Nearly seven years ago, Oracle embarked on an effort to completely rewrite and modernize all of its applications, keeping this in track was Mark Hurd, Oracle's President. Hurd says, unlike other cloud providers, Oracle Cloud delivers on all 3 dimensions of transformational technologies i.e. social, mobile, and BI for a more powerful and innovative experience.

CIO East Africa had a chat with him during the recent CloudWorld conference in Dubai.

Do you think the new generation of CIOs and IT leadership is open to the cloud environment in Africa and why?

Well,I think yes, since the continent has a thirst for technology and so certainly in a continent where resources are scarce we have to train our customers with more management expertise of our applications. The cloud in many ways solves most of such issues since IT leaders will get access to many moderate and complete applications in the world.

At the same time, they get these applications from the source; think over the years much of applications in the industry have been done by system integrators who modified them for customers, now they get the opportunity to have these products straight from the vendors and developers. This is a chance for customers in Africa to get a next generation solution but frankly not having all the resources they had in the past to for modern technology.

What was the driving force for Oracle cloud strategies?

We have taken a very aggressive approach to the cloud and we haven't just released one application to the cloud, but its three elements SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, on top of it inside the SaaS we threw in a complete suite of products that could be in private, public or hybrid clouds. Applications are building on the Fusion network which displays a tremendous stretch to extend these applications and expand them.

The great news about Oracle portfolio in the cloud, is that it gives the customer ultimate flexibility, they can mix, match and they can choose to give these applications to others on premise so we felt that it is important to bring the breath of our offers directly to the customers. The aim of the event was to educate the customers; the good news is that Oracle has an unbelievable portfolio and the bad news is that its breadth is big and it needs a clear customer understanding. 

How is the company helping customers manage massive growth of data?

One of the biggest problems our customers have is the growth of data, most of them grow their data up to 40 percent per annum, which include structure and unstructured. They spend 70 - 80 USD per terabyte housing these data. Most of Oracle's customers have 10% of their IT budget on storage, one of the company's big technologies is compression which shrinks these data, then products like the Exadata systems in the cloud runs on them. Compression shrinks the data 10 times less; this doesn't affect the performance especially if customers continue hosting these data while the current technology cannot tolerate traditional storage calls.

Therefore Oracle cloud will run Exadata taking full advantage of compression. In the private and public cloud, organizations can use compression as a key element to control explosion of big data.