Evolutionary Thinking

The hard work of enterprise IT requires the support of everyone in the business.

by Aaron Lazenby

Aaron Lazenby

In 1991, motivated by romantic writerly thoughts, I bought a Corona Four portable manual typewriter. Exhumed from its wood case, its inky ribbon unwound, it didn’t take long for the antique machine to reveal its eccentricities. Even in those pre-laptop days, the force-driven keys and mechanical failings of the Corona Four were foreign and frustrating—complicated and unreliable compared to the Apple IIc computer I grew up using.

Despite the novelty associated with repairing and operating the typewriter, in its day the Corona Four was a revolutionary business machine. Launched in 1924, the Corona is credited (at least by the manufacturer) for causing a major surge in typewriter adoption, establishing it as a critical tool for boosting business productivity. If you had typing to do and wanted to take your work to a (pre-internet) café, the Corona Four was the tool for the job.

Even today, in the era of cloud computing and the iPad, I keep my Corona Four around. It’s a beautiful green machine—I never would have guessed a 90-year-old typewriter would be manufactured in such a cool color. But given my current job, this antique reminds me of how fast the business tools we use change. As proof, I just have to compare the productivity I get from my current MacBook Pro. Certainly the magazine editors of the Corona era would have trouble recognizing the workflow, design, and layout tools we use today.

To a large degree, the content we produce in Profit is about that same change. The tools we use to increase productivity, trim margins, improve operational efficiencies, support knowledge workers, and grow the bottom line are in constant flux. Sitting at Oracle, with the opportunity to speak with business leaders from around the world, I have a unique opportunity to observe the evolution of those tools. And the access Oracle’s customers and partners give me provide a unique opportunity to observe their benefits.

With the right talent management strategies many organizations can be inoculated against the skills malaise.

Profit has been redesigned and reimagined to reflect this evolution. It is my goal to show that enterprise IT is hard work, requiring the support of everyone in the business (not just the IT department). But I believe—as do the Oracle customers found in the pages of Profit—that the benefits of that work far outweigh the investment. By staying current and learning from peers across industries and lines of business, we can all continue to reap the benefits of enterprise technology by staying ahead of the curve (and, hopefully, ahead of the competition).  

Aaron Lazenby
Editor in Chief, Profit

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