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Next-gen IaaS and no-code apps create cloud opportunities

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alyssa Johnson, president-elect of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and senior program director for enterprise applications at software and development services company Keste, sees Oracle's new cloud products as potential big cloud opportunities.

Larry Ellison, Oracle founder and CTO, discussed Oracle's newer cloud products during his opening keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld 2016. These include Cloud at Customer, which brings the Oracle cloud into the customer's data center, and second-generation infrastructure as a service with increased memory, storage, computing power and I/O.

"From the perspective of the OAUG," Johnson said in a video interview, "that's just more options for education. I think it's about understanding what those options are and being able to utilize them in your business. Because, at the end of the day, it's not about getting to cloud just for the sake of getting to cloud; it's got to meet your business needs."

Johnson added, "The opportunity to move data from your on-premises [database] to the cloud is going to be critical for cloud adoption."

Another cloud opportunity that has piqued Johnson's interest is the rise of user-friendly, no-code cloud applications. These applications allow business users to develop their own applications without needing specialized IT knowledge. Instead, subject matter experts from the business side can make their own applications.

However, Johnson explained that there is one difficulty with getting business users to start making their own applications. While the applications don't require coding knowledge, the development process for no-code applications still follows the pattern of traditional application development and, so, requires the user to think like a programmer.

Johnson said, "That ease of use is very important, but one thing I did notice is that you still have to be able to think analytically and chart out your business process. It still looked like a flow chart. Even though there was no coding involved, you still had to have those decision trees and say 'So, I get here. What do I do next?' You still have to have that capability."

Johnson sees the no-code applications as a reason for business and IT to partner with each other. Even with easy-to-use applications opening up cloud opportunities to business users, the IT mindset is still key to application development.

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