Aug 20 2008

Best Value IT

IT managers say in tough times it's best to go for the sure thing. That means technologies such as disaster recovery, remote access and security.

Challenging times have a way of crystallizing our most important business decisions, and this is now very true for IT managers.

In discussions with close to a dozen IT managers at SMBs, we were told that this is no time to experiment.

Choosing among numerous candidates, we held in-depth interviews with IT managers from five vastly different organizations.

Joe Glessner is IT manager at electrical contractor Howe Electric in Fresno, Calif. His must-have technology for this year is a new disk array to meet the company’s expanding storage needs.

Next up is Ed Kessler, chief technology officer at Capitol Bancorp in Lansing, Mich. His top technologies are server virtualization and network management and security.

We also interviewed Pat McClintock, deputy director of program administration for Iowa Legal Aid in Des Moines. One of McClintock’s top concerns is keeping the staff equipped with the latest remote access and mobile computing tools.

Scott Preston, chief information officer of worldwide law firm Fulbright & Jaworski is up next. Preston’s top projects include an 18-month-long server virtualizaton effort. He also is interested in desktop virtualization, telepresence and disaster recovery.

Rounding out our group is Mary Sbaschnig, chief operating officer of Delos Insurance in New York City. Delos just deployed a web-based portal for its business partners, and the company is in the middle of a disaster recovery project.

These pros told us that in challenging times, the best managers scrutinize new products carefully and then prioritize on the technologies that deliver the greatest ROI.

Joe Glessner
IT Manager
Howe Electric
2007 Revenue:
$50 million

Ed Kessler
Chief Technology Officer
Capitol Bancorp
2007 Revenue:
$208 million

Pat McClintock
Deputy Director of Program Administration
Iowa Legal Aid
2008 Budget:
$7.7 million

Scott Preston
Chief Information Officer
Fulbright & Jaworski

Mary Sbaschnig
Chief Operating Officer
Delos Insurance
2007 Direct Written Premium:
$262.8 million