As a relative latecomer to the cloud service market, Oracle has spent the last few years chasing its rivals on all cloud fronts in its quest for ultimate leadership. Over the years, it has made a series of acquisitions in a land grab for market share, promoted its cloud transition, and rebranded itself as a cloud-first company. At Oracle CloudWorld Sydney, the message was clear that the company wants to sit at the pinnacle of the cloud podium. Autonomous has become the new watchword for Oracle Cloud – it believes artificial intelligence and machine learning will help its enterprise customers lower costs and accelerate outcomes and innovation.
There has been no letup in the pace of innovation in cloud services, with all leading global service providers upping the ante by accelerating the release of new features and expanding partner ecosystems around cloud services. Oracle has taken the approach that both AI and ML will become cornerstones of its cloud platform. It has taken to this same messaging for its cloud security platform. This will make all its cloud services self-healing and allow them to support self-service – in essence, largely (but not completely) autonomous. At CloudWorld, it aggressively touted early successes in the Asia-Pacific region and the merits of its autonomous database, which has helped dramatically reduce query time, allowing database managers to focus on other tasks. The autonomous database, which was launched in late 2017, is an addition to its autonomous platform-as-a-service offering. Management says there has been immense interest in the service in the region and expects to see more active deployments over the course of the year.
Ovum believes Oracle is taking the right approach and investments such as this are what enterprises are after, leveraging ML and AI to reduce human error, lessen the need for skilled staff, and improve operations, allowing employees to focus on more skilled tasks. The challenge and opportunity for Oracle is the next iteration of autonomous cloud services, including analytics, IoT, mobility, security, and the integration of ML and AI into its existing suite of enterprise software-as-a-service products.
There has been only one certainty in the cloud market over the years: the pace of innovation doesn't slow down; if anything, it only accelerates. Oracle, while late to the cloud game, should play to its strengths and accelerate its autonomous cloud agenda while it invests in its partner ecosystem programs.
"Oracle's approach to the cloud is clearly differentiated," INT003-000037 (January 2018)
Adrian Dominic Ho, Principal Analyst, Advanced Digital Services