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Collaborate 2014: Gaining greater value from software investments

In our Collaborate 2014 tweet jam, experts offer key insight into the software buying process -- and how to gain greater value from investments.

Collaborate 14 -- the annual technology and applications forum for the Oracle community -- will welcome hundreds of Oracle users to Las Vegas on April 7. Together, the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and the Quest International Users Group will drill down on IT efforts to gain greater value from software investments.

To that end, SearchOracle editors recently held a tweet jam, using the hashtag #C14LV, with participants including IOUG President Michelle Malcher, OAUG President Alyssa Johnson and Quest board member Wendy Plante. They as well as other users and experts offered advice, answered questions and ignited dialogue on some of the cloud, big data and mobility trends at the forefront of pre-Collaborate 14 conversations. For example, cloud security was a big discussion topic:

Craig Stedman, an executive editor at TechTarget, and Johnson point to a big issue for IT departments and technology-savvy business executives: a lack of knowledge about key technology trends among business managers and users. It's clear that, whether they're working on cloud deployments, mobile app management or big data applications, IT managers everywhere are feeling the pressure to deliver business value. But in order to effectively deal with today's changing data landscape, they often first need to focus on internal education initiatives to inform business users of the full scope of technology options, opportunities and limitations.

Further pointing to the need for better understanding of cloud computing and other IT trends was this message from an Oracle partner:

Better educating users isn't just a way to improve day-to-day IT operations. SearchSoftwareQuality Site Editor James Denman was quick to point to the question of, what data is necessary, and what is not? -- and how to ensure that data quality levels remain high as big data floods into an organization:

And education about the importance of proper data governance and usage isn't only on the radar of IT professionals looking to double down on data security in big data systems or the cloud. It's also integral to all the mobile technology deployments coming down the IT pipeline. With mobile applications adding new threats to the security of data, organizations are dealing with the very real need to effectively govern data across several mediums: desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

These issues, and more, will be discussed further at Collaborate 14. And SearchOracle will be on-site at the conference to cover the news, trends and technologies that are defining Oracle user challenges in 2014, from enterprise applications in the cloud to managing big data.

Joe Hebert is associate managing editor of e-products for TechTarget's Business Applications and Architecture Media Group. Email him at, and follow him on Twitter: @jhbrt_TT.

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This is true an fine for big corporate users, an area where I have been active since 1977, BUT the majority of businesses and user communities are in SME's. How can we ensure they look after themselves too? My top down review indicates that gradually the technology progress and marketing push is leading to the comprehension gap getting bigger. Even the digitally active young group with their social media do not understand corporate data management and strategy.