Oracle OpenWorld: As the Need for Business Digitalization Grows, Oracle Speeds Ahead with New Cloud Solutions

San Francisco—Helping businesses modernize, digitalize, and move onto the cloud were central to the discussion at day two of the Oracle OpenWorld conference here Tuesday. Capgemini Consulting's senior vice president, Didier Bonnet, kicked things off in a well-received morning keynote, and issued a call for companies across industries, not just those in the tech space, to embrace the urgency of digitalization.

"It's one thing if you're a company like Apple or Amazon and technology is what you do, but it's much more challenging when you're in a legacy space, like manufacturing or pharma," Bonnet said. "But legacy companies make up 94 percent of the economy, and the time for them to get serious about digital is now."

Bonnet went on to outline some of the findings highlighted in his upcoming book, Leading Digital. Coauthored with MIT's George Westerman and Andrew McAfee, the book breaks down the current state of the digitalization process into four company categories—the beginners, the fashionistas, the conservatives, and the digital natives. While the first three sets are still in the process of either starting their digitalization journey or determining which new technology works for them, the digital natives represent the pinnacle of the digital transformation, and serve as the model for what every company should strive to reach.

Bonnet singled out organizations such as Starbucks, Burberry, Nike, Asian Paints, Codelco, and Caesars Entertainment as just a few examples of those achieving digital mastery, and attributed their success to a combination of smart technological investments and outstanding leadership. According to Bonnet, the recipe for success that most digital masters employ consists of four key elements—designing customer experience from the outside in, increasing reach and engagement with smart investments, putting customer data at the heart of the digital experience, and seamlessly meshing the digital and physical experiences. Executing on these four fronts requires a top-down approach, and one that strikes the perfect balance between automation and empowerment.

"You can't have your technology dominate your business. You can't automate too much because then there's nothing left for your people to do. You have to standardize and empower at the same time, and give your employees a digital education so they can harness the power of your technology. You have to break the paradoxes and stop thinking about either/or scenarios," Bonnet said. Still, the right digitalization strategy starts with the right technology.

To introduce several new pieces of technology that Oracle has developed to help companies further their digital journeys, Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of Oracle server technologies development, took the stage for a morning presentation. Kurian outlined the 

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