Oracle is one among many tech giants grappling with the new cloud computing economy. The bulk of the company’s business is built on the back of licenses for traditional “on premises” software offerings, especially its almighty database; recapturing its customers as they more to more flexible cloud software subscriptions is its 21st century challenge. In the face of fierce competition from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft, Oracle co-founder and chairman Larry Ellison scoffs; on a March earnings call, he claimed that his company has “a huge technology lead” over the rivals. Even so, the company has been fighting to replace slipping sales for hardware that sits on customer sites with cloud offerings. Oracle has enjoyed a run-up in its stock price over the first half of the year, boosting at the time this list’s publication nearly 20% from around $38 at the beginning of January.
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