Oracle is all about the cloud—again.
Like last year, CTO Larry Ellison kicked off Oracle OpenWorld, the company’s colossal customer and partner event in San Francisco, with a screed about the cloud in his Sunday evening keynote. Competitor SAP is essentially nowhere in the cloud, he said, whereas Oracle has aggressively moved its products to software-as-a-service (SaaS) models.
Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems gives it a hardware stake in the cloud as well. The big news Sunday was a hardware partnership with Intel called Exa Your Power — a dig at IBM‘s Power Systems architecture. The partners hope to supplant IBM with machines based on Oracle’s Sparc processors or Intel’s x86 architecture.
OpenWorld promises to be a week’s worth of cloud evangelizing from Oracle, maybe not from the point of view of an infrastructure provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS) but more as a software company that expects to dominate the SaaS market.
To emphasize why that matters, CEO Mark Hurd used his keynote this morning to stress that “Oracle will lead this decade-long transition to the cloud.”
The transition is happening because the economics of IT are diminishing as companies try to shrink their cost structures. “What drives this is the fact that this is the only way to make that leapfrog from where you are to where you have to be,” Hurd said.
To show the magnitude of the cloud transition, Hurd quickly listed five predictions for the IT world of 2025. Despite his jokes about forward-looking statements and being on a seven-second delay (as TV networks do to catch curse words during live broadcasts), his predictions are all fairly safe, even obvious.
But in that light, they all suggest that Oracle is onto something with this cloud thing.
1. Eighty percent of production applications will be in the cloud. That figure is at about 25 percent today, Hurd said. As with all predictions on this list, this one is already in progress, with 85 percent of new applications being housed in the cloud, he said.
2. Suite providers will win over point products in the cloud. Moreover, Hurd thinks two of those providers will dominate that market, with 80 percent combined market share. “I volunteer us to be one,” he said, helpfully.
3. Development and test will move to the cloud, meaning those functions will be 100 percent cloud-based by 2025.
4. All enterprise data will be stored in the cloud. Consumers have already started this trend; because of consumer data, the cloud is holding more bits than traditional storage right now, Hurd said. A similar migration is likely for enterprise data. “Much better economics to store in the cloud, better access in the cloud, better real-time availability in the cloud. This will happen by 2025,” Hurd said.
5. Enterprise cloud will be the most secure IT environment. Oracle is already there, with everything in the cloud encrypted, Hurd said. “Our people are not seeing your data; the key to that data sits with you,” he said.
On a side note, he said that Oracle would respond to a government subpoena by submitting the encrypted data, which wouldn’t be readable.
Ellison will talk more about security, possibly from a hardware angle, during his OpenWorld keynote on Tuesday afternoon.