Inflection point for packaged software: Oracle makes a play for the cloud
I have a number of friends who have made a good living integrating business software packages and organsiations to try and get it working together. The reality of this process is more like having a highly paid emergency plumber come around and gaffer tape over leaks. Often the software won’t fit the business terribly well, so management have consultants come in and do ‘business re-engineering’; which is like sawing and filing the edges of a round peg to hit in a square hole – but often the waste product thrown away is company knowledge and people or you have an unholy mess like the NHS National Programme for IT.
In some respects the business was quite old school with the software to be integrated coming in a box with disks and a manual. However Oracle, the historic champions of this model is now trying to move this business software into the cloud and integrate it into every part of the business. It has inked a deal with Nokia’s maps business (Naviteq) and is looking to compete with Amazon selling infrastructure in the cloud; removing the need for software boxes and the computers on which they run.
Oracle are late to the game, but the fact that they are making this move indicates a point of no return in this direction towards ‘virtual computer infrastructure’. My friends think that it also indicates a longer term move away from the kind of consulting and integration services that they used to provide; one half-jokingly talked about becoming a homeopathic practitioner…