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Oracle hybrid cloud offers most likely migration path

The Oracle hybrid cloud isn't just a way station along the ascension to cloud nirvana, but a nice place to stay for a while, if Oracle's latest comments are any indication. Cloud apps will usually coexist with on-premises databases and applications, raising tricky migration and integration issues.

Brian Sullivan, managing director at Accenture, shared strategies for moving to the cloud, including elements of maintaining an Oracle hybrid cloud, in a video interview at Oracle OpenWorld, the annual conference held this fall in San Francisco. In April, the global consultancy formed a joint business group with Oracle to help companies with their cloud moves.

"The biggest thing is around modernizing the platform," Sullivan said, when asked what's driving the move to the cloud. "It's really about getting to be in a more agile state, to be able to be more nimble as a business," he said.

Oracle users will likely need to plan methodically for an Oracle hybrid cloud scenario.

Sullivan recommended deciding on critical business priorities and understanding Oracle's product roadmap before setting out on what is likely to be a long journey. Start by moving a small piece of the enterprise system to learn how to move other parts over, and get familiar with the integration tools needed for an Oracle hybrid cloud environment, but also have a long-term vision, he said. The risk of putting in software without realizing benefits is similar to the risk traditionally associated with on-premises applications.

Is running an Oracle hybrid cloud the advantage that Oracle claims? "It's really just a matter of understanding what's the risk profile," Sullivan said. Some companies, because of their size and business processes, can move all of their enterprise applications to the cloud. But more Oracle users will likely need to plan methodically for an Oracle hybrid cloud scenario, he said.

"You want to be able to do an assessment to understand where you can move your data now and take advantage of the feature-rich product set, [or] wait a little bit and take advantage of another year or two of evolution to be able to move the rest of it over to the cloud," he said. Data migration, integration and security will be the main challenges, but Oracle provides mechanisms that can help.

The benefit, according to Sullivan, is "really having that modern platform. If you think back to the old on-premises days, you put a lot of money into getting to a new platform, but then there was cost to maintain it, and it was harder to add new capabilities. In this new scenario, you're able to get to that modern platform, but then also take on, every six months or so, the new capabilities that the technology vendor -- in this case, Oracle -- will provide."

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