How Accurate is Oracle’s Mark Hurd?

Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Mark Hurd displays weak arguments in his articles.
  • Let us see what his article on a defensive mindset; IT says about his concern for accuracy.


Mark Hurd of Oracle wrote the article How to Ditch the Defensive Mindset in Business Technology on April 18, 2019. This article showed features of being written by someone with very average intelligence. We will analyze this article to see what it tells us about Mark Hurd.

Our References for This Article

If you want to see our references for this article and other related Brightwork articles, see this link.

Lack of Financial Bias Notice: The vast majority of content available on the Internet about Oracle is marketing fiddle-faddle published by Oracle, Oracle partners, or media entities paid by Oracle to run their marketing on the media website. Each one of these entities tries to hide its financial bias from readers. The article below is very different.

  • First, it is published by a research entity.
  • Second, no one paid for this article to be written, and it is not pretending to inform you while being rigged to sell you software or consulting services. Unlike nearly every other article you will find from Google on this topic, it has had no input from any company's marketing or sales department. 

Let us look at these quotes.

The CEO of Oracle Should Be Talking ABout Built-in Expenses?

“The most important difference between consumer and business technology isn’t the amount of spending; it’s how the money is spent. Consumer tech spending is mostly on offense, as people buy the latest, most innovative devices, applications, and services to improve their lives. The vast majority of business tech spending is still on defense: maintaining, integrating, and protecting legacy systems.

In fact, most company CIOs still spend 80% or more of their IT budgets in this defensive mode, managing the applications and infrastructure they’ve had for a long time. That leaves precious little time and money for innovative new technologies, digital capabilities, and digitally inspired business strategies.”

A significant reason for this is that they overpay for companies like Oracle and Oracle’s partners. This is why Larry Ellison has $58 billion. Even Safra, who puts out some rather ridiculous quotes, is worth 1/2 billion. Oracle extracts the most money from their accounts. Oracle’s support is almost all pure profit, and most of Oracle’s customers lack the brainpower to get off of Oracle’s support. It is hypocritical for Mark to write this, as his company is a source of this problem, sucking up the IT budget. We created an article for Oracle resources on hypocrisy Teaching Oracle About Hypocrisy on Lock-In

All On-Premises Applications Are Legacy?

“Those legacy applications, as well as the servers, storage, and other infrastructure that support them, amount to a form of technology debt. Think of the staff time and maintenance fees companies must keep plowing into their on-premises systems as mounting interest on the tech debt—time and money that do nothing but keep companies at status quo.”

All applications that are not ported to the cloud are legacy? The term legacy is used to describe an application they want to replace rather than accurately using the term. For example, SAP has referred to Oracle’s database as a legacy, even though SAP’s HANA database is inferior to the Oracle database.

Shifting to Cloud Services is Critical?

“It’s why the shift to cloud services is so critical, as it allows companies to pay off their tech debt in manageable installments. Instead of having to own data centers and manage their applications (and related infrastructure) themselves, companies can turn to cloud providers to do that heavy lifting for them—one application at a time.”

This quote does not logically follow from the previous quote. It is a logical leap. Secondly, no one from Oracle should write this. A big part of the first quote is companies invested in ERP systems that did not do what they said they could do and had to be customized and because they can’t get out of expensive databases like the Oracle database.

Oracle has an almost immeasurable cloud business. So unless Mark is trying to get people to use AWS or other real cloud services, why is Mark talking about the cloud? He can’t mean Oracle Cloud, as it for all intents and purposes can’t be used. Oracle can’t stop talking about bare metal, as this is all they have (hosting that is), so why is Mark talking about the cloud? Cloud has a real meaning Multi-tenancy, flexible termination, etc. Mark should limit his use of the term cloud to hosting — which is what Oracle is offering.

Create the Burning Platform?

“For most CIOs, the question isn’t whether their companies need to get out from under that tech debt. They understand what’s at stake; their CEOs and boards are on their backs to modernize technology and cut costs at the same time.

The question is how to get out from under that tech debt—and how quickly. Because if that technology transition doesn’t happen seamlessly, things go bad fast: deals don’t close, supply chains break down, products aren’t delivered, bills don’t get paid.”

Not if you perform testing before you cut over. We have to ask, has Mark Hurd ever been on a project in his life?

Companies Should Go on the Offensive with the Cloud?

“So how can companies go on the offensive? The first thing they should do is ditch the tech strategy that keeps them in a defensive mindset. They’re on defense because most of the applications that run their core business processes have been so highly customized that they’re costly to keep running, difficult to rip out, and next to impossible to modernize.

It’s why the shift to cloud services is so critical, as it allows companies to pay off their tech debt in manageable installments. Instead of having to own data centers and manage their applications (and related infrastructure) themselves, companies can turn to cloud providers to do that heavy lifting for them—one application at a time.”

Companies can’t free up IT budget if they have Oracle in their accounts, hoovering up as much of the budget as possible. A way to go offensive is to migrate from Oracle. This entire article is odd because it is essentially the fox telling readers how to manage the henhouse better. The only thing Mark Hurd cares about in life is increasing sales. There is no other goal. And that is generally at the expense of Oracle customers.

Blockchain is the Answer? Blockchain?

“What’s more, customers automatically receive the latest application updates—incorporating artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other emerging technologies—rather than have to spend a year or more working with systems integrators on complex, expensive upgrades to get that modern functionality. Because cloud subscriptions cover all of the supporting server and storage capacity as well as the people needed to support it, those services can cost about 25% less than on-premises alternatives, and they’re more secure by design.”

If you or other people around you use the term blockchain, then there is now help. 

So essentially, Mark Hurd proposes that customers invest in every unproven and trendy item with the money that they free up from porting all of their applications to the cloud. And how sure is Mark Hurd about the costs of moving to the cloud being less? Because he has told investors that when customers move to the cloud, they pay two or 3x more to Oracle, which will increase Oracle’s revenues. It seems that Mark Hurd has two stories, one for investors and a different and opposite one for customers.

Reusing of the Term Legacy

“The most astute CIOs already are measuring exactly how much of their IT budgets their organizations are spending on legacy versus new systems and processes, and they’ve developed a long-term plan for shifting that spending from the old to the new. Their main challenge now is to make that cloud transition with minimal disruption to their core operations. They understand that the future of their businesses is on the line.”

When Mark Hurd uses the term legacy, is he also referring to all on-premises Oracle databases and applications? Because that is amazing to learn.


We rank this as one of the most tone-deaf and hypocritical articles we have ever read.

Mark Hurd should not write articles, as it destroys the illusion that a person of high status will have insights. Hurd has been highly overpaid in his life for his mental capacity. Also, we need to maintain the illusion that at least some of Mark’s pay has been based upon merit. If Mark never writes again and deletes the rest of his articles, it will be a better way of maintaining the illusion.

We have the CEO of a company and cannot write even a logical article. This article is like some items thrown in a room without any consistent flow. How many errors is Mark making daily as the top person at Oracle? If this is his logical ability, this means he can’t interpret complexity. It also means he has not read very much in his life, which means he has a surface understanding of most of the things surrounding him.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of Oracle

There are two fundamental problems around Oracle. The first is Oracle’s exaggeration, which means that companies that purchased from Oracle end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the Oracle consulting companies repeat whatever Oracle says. This means that there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by Oracle on virtually all accounts.