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By George I Think They’ve Got It

By Paul Saunders | July 10, 2020 | 1 Comment

I despise musicals.

Twee, contrite, tacky horrible things. With the exception, of course, of the original Rocky Horror Picture Show which was a true work of genius. Give me a nice bit of Bertolt Brecht any day. The thing with musicals (apart from their overbearing banality) is their ability to create ear worms that burrow into your mind and reappear when you least expect them.
Case in point, today when reading this wonderful blog post from my esteemed colleague Lydia Leong  the first thought that came to mind was a paraphrase of Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady: ‘By George I Think They’ve Got It!’

The thing is that for the longest time I have seen a disconnect between enterprise apps companies and hyperscalers. The big apps companies have decades of experience in creating solutions for complex processes for pretty much any industry. They know enterprise apps. They know processes. Most importantly they know how to speak the language of business.
Hyperscalers on the other hand know cloud technology, scalability, resilience and availability. They speak the language of technology fluently, with a mellifluous grace that is pleasing to the ear of the technology literate. But they struggle with the language and the reality of business.
An example I often use with technology companies is that of the plant manager. In my years of working in IT in manufacturing I have met many plant managers. I have yet to meet one that leaves you feeling warm, fuzzy and cuddly. Plant managers are operations people. They are the Drill Sergeant’s of the business world. They have a singular focus – shipping product. They do not care about cloud, APIs, availability zones, SaaS, PaaS or IaaS. They hate your enterprise apps. but woe betide anyone who tries to change, upgrade or replace them. And telling them that you are going to move their apps from running on servers in the closet next to the factory to the ‘cloud’ makes for a short, depressing conversation.

So I read Lydia’s post with great interest. Could we have reached a point where private cloud is identical to public cloud and could an ‘Apps’ company (shock/horror) have bridged this gap? Companies need the benefits of cloud mixed with the needs (sometimes perceived, sometimes real) of on-prem. But they also need the benefits of technology explained and delivered in the language of business.

These are interesting times and the lines between apps companies, hyperscalers, systems integrators, AMS providers etc are blurring. The winners will be the ones who deliver business outcomes by utilizing cloud technologies. The delivery of cloud isn’t the end goal. Business outcomes are.

In the not too distant future apps companies will become more intelligent with their delivery and hyperscalers will be fluent in the language of business and enterprise apps. I am excited to see (and expect to see) huge leaps in the next 24 months from all areas of enterprise technology.

But for now I will shiver with antici………pation.

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1 Comment

  • Lydia Leong says:

    The notable thing about OCI is that it was essentially built by a skunkworks team, up in Seattle where it was initially fairly insulated from the rest of Oracle — and built by a bunch of engineers mostly stolen from AWS (and other hyperscalers). Even the product managers mostly come from hyperscale or cloud backgrounds. They are not long-time Oracle people.