Oracle's co-CEO Mark Hurd has claimed that his firm is now cheap enough to be affordable for smaller businesses.
While Oracle and its hefty licensing fees are associated with the world's biggest companies, such as FedEx and Walmart, Hurd was asked 'How small can a company be before it can't afford Oracle's services'?
Hurd suggested that cloud was bringing both the financial and technical barriers to using Oracle down.
"Cloud has changed that dynamic significantly," he said. "You don't need an IT department any more - that's changed. With the cloud, the work is done for you."
Using the cloud, the burden is on the IT industry, the provider, not the end-user and their IT departments. And cloud can help organisations increase automation, too, he added.
Oracle's new Autonomous Database is the perfect example, Hurd continued. Under a traditional IT model, a database needs to be taken offline to be patched, which requires the patch to be rolled out by a service provider first. But the Autonomous Database running in the cloud is automatically patched as soon as Oracle has developed, tested and approved it.
"Instead of the target market being customers with data centres and IT staff, it's expanded to everybody," said Hurd. "We have the opportunity to target the smallest companies in the world and give them the technologies that the biggest companies have."
The cloud has enabled those small companies to scale up far faster than would have been possible a decade ago, and Oracle is helping them. Lyft, for example, is a young company without datacentres or IT staff, but was able to move straight to a business model with lots of complex applications - because of the cloud.
The same philosophy applies to start-ups. Oracle's Accelerator Programme was launched to deploy areas where start-ups can take advantage of its cloud technology to get started quickly and at a low cost.
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