Imagine seriously secure cloud that has core government systems DNA baked in. It’s here now, courtesy of Oracle.
Every morning across Australia, a data ritual occurs that sets the course for the day, the nation and the immediate future of its citizens, government, business and frontline services.
On radio, television and online live news feeds, the number of new COVID-19 cases, their contact locations and crucial advice for the public is released by authorities to a nation battling to thwart a killer virus that has turned the way we live, work and play upside down.
As the fight to control the pandemic takes on new urgency, three elements critical to controlling and preventing outbreaks have come sharply into focus: distancing, data and speed.
Good data, fast, is now a life-saver, not a luxury. Fortunately, serious advances are now at hand and more affordable than ever.
Governments around the world have always relished solid data collection, analytics and modelling capability, with Oracle a data systems and software leader that has underpinned government and industry for more than 40 years.
Oracle may not have been first to market as cloud computing found its feet, deliberately taking the time to get a seamless, holistic product stack running securely on rock solid architecture.
The result is a new and pivotal fusion between an originator of computational data science and a refinement of cloud computing muscle that removes barriers to entry for powerful and self-learning analytics services – all built on highly secure and massively scalable infrastructure.
Secure, autonomous and hyperscale, Oracle’s Platform-as-a-Service is now available to government in Australia, with data centres in Sydney and Melbourne, for existing and new customers looking for an optimal cloud and applications fit that eliminates weaknesses and workarounds.
Why second-generation cloud stacks-up
In-line with the cloud utility-style pricing model, Oracle cloud users are only charged for what they actually use and consume, rather than having service baseline pricing ratcheted-up after heavy loads or a busy period.
It’s a quiet but critical revolution, not least because government data, so often sensitive in nature, can now move to a true Second-Generation cloud platform (Gen 2 Cloud) that has been securely architected from the ground-up, rather than retrofitting controls.
This means heavyweight and autonomous processing of data sets – and the information captured and stored in enterprise applications and transactional systems – have finally become faster, cheaper and more accessible than ever before, but with security peace of mind.
In simple terms it’s data you can trust, on cloud you can trust.
Cloud which far more easily hosts, integrates and plugs into core enterprise applications and systems often branded legacy migration hold-outs.
This means big productivity and efficiency multipliers like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation and autonomous, persistent security are now easily within reach for agencies and organisations once constrained by IT heritage and governance concerns.
Better still, because Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud has been built for government and enterprise from the ground-up, performance and reliability both get a sturdy and sustainable boost along with customer value.
Fit for government
In a work-from-home world where many heritage enterprise applications conspicuously struggle to deliver the same performance as on the office network (let alone be constantly improved and evolved) Gen 2 Cloud represents a game changer for government seeking to deliver improved vital services.
For public sector leaders, it means powerful technologies like Oracle Autonomous Database (ADW), Oracle Analytics Cloud (OACs) and modern open source application deployment methods like containerisation can be accessed as needed from a highly-trusted source.
It also means that cloud services, whether for analytics, extra transactional compute, or testing and development, can be accessed from existing Oracle applications as well as other corporate and enterprise systems of record.
Default security by the bucket
With plenty of well-publicised inadvertent data exposures due to under-baked cloud security controls on some commodity, 1st generation infrastructure platforms, government agencies are rightly apprehensive about the systems and information they place in public clouds.
Recognising this, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) addresses the issue of loose ‘buckets’ by requiring public visibility of cloud compute instances to be consciously turned-on – rather than having to find how to turn visibility off.
That means agencies using Oracle’s cloud services can have the confidence developers – internal or external – default to doing the right thing persistently, rather than seeking workarounds that later come unstuck after an audit, or worse still an exfiltration.
It also means modern holistic practices like DevSecOps (building in a conscious security mindset across an organisation’s technology instances and development) can be implemented, overcoming traditional tensions between security and usability.
Most importantly, Oracle’s cloud services are constantly and autonomously fixing issues and potential vulnerabilities as they emerge, creating a persistently elevated security posture needed to guard against malicious actors.
Platform to power agency success
With governments now under the pump because of the effects of the pandemic on society, the economy and healthcare providers, the option of putting-off transformation projects to link together disparate systems and data silos has shrunk profoundly or been eliminated.
At the same time, the pressure for agencies to be able to proficiently model and plan likely scenarios and outcomes – as well as identifying crucial patterns, threats and opportunities – has never been greater.
Whether its fiscal stimulus, cluster tracing, data visualisation, enquiry-tracking or queue-busting, in a digital age the agility of response and quality of service always comes down to the data level.
Infrastructure and utility-style computing are undeniably an important element in government’s transformation playbook, but when combined with Oracle’s four decades of world-leading data science and management acumen, the synergies and multipliers are powerful.
Smarts ship as standard
Many government agencies are prudently evaluating or trialling artificial intelligence instances to solve challenges. As well as offering a standalone AI solution recognised for its simplicity of application and use, Oracle is leveraging and offering AI-enhancements extensively across its entire cloud portfolio.
Appealing to developers and analysts with augmented tools, and appealing to business and application users by embedding its AI capabilities into all its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products.
Another important differentiator is that Oracle has built its SaaS offerings on a common data model, a move that saves customers massive amounts of time and money when it comes to integrating or joining-up systems to talk to each other.
The ability to intelligently converge and exploit data using autonomous integration tools that sit in the background means government and businesses no longer need to stand-up big teams to gain an urgent insight.
Having acquired and integrated a raft of best-of-breed software applications – JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion and NetSuite – as well as architecturally revered heavy computing pioneer Sun Microsystems – Oracle’s cloud ecosystem has landed in the right place to be of great benefit to both government and the public good for decades to come.