Andrew Sordam, Vice President, Oracle EMEA
Businesses need to be increasingly responsive to fluctuations in circumstances. Just as a business might grow, diversify and restructure its workforce to respond to changes in circumstances, so it needs the ability to flex and realign its technology infrastructure. This requires a technology infrastructure that is solid and dependable, while also being open and flexible.
A business is not that different from a football team. The team needs players with particular and specific skills, who fit well into an overall structure that is directed by strong leadership. When it requires a very specific skillset, the team may need to adjust or be rebuilt around it. But the team is still very much a team, its various players pulling together in a consistent move to score goals.
However, football teams have the luxury of being able to reform and recast roles relatively frequently. Technology infrastructure isn’t like that, and it is often the case that companies build their technology infrastructure in a relatively ad-hoc way over time. It is easy to see why. Businesses simply aren’t in a position to start every financial cycle with a clean slate. Instead the best they can often do is to make an incremental progression towards their ideal infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this can leave businesses with a degree of inflexibility. The value of cloud right across the business from compute and networking to app development and data handling is increasingly understood. It is no surprise that a growing number of IT departments aspire to being cloud first. But the goal is often put out of reach by restrictive infrastructure or a desire to cling to legacy systems because they fear the costs of moving to more up-to-date, and often cloud based services, are prohibitive.
Just as a business might grow, diversify and restructure its workforce to respond to changes in circumstances, so it needs the ability to flex and realign its technology infrastructure.
In fact, that’s usually a false economy. More than ever before, the move to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can significantly cut operating costs, potentially freeing up funds for that much needed move to a more consistent cloud technology base. And the level of speed offered by the latest generation of IaaS means companies can respond to changing business needs in half the time it took previously.
It is no surprise that a growing number of IT departments aspire to being cloud first. But the goal is often put out of reach by restrictive infrastructure or a desire to cling to legacy systems.
The choice of infrastructure provider needs to be made carefully, though. Oracle’s IaaS cloud service will host hardware and software, and handle all security and scalability needs. It is well equipped to cater for cloud only organizations. But it is also able to handle legacy systems while the organization gets to grips with a fuller migration to the cloud. Indeed so-called ‘lift and shift’ – the porting of existing apps and platform technologies to the cloud without the need to re-architect them – is a central part of Oracle’s approach.
Not every infrastructure provider is this hospitable. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is somewhat restrictive with only Amazon databases supported, and no on-premise dev and test support. To go back to our football team, that’s like only being able to take half the team to away matches.
Organizations have the right to expect their technology infrastructure provider to be hospitable to as many applications and services as possible.
Organizations have the right to expect their technology infrastructure provider to be hospitable to as many applications and services as possible. That includes easily accommodating legacy systems as well as cloud-first systems. Infrastructure shouldn’t dictate which technologies can be deployed, nor should it mitigate against a ‘mix and match’ approach.
Organizations that feel restricted should vote with their feet and move to an infrastructure provider which is more open, flexible, and ready to accommodate whatever the business needs.
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