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Sunil Mehra

The author is Vice President - Cloud Platform, Oracle India

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Accelerating Innovation, Digital Disruption With Cloud Platforms

A cloud platform delivers the tools businesses need to develop, deploy and run applications without the cost and complexity of building and managing the necessary platform and infrastructure

As the cloud economy ramps up, an ever increasing amount of 'as-a-service' offerings are becoming available and being adopted, as organizations seek to harness the power of a robust, scalable cloud platform to keep their innovation engine running at full speed. However, most companies have barely scratched the surface in understanding the full extent to which cloud platforms can accelerate modernization.

A recent Oracle study revealed that only 32 percent of businesses fully understand what Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS; or, in simpler terms, cloud platform technology) is, while 29 percent admit that they do not understand it at all. In the past this was not a problem, because the IT department 'owned' the enterprise infrastructure and the other business leaders (such as Line of Business managers) didn't need to be 'up-to-speed' on the latest technologies. So long as IT had a handle on things, those in the business could get on with their work in blissful ignorance of the underlying technology they used.

This is no longer the case. With cost effective, flexible and - most importantly - user-friendly IT resources now available through the cloud, people outside of the core Tech team are taking a hands-on approach to their IT needs - and in many cases leading the procurement and project management tasks that were once the preserve of IT. In this new world, it's fundamentally important that managers understand cloud platform technology as it holds the key to business agility and competitive edge. It enables digital innovation; helping organizations to rapidly test and launch web applications that have the power to transform entire industries.

Cloud platform technology can have an impact on every area of the business including Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, HR and IT; making these business units more efficient, effective, agile and productive while accelerating the creation of new products and services for customers, partners and employees.

Cloud platform in a nutshell

In essence, a cloud platform delivers the tools businesses need to develop, deploy and run applications without the cost and complexity of building and managing the necessary platform and infrastructure. For those of you familiar with the 'layers' of enterprise IT, a cloud platform sits between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). As such, it connects the 'front-end' business application (a timesheet for example, or a payroll application) with the back-end infrastructure needed to support it (i.e. compute, network and storage).

A complete cloud platform solution provides integrated, cloud?based platform services that include preinstalled and configured database and middleware - components like application platforms, integration tools, process management, content management, or website management. It can also provide a platform for developing, testing, and deploying different kinds of enterprise applications, such as transactional and analytics applications. Other use cases for cloud platform technology include enabling the analysis of data from any source (big data analytics); extending SaaS applications to wherever they're required in the business (both on-premises and in the cloud); and rapidly scaling new web services.

Safexpress, a leading logistics company in India, was able to significantly increase performance efficiencies and transform its customers' experience by using Oracle Management Cloud. This cloud solution enabled Safexpress with insights on what was happening across their entire IT infrastructure, detect problems, such as slow transactions, and be able to manage and resolve them proactively and faster.

So, for business leaders who are uncertain about what cloud platform technology brings to them, it's all about driving innovation faster. It's about delivering new business solutions with simplicity, speed and control, it's about putting business leaders in the driving seat to get better insights about their business, it's about connecting to customers, and it's about improving operational efficiencies.

Given that agility is a major consideration for organizations worldwide, those that turn to cloud platforms for that much needed ability to quickly and easily accelerate innovation and deliver a superior omni-channel experience to customers will enjoy a huge competitive advantage.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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cloud computing Digital disruption

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