25 Feb Former Oracle VP reveals thoughts on benefits of IT
Madison, Wis. — George Roberts, former executive vice president of Oracle Corporation and University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus, spoke about how businesses can streamline operations using new technology and how information technology companies can become profitable last Wednesday. His speech was a part of Accelerate Madison’s monthly lecture series.
Roberts stressed technology’s importance in making businesses be more competitive and profitable.
“The real winners are the businesses that find a way, frankly, to use technology to leverage their expense growth …they find a way to get more out of their existing assets people, capital, plants etc. through the use of technology to lower their expense curve while raising their revenue,” he said.
Robert’s showed the audience how Oracle consolidated its computer systems into data centers, and explained how the technology-aided improvements helped the company. The new technology not only improved the consistency of Oracle’s messages to its customers and employees, but also eliminated computers, software and the people who manage them. This provided better information at a lower cost, saving Oracle millions of dollars and allowing the company to compete more effectively in the IT industry.
“There isn’t a single part of a business that cannot be enhanced through the use of technology,” Roberts said.
Roberts also focused on the importance of maintaining the success of IT companies over time. He emphasized his personal business philosophies, such as always thinking globally and long term. According to Roberts, companies should invest in research and development in addition to technology. While these investments may bruise a company’s bottom line in the short run, Roberts advised these changes can sustain the company in the long run.
In response to a question regarding the loss of jobs in the United States and how many other countries are less competitive in IT Roberts said, “The biggest concern that I have isn’t that we have a technology advantage, the biggest concern that I have is that we may lose our educational advantage. …The way we maintain our edge is through the educational aspect.”
Mark Clear, chief executive officer of Interactive Media Solutions, commenting on Roberts discussion, said that he felt the information Roberts presented applied to his company and its clients.
“It directly applies to global companies. I don’t have to worry about consolidating our global operations, got that one covered already. But [Roberts’ presentation] does apply a lot to how we think about our clients. Definitely, there are things that we can apply in what he said when we’re talking with clients, and that’s where I really benefited from his presentation,” Clear said.
Jan Moen, executive director of Accelerate Madison appreciated Roberts’ personal perspectives and plans to use his maxims like “Change is the only constant we face” or “People, the only sustainable strategic advantage you have.”