Aptare CEO Sees Back to Basics Trend

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-29 Print this article Print

"We've broken down our approach to the downturn in three pieces, the first of which we call 'back to basics,' " Rick Clark, CEO of data protection management software maker Aptare, told eWEEK. "Companies are going back to 'must-haves,' not 'nice-to-haves.' Things that can make a dramatic effect on the bottom line and not have a four-to-five-year ROI payback with them."

Even though a certain technology may be sexy right now, unless it has a pretty compelling return on investment, IT executives just aren't interested in even looking at it, Clark said.

"The true focus is now on utilization and efficiencies within IT that result in hard dollar savings -- ROIs that can be quantified over a period of six months or less. It's been a long time since we've heard that," Clark said.

Stopping the general wastefulness of IT resources -- especially regarding storage capacity -- is another point IT executives are now examining.

"We know of two telecommunication providers that came either to Aptare or one of our partners and said, 'Where on Earth is all of our storage going?' 'How are they [IT managers] utilizing it?' and 'Why on Earth are we buying more and more [storage]?' because they're sick and tired of writing that check at the end of every month," Clark said.

Finally, there's a seasonal factor involved here, with the holidays coming up at the end of the year. This is the beginning of the traditional slow season in IT.

"Companies are looking for no big changes in IT," Clark said. "Unless a project is well under way, companies are not looking to embrace disruptive changes in the organization."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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