Oracle president Mark Hurd has stated that his firm is focusing on the banking sector, which he said has a combination of extremely large IT budgets, and often outmoded systems and applications.
"One of the core assets of banks is information. They have large IT budgets, and lots of speciality, often home-grown [bespoke] applications. And many of those applications are old."
Hurd predicted that applications consolidation and modernisation is going to be a key drive for the banking sector in the coming months and years.
"The key aim for IT is to make complicated things simple, and it starts at the application layer. We now provide the ability for a bank to get a standard core banking solution to be supported by Oracle, rather than supported by themselves.
"We're making big investments in financial services so we can provide standard software through whatever delivery architecture is optimal for the bank, and do as much consolidation as possible."
But it appeared that the size of banks' wallets was the real attraction for Hurd.
"Many banks have IT budgets that are bigger than many IT companies' R&D budgets. They have lots of redundancy information and legacy applications due to mergers. There is a tremendous opportunity to consolidate and modernise there. Banking is one of those very core vertical segments we're pushing a lot of R&D into."
On the subject of Oracle's R&D, Hurd was keen to point out that it has been pouring increasing levels of funding into innovating in recent years.
"We will spend roughly $5bn in R&D this year. Last year it was $4.5bn," he said.
He also pointed to the firm's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity as examples of outsourced R&D.
"Last year we spent roughly $6bn in M&A – acquiring firms like Taleo and RightNow. We bought leaders in their specific market areas, and that's a supplement to R&D."
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