The world’s economy is growing slowly, businesses are cutting costs to squeeze profits out of their dwindling revenue, and major data breaches are putting pressure on CEOs, whose tenures as company leaders are continually shrinking.
As Oracle CEO Mark Hurd bluntly stated Tuesday at the company’s annual user conference in San Francisco, “A lot of companies are going out of business.”
“The speed is not decelerating, it’s actually accelerating,” Hurd said.
There is fear in the air at Oracle’s (ORCL) conference that Hurd is trying to capitalize on. Major data breaches like the one that ravaged Equifax a few weeks ago are still fresh in executives’ minds, for example, and Hurd made sure to remind people that these kinds of major cybersecurity problems can result in people losing their jobs.
Hurd, who shares the CEO role with Safra Catz, spent his keynote session lecturing the audience of IT professionals and business folks about the dire state of running a business in today’s economic climate. The purpose was to convince people that by choosing Oracle’s technology versus its rivals, they will have one less thing on their plate to worry about.
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Take Equifax, for example, and the claims that its high-profile data breach occurred because some of its systems were not patched and updated, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. Proper patching is difficult for companies to do because of the complexity of maintaining their many different internal databases, software, servers, and other infrastructure technologies, he said.
If businesses use Oracle’s cloud computing service, they won’t have to spend a lot of time with updates and patches because they don’t actually own the data center equipment they are essentially renting from the company, he explained. Cloud computing companies like Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), and Google (GOOG) are increasingly touting the security benefits of their respective technologies as a way to convince customers that they will be more secure if they use their services.
Hurd also spent time talking about people’s “mean tweets” that were directed to him after he shared last year a list of his predictions about the future of cloud computing. He said that some commentary he received was not “very thoughtful” and although he wanted to publicly display the names of the people who wrote the tweets, his legal and public relations team vetoed his wish.
One of the tweets he highlighted said, “Mark Hurd won’t come close to making it to 2025 as CEO if this is the best he can do.” Another tweet said “If you can predict how 2025 will look like, then please let me have numbers for TOMORROW’s jack pot!
Hurd then highlighted third-party research that didn’t come from “the Mark Hurd research team” that appeared to validate his previous predictions, like one in which he said that 80% of corporate data centers will be gone by 2025.
“I wouldn’t tweet unless you’re really confident about your point of view about these predictions,” he said.