By: EPI-USE Advance On: March 20, 2017 In: Development Comments: 0

Mark Hurd predicts the future of IT: round 2

Much to the delight of this year’s Oracle OpenWorld attendees, CEO Mark Hurd offered up a few more of his long-term IT prognostications. They once again revolved around cloud computing, its impact on IT having only increased since Hurd’s first predictions a year ago.

By 2025, the number of corporate-owned data centers will have decreased by 80%. This statement would have been unthinkable 10 years ago, but today it seems logical, even inevitable.

Patrick Benson, CIO of ClubCorp, the largest owner and operator of golf and country clubs in the US, joined Hurd on stage at Oracle OpenWorld to discuss his company’s strategy regarding Oracle’s cloud infrastructure services, motivated in part by a desire, he said, “to exit the data center business.” And his wasn’t the only enterprise voice to express such a sentiment at the conference.

By 2025, 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services. This is a safe bet, of the “if, then” variety. If both application development and corporate data are moving to the cloud (see Hurd’s Round 1 predictions below), and apps are headed that way, too—as embodied by Oracle’s revenue momentum in software as a service, in general, and cloud ERP specifically—then there’s only one place for IT budgets to go.

By 2025, 80% of IT budgets will be spent on business innovation, and only 20% on system maintenance. What’s interesting about this prediction is that it turns the current 80/20 IT equation—80% of IT funds being spent to maintain and support aging legacy systems, leaving only 20% for IT-driven business innovation—upside down. The cloud is the enabler of this reversal, as it lets business and IT leaders reallocate money and redeploy people to products and processes that deliver a competitive advantage. As cloud use ramps up, we’ll see a “geometric incline” in the speed of business innovation, Hurd said.

Hurd also reviewed last year’s round of predictions, which received positive reactions on social media but also some criticism—unfair criticism, he said, because it’s impossible at this point to know the outcomes. Here are three of those predictions and how they look a year later:

By 2025, all enterprise data will be stored in the cloud. Two words: big data. Enterprise storage systems are filling up fast, and there’s a data avalanche coming in the form of the Internet of Things, the rumblings of which are only just beginning to be felt. The cloud’s low storage cost and unlimited capacity will become more attractive as data piles up. And security will be mitigated as a concern (see below).

By 2025, 100% of application development and testing will be conducted in the cloud. This one’s not much of a stretch. Recent data indicates that close to half (40%) of DevTest is either being done in the cloud already or is being considered for it, Hurd said—“and it’s only 2016.”

By 2025, enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing. This is another statement that most IT executives would have laughed at five years ago. Not today. As both crooks and spies gain greater access to sensitive corporate and consumer data, business executives demand in-depth information security they can count on—and don’t have to pay a mountain of money for. The cloud can provide that.

Oracle, whose very first customer was the security-obsessed CIA, is ratcheting up its public cloud investments and innovations. For example, its latest SPARC microprocessor, the S7, features built-in security features such as data encryption and application data integrity, known as Silicon Secured Memory. Servers running the S7 are offered as a cloud service.

Hurd invited feedback on all of his tech soothsaying, even if it’s to “tell me I’m wrong,” he said.

Hurd then upped the ante. Based on the cloud momentum customers were reporting at Oracle OpenWorld and based on “some of the numbers we’ve seen so far,” he said, his predicted outcomes “might happen sooner than 2025.”

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