By: Monica Mehta, Oracle
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd was asked about a number of hot topics, including the financial outlook for the US, and the potential for cloud computing, big data, and engineered systems, during a recent interview conducted by Mark Anderson of the Strategic News Service. Here are some of Hurd’s perspectives (and even some predictions) from the discussion.
The US Economy Has the Potential to Be Strong for Two to Three Decades
Compared to many countries in Western Europe and elsewhere, the US has very positive demographics—although large numbers of people are leaving the workforce, large numbers are also coming in. “I think the US is very underrated when you look at it in terms of its demographics,” says Hurd. “If you can get the education level up, if you can get the innovation pipeline right, the US could have a really good run this next 25 or 30 years.”
Cloud Represents a Shift in the Economics of IT
Cloud computing customers benefit from hundreds of feature updates per year, providing them with the latest capabilities within months of development. “Now you’ve got this innovation engine that’s coming off somebody else’s R&D, as opposed to your IT budget,” says Hurd. “Although there is a big change in the delivery vehicle, just the business outcome of cloud is so dramatically different [from on premises] that it’s…a huge game changer.”
The IT Industry Needs to Do Even More to Increase Productivity for Its Customers
The IT industry is one of the few that asks customers to buy things in pieces, and then put them together themselves. “I don’t buy a pedal, a steering wheel, a piston, and a muffler and have Accenture put it together in my driveway. I buy a car,” says Hurd. “I think the biggest obstacle [to productivity] will be that there’s such a do-it-yourself mentality in the IT industry. [But] what is the economic value-add of gluing an operating system to a server?”
IT Shops Will Embrace Modernization, but Hybrid Environments Will Prevail
IT shops will modernize their systems and move platform, infrastructure, and software to the cloud wherever possible. Where they have on-premises applications that they decide not to move to the cloud, they’ll opt for engineered systems which can be preconfigured and managed externally. “That will be the way the world will evolve: hybrid workloads, everything that you can modernize you modernize. Everything that stays on premises gets [managed in] a simpler fashion,” says Hurd. “[This leads to] reduced IT staffs and increased speed of innovation.”
Companies Will Continue to Grapple with How to Manage Big Data
Social media and the Internet of Things are just two areas in which mind-boggling amounts of data are being created. In the near future, this massive infusion of data will create challenges for companies tasked with how to economically compress it, store it, and make sure it performs. “The amount of all of these unstructured pieces of data that people want to store is exploding at least as fast or faster than the ability, technically, to compress it and accelerate the data. So it’s a battle,” says Hurd.
The Real Value of Big Data Will Be in Getting Fast, Economical Insights
The promise of big data has yet to be realized. The real payoff will come when a company can cost-effectively capture and manage unimaginable amounts of discrete, granular data from structured and unstructured systems, analyze it very quickly, and make a different decision based on it. “I think you’ll see that as a pervasive wave over the next two or three years,” says Hurd. “How do I get at very granular data, how do I get at it fast, how do I get people in a position to make a better decision, at the right time, to change an answer?”