From the Editor
Investing in ITBy Tom Haunert
Information technology is more than a line in the budget—it’s an investment in the future.
Stories about changing global economic conditions have dominated recent news cycles. Costs are always measured and budgeted, but in the current economic climate, people are scrutinizing personal spending and companies are scrutinizing their operating budgets.
IT budgets are not exempt from this scrutiny, and I’ve seen stories on surveys that predict a drop in IT spending. What I haven’t seen—and I take this absence as good news—are stories about budget cuts to critical IT investments due to economic concerns. IT investments are the projects that are going to both lower IT costs in the near term and the future (through operational efficiencies) and generate a return to businesses in the form of new profits, competitive advantage, improved service-level agreement offerings, and more.
Investments come in all shapes and sizes, and many core capital investment projects both inside and outside IT involve infrastructure. Recent political campaigns in the U.S. proposed immediate investment in physical infrastructure projects to rebuild existing infrastructure that’s crumbling (roads, bridges, and so on) as well as to create new infrastructure for greener energy generation and reduced energy consumption. Now is also an ideal time for investing in IT projects for the rebuilding of legacy IT infrastructures worldwide in order to cut costs and create a new return on investment. It’s also an ideal time to build new green IT infrastructures that produce immediate return on investment and return for the planet.
Investments in Oracle
Let’s look at a prototypical Oracle database platform investment in IT infrastructure. Moving from mainframe or legacy hardware and legacy operating systems to x86 hardware running Oracle Enterprise Linux in a grid environment (running Oracle Real Application Clusters) first eliminates legacy support costs for hardware and operating systems as well as unused capacity. Next, optimizing that grid by investing in and running exactly the capacity (number of nodes) needed and investing in virtualization (Oracle VM) to make the greatest-possible use of all resources while consuming the least amount of electrical power means paying for and powering exactly the right infrastructure for the enterprise. This type of investment in IT infrastructure cuts costs immediately and pays immediate and future fiscal and planetary dividends.
Not all IT investments replace hardware and operating system infrastructure, of course. Investments in middleware infrastructure can help integrate a variety of specialized, current, and legacy applications, cutting costs and improving business efficiencies. For example, a service-oriented architecture and key Oracle Fusion Middleware components, including Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Coherence, and Oracle Tuxedo, are investments in an application grid strategy that efficiently provides applications with needed resources—CPU cycles, memory, disc space—while maximizing application performance and reliability. Standards-based Oracle WebLogic Server is a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition, application server for developing and deploying integrated enterprise applications; Oracle Coherence provides an in-memory data grid across multiple servers; and Oracle Tuxedo manages transaction processing for software written in C, C++, and COBOL and extends the life of existing IT investments.
Every issue of Oracle Magazine includes customer feature articles in which Oracle customers talk about the benefits of their Oracle technology investments. In this issue, Oracle customers talk about cutting costs and creating profits with a single-vendor stack of software technology in one “off-the-shelf” solution featuring Oracle Exadata (“Launching Performance”), choosing an Oracle solution over MySQL to cut costs and minimize support (“Inside Job”), creating an efficient and highly available grid infrastructure with Oracle Real Application Clusters (“Building on a Solid Foundation”), and integrating their business applications with standards-based Oracle WebLogic Server (“Serve It Up!”).
Tom Haunert, Editor in Chief