Those familiar with the format of Oracle OpenWorld will know that it’s co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison’s keynote that tends to provide the nitty gritty, technical detail about the future of Oracle’s technology releases. However, if you want some top level insights on the direction of the market and what your business should be thinking about in terms of digital buying, then you head over to CEO Mark Hurd’s keynote.
And that was true to form this year. Ellison’s keynote focused on security and autonomous databases. Whilst Hurd took to the stage - after some geo-political fear mongering about the state of the world - to give his predictions on the technology market and buyer behaviour up until 2025.
However, first, Hurd had some fun with the audience by taking some jabs at the analyst industry, which he claims, were slow to pick up his predictions a few years ago. He said;
I want to look back and talk about predictions we made three years ago. This is predictions made in 2015. I will just hit on a couple of them. 80% of production apps will be in the cloud. Just remember that. Two SaaS suite providers will have 80% of the market. 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services. Enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing.
By the way, as I delivered these predictions, I got what I thought was unfair criticism because people thought they were nutty and didn’t make sense. Okay.
After showing a slide with his 2015 predictions, Hurd then showed a slide with analyst predictions from 2017, which essentially reflected his - except came two years later. He took a particular friendly jibe at Gartner and said (with his tongue firmly in his cheek):
I thought I would show you a chart for what analysts are saying - not just what they’re saying, but the timeframe that they said it. I could have told you this two years before that. This is from Gartner - 2018 - this is incredible insight. By the way…I love Gartner.
If you ever wonder the value of coming to OpenWorld, I have advanced all of this three years for you. You would not have to subscribe to any of this. You could just take my predictions. When you see me make new predictions, you now know they’re credible.
Looking forward to 2025
Once he’d finished poking fun at the analysts, Hurd did go on to deliver his future predictions for the coming years. And said that this time maybe they will be taken more seriously…
They mostly focused on the increased use of AI and automation. He said that AI will have two major impacts for buyers - productivity and innovation.
Hurd’s first prediction is that AI will be deeply embedded into all cloud applications. He said:
At the risk of more criticism, I’m going to give you more predictions. By 2025, this could be right, all cloud apps will include AI. AI will be integrated in all of those applications. The same will be true of blockchain. The nonsense about these being separate solutions and you’re going to extract data from an application and you’re going to send it to a solution called ‘blockchain’ or ‘AI’ - that’s not how the market is going to end. They’re going to be directly integrated into the applications themselves.
Secondly, this will result in almost all interactions with customers being automated, leaving employees to focus on higher level engagement. He said:
85% of interactions with customers will be automated (by 2025). This world today where everything is done with basically with people trying to gather data in real time - this has to be done in something measured in milliseconds and the time needs to be spent in a more thoughtful way to engage with customers. You won’t have to deal with the, ‘who are you again? What’s your problem?’. All of that will get automated as we move forward.
And finally, Hurd pointed to the impact on jobs, particularly on the IT department, where he said that whilst there will be more jobs, they will not be in areas that we currently see in the market. He added:
60% of the IT jobs by 2025 have not been invented yet. When you sit through this conference and hear that DBAs may be disintermediated because autonomous will do all of that tuning that is typically done today manually. This is not an elimination of jobs. This is going to free up people to work on higher order tasks. Basically, when you automate something, not only does it get done faster, the service gets better while things get done faster.
Automation will not replace jobs, it will create them. For example, robot supervisor - everyone needs a boss, including robots. Who ensures the bots are performing the way that you expect them to? These jobs have not been created, they’re just being imagined, but it requires a freeing up of people to be applied to these jobs.
Over to you Gartner...