The shift to the cloud as an “irresistible force” and that will accelerate over the next decade. That’s the view of Oracle CEO Mark Hurd.
“Over the next decade the bulk of workloads that are in companies today are going to be in the cloud,” Hurd said during a Q&A at NetSuite’s annual conference in Las Vegas today.
That’s because cloud delivers three promises to customers: it’s cheaper, there’s constant innovation delivered through updates and it’s “simply more secure” Hurd says.
“There are very few things in this world where I pay less to get more, that’s going to be more secure.”
The move to the cloud will also simplify the complicated technology stacks inside today’s organisations.
“All of IT has been bought and consumed by companies as piece parts – modules, different servers and operating systems and databases – all of this has been extremely complicated in IT.”
That environment makes it hard to update and modernise applications, Hurd said.
“Part of the reason this whole movement to the cloud is so attractive is the opportunity to get to standardisation and simplification while you get to modernisation.”
“I do not believe the marketplace which has created this incredible complexity on premise over the past 25 years is going to replace it with that same complexity in the cloud.”
AI will be discreetly built into apps
Hurd also addressed the hype around artificial intelligence, adding that he believes AI will be “discreetly integrated” into business applications.
“Here in this Valley everybody wants to say AI three times faster to get their stock price up,” Hurd said.
“At the end of the day AI is not going to be an isolated solution. I think what you’ll see is AI integrated specifically into applications to solve specific business cases.”
Hurd referenced Oracle’s autonomous database, unveiled last October, which automatically patches itself without any human intervention.
NetSuite also announced today it was adding more smarts to its software by natively building AI and machine learning-based capabilities into its suite of business management tools.
The new AI and ML capabilities will enable businesses to glean better insights, drive efficiencies by further automating processes and determine the next best action with predictive actions, the company said. Each use case is specific to an industry problem, for example, the tools will provide product recommendations for NetSuite’s retail applications or helps manufacturing professionals optimise worker’s schedules in warehouses based on past performance or predicted demand.
GDPR means more data centres
When asked about GDPR during a keynote presentation Hurd said the “issue won’t slow down.”
Specifically, Europe’s incoming privacy regulation General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means Oracle needs to make a bigger investment in data centres to ensure data stays inside the country it is from.
“It [GDPR] means we have to have more data centres than frankly we probably like. We have to have data centres now in many, many countries,” Hurd said.
From a technical perspective, networking, latency or performance issues can be overcome without having a domestic data centre in every country, Hurd said, “but GDPR certainly drives the need for a bigger footprint.”
Hurd also touched on encryption, saying many of Oracle’s technologies encrypt the data itself, so Oracle only looks like encrypted files.
“The personnel that’s dealing with the file sees an encrypted file not necessarily your data,” Hurd said.