CYA: Acronym for Cloud
The world is ever-changing. It is becoming even more digital and the IoT (Internet of Things) is proving to be the next journey that the construction industry is exploring and undertaking at a very rapid clip. As a result, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has a very interesting perspective about the cloud. As he sees it, IoT applications will enable businesses to leverage connected devices, mobility, and to advance to the supply chain, helping companies to get even more information to their customers.
Hurd is very outspoken saying terms such as machine-to-machine learning and artificial intelligence are all charismatic expressions that are more about feature sets and less about their ability to get closer to the customer and their ability to service that customer. He admits while some people agree with his view and others might not. But you can’t dispute his success has helped Oracle become extremely effective in moving his customers—in a host of verticals—to the cloud with his vision of the future.
In an era when many construction companies are still wrestling with the benefits of keeping their software on-premise or moving to the cloud, Oracle was very clear in making a full court press during its Oracle Industry Connect event last week.
Hurd and Co., recognize construction firms are constantly battling to reap the benefits of advanced data and analytics and improving governance through technology. In addition, many firms are only just beginning to grasp the challenges of maintaining technology updates along with the realization that managing security measures is not their core competency.
Hurd explains organizations can take the pressure and even burden off the bottomline by going to the cloud. Oracle’s CEO reveals companies can get faster upgrades and have greater security by leveraging a software giant to manage all of the challenges, which is a quick fix to some serious problems that are causing financial and public nightmares.
However, statistics have shown that across most industries CEOs only have an average shelf life of four years before they get booted and another top dog is rotated in to find yet another quick fix to boost profits. So the real question now is whether the cloud is becoming a new CEO’s CYA (cover your a##)?
While cloud platforms do enable collaboration and can reduce IT, the bigger problem is that it does not address the bigger issue of interoperability. It also does not include increasing service level agreement fees. In addition, selecting a cloud partner requires making the right decision about all your data. This entails determining such things as:
- SaaS (software-as-a-service): app that could be email, CRM, cloud storage, etc.
- PaaS (platform-as-a-service): Websites, Web applications, etc.
- IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service): Virtual machines hosted in the cloud and made available to the customer, who maintains the operating system on up.
Bob Weiler, Oracle, executive VP global business reinforced Hurd’s message noting that business models are changing and companies need to leverage data intelligence to remain competitive in a very changing market.
So while the cloud is offering a bigger vision and raising the stakes for many companies, it is also creating problems for construction companies that want an open platform/architecture to mix and match software tools from different vendors. For instance, this enables companies to gather all sorts of data from estimating, project management, drones, and even your telematics all into one system in the cloud.
Interestingly, the struggles of construction were truly revealed when Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and GM—who shares data from a McKinsey research study during Oracle’s construction and engineering breakout program—discusses data and says less than 50% of projects are completed on time and only slightly more are completed within margins. Sicilia also acknowledges engineering and construction firms are still only operating with single-digit margins.
Sicilia says Oracle does have a very solid plan to address the interoperability issue and it wants to help companies stay ahead of the technology curve. The company has been acquiring software firms that address the specific needs of the market. He says the goal will be to continue to acquire when needed and to partner in an effort to help create open environment for construction community. He emphasizes that Oracle wants to embrace innovation, not stifle it, and understands how the IoT will play a role in construction at all levels. He emphasizes that data business processes and applications will enable critical proactive insights and drive reduction in cost-effective actions for construction firms of all sizes. (Listen to the full interview on The Peggy Smedley Show)
It will be interesting to see as more technology disruption occurs if Oracle will be the one vendor that can increase its vision enough to address the needs of the construction marketplace.
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