By Derek Bose, senior director for South Africa and the SADC regional cluster at Oracle
In Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future, the authors speak of a triple revolution - that “we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd”.
They introduce the acronym DANCE, to memorably illustrate what tools organisations need in order to master and scale digital transformation:
- Data - of which we are collecting and storing massive volumes
- Algorithms - this allows machines to take over the more mundane tasks, allowing people to focus on identifying new value
- Networks – technology and infrastructure, whether it is fibre, LTE or the upcoming 5G, high speed connectivity is spreading around the globe
- Cloud - where you can integrate all the different elements into a common platform
- Exponentially improving hardware - everything from the Internet of Things (IoT), to automation, robotics, 3D printing, drones, and improvements in computer processing power that seem to defy Moore’s Law
Gartner adds that the relationship between people and machines are changing forever, and our expectations for how the world will evolve are changing too. They add that in order to cope, business decision-makers and end-user organisations must learn to develop an appropriate pace for digital change.
Choosing the right enablement partner
While in pursuit of your digital revolution it is important to select the right technology that can bring actual value to your organisation, as opposed to simply following a fad or getting distracted in a niche space. The starting point, as can be seen from DANCE, above, is to find the right cloud model and vendor for your organisation – a vendor with breadth and depth.
Cloud is an enabler of innovation, but not all clouds are the same. Here are some of the things you need to consider to avoid niche lock-in. You need a partner with (1) a platform that includes the latest emerging technology - autonomous, IoT, machine learning, blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics; (2) a complete and integrated business applications offering built on that platform and (3) those emerging technologies already “baked in” to those business applications - all on demand.
What do you want to achieve through cloud adoption? Is it about cutting costs, making the business more agile or driving new revenue - and how will cloud help you achieve this? Do you use public, private or hybrid cloud? Does your business understand these different models, as well as what the impact will be if they select a certain option?
While answering the above question often depends on an organisation's technology maturity, there are external factors to consider. Growing regulation around where and how data can be stored means that highly-regulated industries need an appropriate solution. Thankfully, innovative offerings such as Oracle's Cloud at Customer empowers organisations by moving their workloads to the cloud, while still keeping data on their own premises.
The need for speed
Where the idea of shifting toward digital business across the organisation was speculative for most C-suite executives a few years ago, the Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda survey shows that it has now become a top priority across all industries.
The research firm adds that in today’s increasingly ‘digital ecosystem’ economy, success will be based on the speed of integration. Companies can only gain this speed and agility by shifting to a completely integrated cloud.
Even better, Oracle’s own experience of moving its business platform to cloud uncovered yet another advantage - it elevates morale. Moving users away from on-premise systems, and onto modern cloud-based application environments, results in marked improvements to the employees’ work life balance.
Can your current architecture and systems deliver such an experience for end users?