Vladimir Knežević, Country Managing Director, Oracle Serbia & Montenegro:

Technology Shouldn’t Be Feared, But Used Wisely

Public Cloud services in the IT world are no longer unknown. Our idea is to present a cloud machine to Serbia that would be found in the state’s data centre, and which would respect modern safety standards with maximised savings. Oracle is the only company currently able to offer something like that

Oracle is known for its databases, and the fact that it applies advanced technologies to help implement complex state administration processes in Serbia on a daily basis. This company has also developed the “Cloud in the state data centre” initiative, with which it responds to contemporary data security challenges and which additionally distinguishes Oracle on the local market.

Oracle has been present in Serbia’s public sector for many years. Can you familiarise us with the technologies and services you support in the public sector?

– Oracle helps in the performing of key administrative tasks in the state administration on a daily basis. Whether it relates to payroll, data transactions between government agencies, storing confidential information related to citizens, advanced reports etc., Oracle’s advanced technology easing the implementing of complex working processes. We are renowned for our databases and it is known that the largest institutions in Serbia keep their data in Oracle databases. Furthermore, the security and privacy provided by our technology are the main reasons users in the public administration opt for additional application options.

Do you see obstacles in our country when it comes to implementing innovative solutions in accordance with modern world practises?

– The knowledge and technologies we have locally are more than enough for the IT system of the state to be placed on the highest possible level. Serbia has top IT experts and I believe the key is in combining excellent solution providers and local knowledge. Additionally, the centralisation of IT, which is increasingly being presented as a necessary solution, is assuming its proper form. It is the duty of all of us, who work for local companies or as representatives of major foreign companies, to contribute to the development of awareness among individuals and the wider community. Technology should not be feared, but used wisely.

The world is changing in the direction of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, self-sustaining systems, “blockchain” concepts and, of course, Cloud computing technologies. Is this the future? I would say no, it is the present, and it’s better to prepare for technologies that are already widely used in the commercial sector

What are the new trends that Oracle can offer the public administration?

– We are not abandoning our traditional data storage and the processing and presenting data through advanced reports. However, the reality is such that the world is changing in the direction of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, self-sustaining systems, “blockchain” concepts and, of course, Cloud computing technologies. Is this the future? I would say no, it is the present, and it’s better to prepare for technologies that are already widely used in the commercial sector. What can elicit fear is orientation towards open systems that are in the Cloud, and their exposure. That’s why particular emphasis should be placed on safety, security and privacy.

How does Oracle respond to contemporary security and challenges to the privacy of data, and how do you differ from other IT companies?

– It is first necessary to take an overview of the systems and data we are defending against such challenges. Cloud and Web-orientated systems certainly require special attention. There is an entire strategy regarding the way data is preserved and stored that relies on sophisticated Oracle tools. If we were only to keep pace with GDPR initiatives, we would understand how many parameters need to be met. This is no simple task, but Oracle possesses a set of tools and, first and foremost, a strategy that provides answers to these questions. We also set ourselves apart on the market with the “Cloud in the state data centre” initiative, which addresses the challenges facing privacy and security in a sophisticated way.

It is logical to ask ourselves what the next step is in processing such large amounts of data? The answer is adaptive intelligence

What is represented by this initiative?

– Public Cloud services in the IT world are no longer unknown. Most leading IT vendors offer Cloud services from their own data centres in remote geo points. This can prompt fear – about where the data is located – and local regulations often prohibit or limit the use of such solutions.

Oracle developed the “Cloud in Users’ Data Centres” initiative, which implies an identical Cloud service to the one we would normally provide from our own data centres, but this time done in such a way that the service runs from a local data centre. That’s as though you’ve dropped “part” of the Oracle Cloud into your own data centre, thereby preventing the possibility of data being removed and misused in the data centre and the country. The idea is to present a state Cloud machine to the Republic of Serbia that would be located in the state’s own data centre, and which would respect modern security standards with maximised savings in terms of optimising licenses and use of Oracle technologies.

Who would manage data in that case, if the service is still provided by Oracle?

– The ownership and management of data is exclusively on the side of the user, in this case the state. It cannot occur for a piece of data to be trapped in some data centre on another continent. Everything is located locally, and yet it is a public Cloud service provided by Oracle. We are the only company currently able to offer something like that.

Which of Oracle Labs’ modern solutions could find application in our country in the near future?

– IDC claims that organisations which analyse all relevant data and use that as the basis to generate operational decisions will realise additional revenue of $430 billion by 2020, as a result of increased productivity compared to less analytically-orientated competition. Several factors impact on this: rapid development of robotics and sensors, ever-increasing amounts of data, drastic development of computer technologies and ever-increasing numbers of digitally engaged users. It is logical to ask ourselves what the next step is in processing such large amounts of data? The answer is adaptive intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions are based on algorithms that can learn from data without relying on the programming of certain rules. Oracle uses these algorithms in the development of its new technologies, and it’s only a question of time until the implementation of such solutions is seriously approached in the state as well. There is plenty of need for that, especially in the security domain.

We’ve spoken about technologies. However, if you had to single out specific Oracle solutions that are applied in the state sector, which would those be?

– It’s difficult to give a simple answer, because there’s virtually no major system in the country that doesn’t use Oracle to a certain extent. However, I would single out data storage and advanced reporting, and then managing contents and documents. I believe that at this moment, due to its scalability, Oracle is the only company that can respond to complex demands of this type at the state level, and that’s the only reason why state institutions and large enterprise place their trust in us.