Business leaders today face a daunting challenge: finding ways to invest in powerful new customer-facing technologies and engagement models while also, on balance, stripping unproductive costs out of their businesses.

I believe the increasingly capable and proven approach of cloud computing can play a huge role in helping CEOs strike that delicate balance because the cloud has fully evolved from a tech-industry phenomenon to a mainstream and strategic business opportunity. The proof is in rapid customer adoption for everything from HR to Marketing to Sales to Financials and other essential applications.

What has changed from a few years ago, when the cloud wouldn’t have been even considered for mission-critical parts of the business? I’d point to three major factors:

First, our customers tell us that Oracle’s cloud products have met or exceeded their requirements for features, security, and reliability.
Second, businesses and other large organizations are sick and tired of having to spend millions of dollars—in some cases, tens of millions or hundreds of millions—integrating their mismatched applications, systems, and networks. And they believe cloud computing can help eliminate those high costs that deliver very little value.
Third, our customers know they need to move faster and be more responsive to rapidly evolving customer requirements and turbulent business conditions, and they believe our cloud technology can help them accelerate their operations. Many of our customers have installed and begun using new cloud apps in weeks rather than months.

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