The Cloud’s Impact on JD Edwards

Thanks for tuning in for our third and final installment of Surety’s conversation with JD Edwards’ John Schiff. We wanted to get John’s thoughts on one of the hottest topics in the IT industry: cloud technologies. We also thought it would be valuable to ask John specifically about his “crystal ball” prediction into how he thinks cloud will impact the JD Edwards ecosystem.

Aaron Chappell Aaron Chappell: We hear a lot about how Cloud is the “wave of the future,” and many of our customers are trying to determine just how that should apply to their business. In your opinion, what’s the best way for an organization to incorporate a Hybrid Cloud model? What does that look like to you?
John Schiff John Schiff: You know, the answer to that question varies so much…and I don’t think there’s one definitive answer. “Cloud” means so many different things to different people. If there is some adoption that you need of a technology that is running in the Cloud, integrating that technology becomes much simpler than it used to be. There is still an integration step that you have to go through, and each customer has to evaluate what that cost means to them… But we are seeing many people starting to ask “Why should I keep investing in the hardware and the networking skills?” We are seeing lots of different companies looking to different clouds, both private and public as their solution. So…while Cloud isn’t a new technology by any stretch, it’s becoming more affordable, and more practical. Companies need to go into it with their eyes wide open and ask, “Which of these technologies are going to be an enabler for me to drive my business better? Do I save money with it? Do I save resources with it? Can I redeploy resources to concentrate on other more important things that have become more of a business enabler, rather than just another overhead cost that I have to drive?”
Aaron Chappell Aaron Chappell: John, you obviously have a unique vantage point into the future of the Oracle JD Edwards product and usage trends among Oracle’s customer base. I’m interested in getting your vision. If you were looking through a crystal ball and could see an IT landscape 10 years from now, what do you think that would look like?
John Schiff John Schiff: I think it’s going to be a hybrid landscape. I do not think that everything will be in the cloud. We have a large infrastructure investment in our customer set, and they aren’t going to simply abandon that. If we look at the progression of the JD Edwards product set…when we developed OneWorld, (which is now EnterpriseOne)…there was a certain naivety, thinking that all of our customers would suddenly move over to the new JD Edwards EnterpriseOne product. There is a long investment cycle associated with our kind of product, and with our kind of customers. They aren’t going to suddenly go into the cloud and abandon everything else that they’ve got. So I think we will see a hybrid environment emerge. We will see customers on all sides of the bell curve of changing technologies and adopting new technologies. And, I think within the product sets that we have…we have some very innovative things that are happening, where the customer has the choice of where to deploy it, and how to use it. We’ve talked about some of them already: Mobility, Cloud, IoT integration, Big Data. All of those things are opportunities, but not all of them apply to everybody.
Aaron Chappell Aaron Chappell: With Cloud technology projecting to become more of an integrated part of the IT landscape moving forward, what advice would you give to CNC Administrators and other professionals working in the JD Edwards industry?
John Schiff John Schiff: First of all…we (Oracle) as a supplier are trying to simplify the administration. We’ve done that with these upgrades. So should you as a person in our industry be looking at the changes that are happening? Absolutely! I think one of the biggest things people can do is to continue their education in our field. This is not a static environment. If you knew CNC in the OneWorld days, it’s NOT the same today. One of the things that I think every single person that reads this article should do, is they should come to the Quest conferences. Be at Collaborate. Be at InFocus. Invest in your future and the future of your organization. Spend the time to upgrade your skills…or get out of the profession.

I was personally relieved to hear John’s perspective here. Cloud technology can tend to get shoved in people’s faces as an “all or nothing” type product. Although cloud is certainly a disruptive technology in today’s market and can provide substantial value, it should never be destructive to an organization’s IT strategy. Our customers have made substantial investments in their on-premise JD Edwards systems. It’s refreshing to hear a philosophical approach that cloud can also be viewed as an extension or enhancement of systems, rather than a necessary extinction and replacement of on-premise technology. But…that’s me on my soapbox! If you haven’t had a chance to read Parts 1 and 2 of our Q&A session with John, you can click the links below:

Lastly, if missed Collaborate16, check out our recap.