Is the world ready for the Oracle Cloud?

The tech world is intrigued by the new Oracle Cloud, but should you trust Oracle with your data? Lena J. Weiner examines this hot topic.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel Vice President and General Manager Diane Bryant delivered a keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld. The themes of her talk were the server, network and storage.

"The lines are blurring," she said, alluding to a future where all data will live in the cloud and all networks will be interconnected, highly available and accessible anywhere. It was announced over the course of this year's Oracle OpenWorld that the new emphasis for Oracle will be the cloud. Sessions were offered on a variety of cloud-related topics, including private cloud, public cloud, cloud security and whether or not cloud might be right for your organization. (Hint: According to Oracle, it probably is.) Oracle released tiered pricing plans for each cloud-based service they intend to offer, and a list of services they will be offering. But are Oracle users ready to move to the cloud?

KR Sanker, chief IT architect at Agero, a road assistance company out of Medford, Mass., is trying to decide this for himself and his organization, which currently uses SQL Azure. The back end of Agero's internal systems run on Oracle, and Sanker is interested in the Oracle Cloud as he would like to create a single platform on one cloud that unifies all parts of Agero's architecture. However, he still has lingering doubts about Oracle Cloud's integrity.

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"People are all asking the same questions. They want to know about latency, defending sensitive data and availability. These are everyone's basic concerns," he said. Moving to the Oracle Cloud, though, would bring great efficiency to his organization's infrastructure. "[The benefit of the cloud] is that it optimizes our infrastructure and presents great ROI."

Sanker is not alone. Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research in Boston, Mass., said that most people are still unsure about the cloud. Ultimately, however, Wettemann has a fairly warm outlook.

"Nucleus found that cloud applications deliver 1.7 times more ROI than on-premise ones," she said.

Wettemann also highlighted other benefits of cloud computing Nucleus Research found: Companies deploying cloud applications spend 40% less on consulting, and 25% less on personnel than those deploying on premise.

"While [we've] seen very few customers move from the cloud to on-premise, both Microsoft and Oracle have done a good job of marketing the importance of choice," she said. "In fact, we found 40% of decision makers believe vendors in the future will have to offer both cloud and on-premise options to be viable."

Wettemann also pointed out that Oracle is already running "under the covers" at most top Software as a Servive vendors' shops. Salesforce.com is an example. So this isn't unknown territory for them.

Wetteman concluded that most organization are likely to adopt cloud in the future.

"Only organizations that plan to never grow, change or upgrade their application after its initial deployment are likely to achieve better ROI from on-premise applications than cloud ones," she said.

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