Although businesses are reviewing their Oracle investments, most of the products are surviving despite economic difficulties, a new user group survey has found.

The second annual joint survey carried out by Fujitsu and UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) found that all respondents had reviewed their Oracle licence arrangement over the past year, with more than half having reviewed in the last three months.

This contrasts starkly with the 2009 survey findings, which revealed that 10 percent of the 135 respondents had never reviewed their licence agreements at all. However, the survey found that nearly a quarter of respondents are still unaware of enterprise licensing and a further third are exploring its potential.

Despite the growing economic pressures, the survey found that two thirds of the respondents reported either no change (62 percent) or an increase in budgets (7.5 percent), which is similar to last year’s results.

Also similar to 2009’s results is the respondents’ Oracle products and services budgets. For 55 percent of respondents, this was less than £500,000, while 30 percent have budgets of over £1 million. Ten respondents have budgets of at least £10 million, and all but one was in the private sector.

For the first time, the UKOUG decided in 2010 to find out how economic pressures were affecting Oracle investments. Sixty-seven of the respondents said that budgets and timescale restraints were affecting their investments, with Oracle applications most affected (83.6 percent), compared to database (44.8 percent), server and storage systems (32.8 percent) and middleware (29.9 percent).

Moreover, while nearly a third of respondents said they were already carrying out an Oracle upgrade, over half have either decided not to upgrade due to lack of budget or requirement, or have yet to assess the business.

The user group survey also found that respondents’ view of SaaS had not changed much from last year. More than 80 percent said that SaaS was either irrelevant, or that they were happy without it.

However, respondents were evenly split (50:50) when it came to views on offshoring. In addition, public sector attitudes to offshoring continue to be more negative than the private sector, despite the government’s emphasis on efficiency and savings.

Meanwhile, the survey found that there is still a lack of understanding around Oracle’s Fusion product. A third of respondents struggled to understand the nature and business benefits of it, while a further 40 percent said that while they understand the technology, they have not yet assessed the business impact of the product for their business.

Ronan Miles, UKOUG chairman, said: “In the current economic climate, it is very understandable that only 30% have fully considered the business impact of Fusion. However, anticipated announcements later this year should drive an upward trend that will be shown in a survey next year.”

Andy Seferta, European head of Fujitsu's Oracle Practice, said that the 'applications landscape' is set to change.

He said: "Organisations are taking a closer look at their critical applications and reviewing how they can get more out of them, whether that be through simply efficiencies around licensing or more strategic options such as outsourcing and SaaS.

“We fully expect the applications landscape to change over the course of the next year as organisations look at how they deliver and manage their applications.”