NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Being a dominant technology company can create the pride of knowing you have figured out something better than anyone else.
But it can also bring paranoia. A company can constantly look over its shoulder worrying that someone is trying to put it out of business. And that is the case for database giant Oracle (ORCL).
It's no secret that one of the biggest keys of surviving in technology today is having a cloud strategy.Yet for a company that specializes in enterprise database services, such as Oracle, the challenge is to avoid being killed off by a technological shift such as the one to cloud. We have already seen such shifts elsewhere. Netflix's (NFLX) mail delivery and online streaming killed Blockbuster's brick-and-mortar business. The growth of the Internet allowed newcomers such as Amazon.com (AMZN) to disrupt the business model of traditional booksellers such as Borders and Barnes and Noble (BKS). Today, mobile devices from Apple (AAPL) are putting considerable pressure on PC makers Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL). Oracle has remained dominant in databases and has averted threats from rivals IBM (IBM), SAP (SAP) and the aforementioned Hewlett-Packard. It now understands that the terms "virtualization" and "distributed computing" have become the new threats. These specialties are being offered by the likes of Citrix (CTXS) and VMWare (VMW). The tasks that enterprises previously relied upon Oracle software to carry out can now be handled with less stress and at reduced rates. So the question is: Can Oracle now avoid being made obsolete? First, however, a brief digression: One cannot discuss existing cloud technology without mentioning Salesforce.com (CRM). As much as I have always disliked the stock, the company does address the growing popularity of the software as a service (SaaS) model better than any competitor.
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