One of today’s biggest boardroom frustrations goes something like this: ‘we have all this data about our customers and our business, but we can’t seem to get it into a usable structure… we just can’t seem to draw out valuable insights’
Many IT professionals are suggesting that Cloud-based platforms could well be the answer to this problem as they allow you to create new data analysis applications and add new processing resources, as and when you need them.
Cloud-based systems promise to crunch through vast volumes of data, testing out the useful information, finding correlations between data sets, and producing reliable business insights.
So, with many local enterprises already using Oracle systems to manage their data, the idea of migrating to the Oracle Cloud has become very attractive in recent years.
In most enterprises today, Oracle applications are critical to meet your business requirements, but traditional IT environments can hamper your efforts – with high capex costs for infrastructure and software licensing, coupled with long lead times to implement.
By shifting Oracle applications into a Managed Cloud environment, you gain richer insights from your data, finish projects on time and on budget, and support faster innovation.
However, with Oracle’s licensing and support structures being one of the most complex and expensive areas of one’s IT estate, there are a number of important considerations, as you plan your Oracle Cloud migration journey.
Getting a grip
The journey starts with an in-depth analysis of your current Oracle landscape. In our case, this is termed an ‘Oracle Estate Evaluation’: a process where we identify your current and future business requirements, analysing the existing Oracle licensing structures, and recommend a Cloud-based Oracle solution tailored to your needs.
As with many other major enterprise software vendors, the Cloud revolution has allowed software to be packaged into smaller ‘modules’, so that organisations can select only the modules and applications that serve their business’ needs.
Processes such as the Oracle Estate Evaluation give you a centralised view, helping CIOs to design the right migration path, choose the right modules, and ensure optimal licensing arrangements.
It’s this objective, ‘outsider’ perspective that makes the process so valuable. Over the years, firms tend to organically build up a very complex Oracle licensing arrangement. An external, trusted Managed Services Provider helps you to untangle this and to start afresh with new vigour.
Managed Services providers are there to guide organisations in the initial phases of aligning technology to business needs, and then deal with the intricacies of maintaining, migrating and upgrading your Oracle assets.
The fundamentals: spend, risk, business needs
As your needs are defined – across the realms of Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service – your Managed Services Provider must then consider the hosting option that works best for your business.
Depending on the scale of your investment and the nature of your business (such as needing to have data residing in-country for legal reasons), you’ll need to choose between Public Cloud, Hosted Cloud or Onsite Private hosting options. In most large organisations, the best option is a blend of all three of these.
In essence, there are three core considerations that should drive every decision about Oracle Cloud: spend, risk and business needs. When tailored correctly, the Cloud can certainly reduce overall Cloud costs. It can also reduce your financial, operational or legal risks – especially when we consider the heightened focus on data privacy and security in the era of GDPR and POPI.
It’s important not to lose sight of your business’ unique requirements: What insights do I need? How is my business evolving? What performance do I need? What are my architectural constraints? What will be the best design for today, and what will be the best design for tomorrow?
These, all tend to be very complex questions to answer, so Oracle Cloud migration is certainly not something that you should step into lightly.
It’s for this reason that Oracle has developed its Oracle Managed Service Provider programme – accrediting a network of partners across the globe, and ensuring they have the expertise to successfully manage enterprise-wide Oracle Cloud migrations.
Your Managed Services Provider should have this accreditation and experience in managing similar large projects with other organisations. They should also have the business acumen to develop compelling business cases for CIOs to leverage in their internal conversations, and to guide the migration path.
Ultimately, you can free up internal resources by running Oracle applications on a fully managed Cloud platform, coupled with skilled resources to manage every aspect of your Oracle landscape.
The results include accelerated provisioning, more flexibility and increased availability of business-critical Oracle applications – giving your business the opportunity to finally draw true value from the masses of data you’re gathering.
By Arthur Mostert, ‘ Database Cloud Architect