Why digital transformation doesn't just stop with technology

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Digital transformation has been a popular discussion topic in the technology sphere for many years, as the ever-evolving and changing nature of the industry means that new innovations are always emerging.

But with each business encountering different challenges in implementing such changes, how can you ensure your company makes the most of the digital transformation opportunity?

With its decades of technology heritage, Oracle considers itself to be at the forefront of technology change and innovation, with CEO Safra Katz addressing thousands of customers at its recent Oracle OpenWorld event in London - but what exactly does the company hope to offer its users?

Digital transformation journey

“Transformation is not an end-state, it's a fluid dynamic thing," Neil Sholay, Oracle VP Innovation EMEA and JPAC, told TechRadar Pro at the event.

"If you really look at what it takes to prompt deep change and transform an organisation - it's crisis...I estimate 15 to 20 percent of organisations are at the tail end of their digital transformation journey - the vast majority are still transforming.”

Sholay and his team work directly with clients to solve the operational and technological challenges often thrown up by businesses going through digital transformation. Using the full gamut of Oracle's expertise, Sholay's team can identify issues as they emerge, hopefully helping customers to get up to speed quickly.

"What we don't do is just solve a specific problem, we have a method for identifying the problem opportunity and facilitating a solution to it," Sholay notes.

“The beauty is that because Oracle's cloud portfolio is so broad, we haven’t really yet come across a problem we couldn't technically solve, he notes. That's the beauty of having a very broad cloud portfolio, we can solve most problems technically.”

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Recently, Oracle has completed a number of big-name customer projects, including applying machine learning algorithms to 50 million NHS patient data records to streamline operations, saving the organisation around £580 milion. It has also worked with Melia hotels to introduce a more enjoyable guest experience that allows guests to pay for items around a hotel complex using a wearable payment device.

"Let’s not forget - an algorithm is virtually useless until you apply data and real-world problems - and that’s what we do," Sholay says. “We take large datasets, apply algorithms to them. We then look at the patterns and we look at how that those patterns can enhance or augment some kind of human needs."

Sholay says that the advantage Oracle can offer is thanks to its years of expertise, as well as experience in changing its own identity and technological standing, most notably when the company rebuilt its entire product line 20 years ago in anticiaption of the changes cloud computing would bring. Oracle is now looking to take the same approach to dealing with the opportunities offered by technology such as AI and machine learning.

”The thing I've learned in 20 years of being in this industry is, technology is great - but abstraction simplifies technology, and how you abstract it and the more you integrate it seamlessly into the everyday experience, the more likely people will use it.”

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.