Last month I attended the COLLABORATE 16 conference for Oracle users at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. When the more than 5,500 attendees weren’t losing all their money on the Wheel of Fortune ™ slot machines (or maybe that was just me), they were busy attending the more than 1,200 educational sessions focused primarily on four key topics: cloud, mobility, security and big data. Cloud in particular, was the biggest issue of the conference. I know cloud is also currently on the minds of many financial services companies that are considering making the migration.
Three of four keynote speeches at the conference were related to cloud. Joe McKendrick of Database Trends & Applications, presented findings that resulted from its recent survey taken from 690 members of the three independent Oracle user groups: Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), Quest and the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG). The results show that overall cloud is gaining in popularity for business services around the enterprise, but adoption of cloud-based ERP, core enterprise applications or databases is moving at a much slower pace. Security, data integration, perceived loss of control and potential migration difficulties are viewed as the main obstacles to moving more core enterprise applications to the cloud.
There was a lot of chatter about many companies moving to “hybrid” cloud environments, in which key applications and data remain on-premises, but newer applications are hosted somewhere else. This strategy seemed to be a big topic of discussion at COLLABORATE as more and more customers are currently live or heavily considering going live on components of Oracle Cloud Applications alongside their existing installations to maximize their investments in the new and existing products. It’s a “crawl/walk/run” approach to cloud, and a more cautious and comfortable option for many companies.
No one denies the many benefits that cloud provides, such as flexibility and speed in deploying, flexible cost options, reducing one’s hardware footprint, and agility to scale solutions as needed for growth. However, there is that fear of the unknown and most companies are not ready for a complete “rip-and-replace” undertaking. That’s why a hybrid cloud solution is seen as attractive option that more and more companies are exploring. It enables companies to get the best of both worlds and experiment with cloud in a more manageable way.
It will be interesting to see where these companies are in their journey toward the cloud at COLLABORATE 17. I’d bet all the money I have leftover from my slot machine binge that we will see much more progress toward cloud and hybrid cloud adoption. For now at least, most companies – particularly those operating in the fintech space, are still taking a very cautious and measured approach. And there’s nothing wrong with that.