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Oracle warns against slow motion responses to digital transformation

Oracle has used its Digital Transformation conference in London to underline the dangers for those not getting ready to change their operations

Up to now most discussions between the channel and their customers about 'digital transformation' have been around explaining the concept and trying to turn an overused phrase into something more meaningful.

Ultimately this is a conversation that is all about delivering a positive outcome. Digitising more business processes should provide more efficiency, greater insights into what is going on as well as the chance to do that in real time.

Most customers are aware of what going digital is all about but not that many appear to have yet got seriously going on the transformation journey.

Gartner's recent CEO survey found that awareness was fairly high but those that were planning to do something about digital transformation in the next couple of years was fairly low, around a third.

The analyst house warned that the consequences for those dragging their feet could be severe. Quicker more digital savvy competition could emerge to threaten their position.

By now most examples of digital disruptors, from Airbnb in the hospitality space to Uber in transport, are well known. The sense that more competition is coming in other areas should not be a surprise to customers.

Picking up on that tone Oracle's senior vice president for UK and Ireland Dermot O'Kelly told delegates at the firm's Digital Transformation conference in London that time was running out.

"The good news is that CEOs get it. The bad news is that don't think they have to do anything about it yet," he told an audience of customers and channel partners.

"You don't have two to three years. Businesses now are doing a lot to digitise their business processes," he added.

Oracle's president of product development Thomas Kurian said that the firm had spent the last nine years developing its software from scratch to deal with the demands of a cloud world.

He said that a lot had been done to bring together CRM, ERP, HR and sales functions in a way that staff could access information easily and on the move.

"Digital transformation is going to require companies to have a new software platform," he said.

He encouraged customers to take advanced of what the latest software could do to make sure they could exploit the digital transformation opportunity.

Partners also heard from Tiffani Bova, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, who said that digital transformation was on going and although it would take time there had already been a shift in customers spending on cloud and it was becoming a major channel opportunity.

"The enterprise was spending but the cloud value is coming down the enterprise market and the mid market is starting to [get more involved] as the channel gets more involved," she said.

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