Interview: Shailender Kumar, Vice President, Fusion Middleware, Oracle, India

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Aug 19 2013, 08:07am hrs
Government in India has been one of the earliest adopters of cloud computing for various e-governance projects. Many public sector organisations have undertaken pilot projects, or even operate some aspects of their operations in the cloud, says Shailender Kumar, vice-president, Fusion Middleware, Oracle India. Oracle Fusion Middleware is a leading business platform for the enterprise and the cloud. It enables enterprises to create and run agile applications while maximising IT efficiency through full utilisation of modern hardware and software

architectures. In this role, Shailender is responsible for growing Oracle revenues in the middleware market across India. He tells Sudhir Chowdhary that the biggest advantage that the cloud allows users is to use a world-class infrastructure without committing a huge amount of money or resources. Excerpts:

How far has the industry progressed in removing the barriers to cloud adoption

We are seeing a steady growth in cloud adoption among organisations, led by businesses in telecom, BFSI, retail, education and healthcare sectors. The government too is emerging as a big adopter of cloud. Clearly, the IT

industry has succeeded to a large extent in addressing some of the big barriers to cloudparticularly the concerns around security and privacy of data. The evolution of private cloud model has encouraged many organisations to adopt private or hybrid clouds. Vendors such as Oracle today promise an open architecture and well-defined service level agreements to address some of the other concerns around quality of service, vendor lock-in and the ability to integrate on-cloud applications with on-premise ones.

Is the government sector in India using cloud in a big way

Government in India has been one of the earliest adopters of cloud computing for various e-governance projects. A major fillip was the announcement of a cloud infrastructure at the NIC data centre as well as a centre of excellence on cloud computing by IT minister Kapil Sibal last year. Many public sector organisations have undertaken pilot projects, or even operate some aspects of their operations in the cloud. Other state governments including Orissa, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have

embraced cloud. For the governments, a private cloud means access to all benefits of cloud computing but with none of the attendant data security concerns. On their part, IT vendors including Oracle have enabled cloud adoption by offering the next generation of cloud-based government services delivery. The goal is to help governments develop flexible systems that integrate multiple functions and departments. Within the government, smaller departments with budgetary constraints can use the pay-as-you-go model to deliver high-quality citizen services. In fact, governments of developing nations are likely to be early and heavy adopters of cloud.

Why is cloud integration such a big challenge for enterprises

The challenge for enterprises is to maximise the business value of a mixed IT environment where cloud coexists with legacy systems. A recent Oracle study found that 78% of Indian respondents representing companies that use cloud applications say their ability to innovate using their cloud apps has been hindered. The main hindrance cited is the inability to integrate the cloud app with other software. Companies have abandoned roughly one cloud app a year due to integration problems. Industry experts today cite cloud integration as one of the last remaining barriers to adoption of cloud services, especially for apps that need to exchange information.

What strategies can businesses use to achieve cloud integration with their existing functions or processes

Achieving cloud integration requires building a framework for seamless exchange of information among systems. Ideally, business users should be able to work across multiple applications without having to worry about the complexity of managing apps from various cloud vendors. Defining a cohesive vision for unifying SaaS applications with on-premise information systems is highly recommended in order to achieve the promised benefits of cloud computing, such as greater flexibility and lower costs. CIOs must ensure that all aspects of cloud integration align with their strategic vision for IT.

How does Oracle aim to help organisations achieve cloud integrations

Oracles cloud portfolio has been built precisely to address cloud integration issues as it offers integrated technologies which can integrate on-premise applications with cloud application. As Oracle integration technologies are based on open standards they can integrate both Oracle and non-Oracle applications on premise and on cloud.

Oracles data and cloud integration products are part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, which is a unified platform that accommodates all types of information systems, deployment models, SaaS vendors, and platform as a service (PaaS) infrastructure, anchored by a cohesive set of tools for development, management, security, and governance. For a business, it means a cohesive and flexible integration platform that is superior to any alternate strategy.

What is the Oracle strategy and innovation around cloud computing

Oracle is the most comprehensive cloud provider on the planet. Our cloud strategy hinges on delivering a fully-enterprise grade portfolio of cloud services and solutions, built to provide high performance, reliability, scalability, availability, security and standards-based interoperability. We support both public and private clouds to give customer choice; as we recognise that organisations are adopting different deployment models for cloud computing for different applications at different rates of speed. We are also delivering complete PaaS and IaaS product offerings, as well as offering a very broad portfolio of horizontal and industry applications that are deployed in either a private shared services environment or in a public SaaS model.