Admitting you’re wrong is never easy. For someone like Larry Ellison, who more or less thinks he’s God (anyone ever tell you the difference between Larry Ellison and God?), this is even more true. And yet, it’s unavoidable- everyone is, at some point in their lives, wrong (some more often than others).
In the case of Ellison, he seems to have been wrong about cloud computing, having made it the subject of a now fairly well-known rant. Oracle really dragged their feet on cloud for a while, promoting both Exalogic systems (which is kind of like a cloud-in-a-box) and private clouds first.
Three years post-rant, Ellison seems to finally have changed his mind about the cloud, while attempting to hint that his hesitance was all for show in the first place. Oracle has recently acquired several firms that use cloud technology, including RightNow, Taleo and ClearTrial. What caused this change?
While we could point to petty rivalries between CEOs, I think it’s really more that it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the cloud isn’t going away. The folks at Oracle being sharp business people, they know it’s better to jump on the cloud bandwagon late than never – and doing that Oracle-style means buying up a few companies and folding their technology into your own (like they did with Sun when they decided to get into hardware a few years ago).
We’ll have to see how this develops, but the general consensus seems to be that Oracle is in fairly good position to succeed in this new field, if only due to their acquisitions. It will be interesting to watch how Oracle’s adoption of this technology plays out.