of multiple service-level agreements with OEMs and system integrators, and site licenses, can occupy a small army of administrators. The needs rise above the pay grade of Oracle’s Application Management Suite to handle it all. At OOW, you’ll start to hear about the concept of hybrid cloud management services, including Workload Migration and Orchestration Services
I look forward to your comments here and to discussing these key trends ahead of OOW and during the conference. I encourage you to schedule time now to meet with our TCS Oracle practice team at OOW.