The notion of “the cloud” is (unsurprisingly, given its name) a nebulous one for most people — even ones with understanding of networking technologies. This is in part because its definition changes constantly. As difficult as it is for tech users and small or medium-sized businesses to keep up with cloud computing, it is that much more pressing for companies in the business of providing cloud properties. Software and hardware provider Oracle makes a point of being a part of this evolving market, and recently outlined its latest plan to continue delivering private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions for businesses.
Oracle’s President Mark Hurd gave updates on the company’s cloud strategy in a January 28 conference call with U.S. media, which featured discussion of an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that the company had announced earlier in the month. The IaaS product will live on-premise — yet require a monthly subscription as paid by the customer to have access to Oracle’s cloud services (as opposed to a steep up-front payment for lifetime services). This subscription-based pricing model is emblematic of the core concept of the cloud: IT operations should be efficient and unencumbered by expense in order to keep networks running the best they can with flexibility to add applications without having to overhaul servers.
This concept of simplifying IT appears to be at the core of Oracle’s strategy: it plans on releasing developer services, storage, and messaging updates later this year. While Oracle has been devoted to developing cloud services for several years, and the company claims millions of Oracle Cloud users worldwide, its renewed strategies convey the blurring lines between the cloud services of old and the IT needs of today’s businesses. Allowing companies to run software services over hardware installed on-premise, paying by the month, is a business-model approach indicative of the rapidly shifting needs of IT departments and their need for flexibility and ease-of-access.
So what does such continued devotion to cloud computing mean for a company like Oracle? Aside from the physical implications such as opening new data centers across North America to assist these endeavors in the private cloud market, there are virtual implications for the cloud sector as a whole. As cloud computing becomes a household term, as businesses require more elasticity with their networks, as storage and application integration evolve as focal points for IT departments, the cloud is no longer an amorphous networking agent, but rather the basis for efficient network operations. Ideally, strategies like Oracle’s further the capacity to deliver IaaS to meet the needs of businesses. Such a strategy is wise considering that many countries are in the beginning stages of cloud adoption. India’s cloud adoption rates are predicted to expand through 2015 by 40%, and other cloud computing providers have noticed an uptick in cloud adoption spread across Latin America. As businesses around the world see the cost and usability benefits of the cloud, companies like Oracle will be poised to help them achieve it.