Ah, change. It’s not just the late David Bowie’s manifesto for (among other things) the frequency of change in the world today. Change is something to be embraced and utilized for growth. The ramifications for not accepting change can be grave. Remember Borders? Toys “R” Us? Failure to embrace change and innovate has generated some serious, and interesting, quotes:
“We are not changing direction; we will continue to move full-steam ahead with our core business, which is Blockbuster stores and Blockbuster online.” — John Antioco, CEO, Blockbuster
“It’s something that sounds stupid, but I probably should have made some deeper inquiries about the business plan.” — Russell Ray Jr., CEO, Pan Am
“Everything that Sun produces will be open source and free.” — Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Sun Microsystems
As a former Sun Microsystems employee, I kind of get a chuckle out of the last one, because I’m pretty sure that it leads to negative margins. Another thing to note is that these were all Fortune 500 companies at one time. And now they’re gone.
The rate of change is accelerating as evidenced here:
- According to Credit Suisse, over the last 50 years, the average lifespan of companies on the S&P 500 has shrunk from 60 to 18 years.
- Constellation Research finds that 52% of Fortune 500 have been merged, been acquired, or gone bankrupt since 2000.
- The accelerating rate of change creates bigger winners — and losers, according to a 2019 McKinsey Global Institute brief.
Change is also having a profound effect on business. According to McKinsey & Companies’ article The Quickening, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a “change acceleration” of the likes not seen before: 10 years growth in U.S. e-commerce penetration in just the past 3 months. The pandemic is also accelerating the gap between top and bottom quintiles of companies as measured by profit. Examples are plentiful. Local businesses and national chains that were struggling before the pandemic have closed doors permanently. The Washington Post reported in May that more than 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since the pandemic escalated in March. At the same time, other businesses have seen amazing growth. SAP, Apple, Amazon, and Ferrari are all at, or near, all-time high valuations.
There’s another change to be embraced by Oracle Database customers. Moving from 11gR2 to a newer version (presumably 19c, Oracle’s current long-term support release). Along with that change, what else needs to be addressed? Supporting infrastructure? Cloud?
All-flash technology and Oracle Database performance
Are you still supporting your Oracle databases with spinning disks? The benefits of having your Oracle databases on flash are significant. With flash, you can actually lower the capacity used for your Oracle environments, because database administrators will no longer need to stripe their data across the outer sectors of hard disk drives (HDDs) for performance reasons. This change also simplifies management. Flash also delivers a consistently quicker response time (up to 12 times quicker) than HDDs. As a former GE employee, I have something of a Six Sigma background and understand the power of consistency and predictability. Customers (and employees) generally hate variance. If you’re looking to address a customer (or employee) churn issue, putting your Oracle environment on SSD is a good step in the right direction. For more on how NetApp can accelerate your Oracle environment, see my earlier post. Lastly, NetApp® all-flash technology helps address downtime — planned downtime in particular, which is 30% to 90% of all downtime (depending on where you look). To see how NetApp keeps your Oracle investment up and running, check out my post on hardware downtime.
Oracle Database and the cloud
What about the cloud? For Oracle, there are obvious advantages to being able to spin up environments, take them down, do development, perform user acceptance testing — or whatever — in minutes. First, it makes the business more agile and able to respond to customer preferences more quickly. Second, it might have an impact on your Oracle licensing situation — depending on how you use it. Regardless, you probably want to keep some of your Oracle environment on premises. For more on how NetApp enables a hybrid-cloud home for Oracle, see my post Baby Steps to the Cloud.
Check out the Oracle Database Solutions webpage to learn about other ways that NetApp can help you reap more value from your Oracle investment.
Embrace change or be run over by it.