Fear The Resistance – Innovations Greatest Barrier
At the recent and 1st Oracle Openworld European Edition, there was a large excited audience listening to the many real-world use cases on offer, both from the exhibition floor and in the many keynote sessions.
I not only had the pleasure of mixing and engaging with many from this community to broaden my cloud knowledge of what is possible, happening and Oracle’s part in this new world order, but also of speaking personally with Steve Daheb, Global SVP of Oracle Cloud.
At the event Oracle detailed how its channels are continuing to grow to deliver over 50% of its cloud revenues in EMEA, how Oracle is proud to be showing itself as a SaaS leader in most analyst Quadrants and its focused drive to work with fewer, but more aligned cloud partners than the breadth of channel it had historically. What was clear throughout the sessions and conversations, is that technology is no longer the barrier to delivering on the wants of businesses and their customer expectations, human’s willingness to make it happen is!
People issues are hindering innovation, with the need for a digitally focused mindset key, as is having the skills and attitude to execute upon the mindset. There is a wide need to un-learn and re-learn to embrace the new approaches now possible and we need to see a new term embraced in business, a need for Re-lag (Retiring Laggards), meaning those holding back business change through old school thoughts and resistance need to step aside and allow the intrapreneurs to drive and thrive. We need to see a new mindset in leadership of passioned agility, with new skills driving tech innovation and removing the barriers to change. Transformation requires the acceptance that it will get harder and steeper before pedalling gets easier and you enter the freewheeling acceleration stage.
Those that use ball and chain process and systems as the excuse will continually be threatened and disrupted. Legacy systems and its data have made delivering business insights challenging and it takes more than a big data solution to simply fix this. Many have been spending more time and effort collating data than is justified by any rich outcome it has delivered to the business. It is not pure data that holds the value, but the correlated insight it has the potential to give and the resultant changes this can drive. Modern supply chains demand a need to be connected intimately at a data level and to deliver real time insights at all stages to all elements of the chain. Achieving this model requires a willing to overcome the process change, effort and cost driven by the vision of the can be that is now available.
Steve expanded on the events sessions and insights, describing how cloud is now a necessary business mandate and no longer a maybe, having gone beyond stacking the rack to delivering an end to end integration across platforms and clouds. Oracle has widened its engagement with end user business agenda’s and stepped past the traditional CIO / CTO engagement to have a wider interaction across the business, both leveraged through its breadth of technology offerings, possibilities, transformation skillsets and partners solutions. He described how Oracle now has engagement with a breadth of new partner technologies, many from firms that were not around in the old traditional Oracle channel times and how partners remain an important strategy for Oracle, but that the right partners in this new cloud world are key.
Tech innovation is changing the back-office CFO role from that of traditional scorekeeper, to increasingly being a business partner to the CEO, driving the innovation and future of the business. We are seeing an increase of IT responsibility falling into the wider remit of the CFO. Tech ‘done right’ is no longer about keeping the lights on, but about the insights, business outcomes/efficiencies and customer experience it empowers. At all levels this involves being increasingly connected and ‘outsourced’ to other platforms, using hybrid clouds talking to ‘cloudified’ technologies from disparate vendors and form factors.
Oracle is increasingly empowering these end games through the breadth of its cloud technology, partner offerings and flexible delivery methods. This includes its ‘Universal Credits’ program (unfortunately named for the UK) enabling customers a way to utilise flexible financial credits in a re-purposable fashion, across all and any of the cloud offerings from the Oracle portfolio. A very different flexible approach from the now cloud led Oracle, to that of the old Oracle known by many from the database focused era.
With its focus on driving new cloud partner solutions, increased breadth of engagement across AI, VR, Database and Cloud platforms complimented by its commercial flexibility for Hybridity, Oracle is continuing to forge its place as a power player in the cloud community and changing the historical engagement it had with clients to a far broader level.