IT Life: “At AtTask, We Kick SaaS!”
Nothing would persuade Eric Morgan back off the cloud
Eric Morgan is the president and CEO of AtTask, the US provider of cloud-based enterprise work management solutions. He has 30 years of experience within the IT sector, with a focus on SaaS, strategic leadership, healthcare technology and enterprise software.
What has been your favourite project so far?
My favourite project has been the opportunity to come into AtTask and take a good company and help to make it great by focusing the strategy, go-to-market approach, building the leadership team and culture while providing clarity to the organisation about our future opportunities. This has resulted in accelerated growth and has been very rewarding.
Goodbye on-premise software!
What tech were you involved with ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was involved with on-premise enterprise software on a perpetual licensing model…yuck!
What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
It is so hard to say what tech will be an everyday part of our lives in ten years. On one hand, I have been using online billing and mobile phones since 1989, on the other, when I first saw a mobile phone with a camera I had no idea why anyone would want to use one. I think the coolest and most important areas of tech advancement will be applied to healthcare and energy. I would love to own a car that drives itself someday!
Who’s your tech hero?
I like the guys who are always pushing the envelope and thinking bigger than anyone else. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are the obvious choices. In business we often hear people say “We don’t want technology for technology’s sake”. Well if every tech entrepreneur believed that, then we wouldn’t have made as much progress as we have. Sometimes you just have to try things and see where it leads. I have huge respect for these visionaries and passionate risk takers – even the guys we have never heard of.
Who’s your tech villain?
The biggest villains in tech are those that use patents to unfairly bog down their competitors with bogus or exaggerated claims. It’s easy to hire a bunch of lawyers but it takes real work to win in the marketplace. This goes for patent trolls especially. This is not to say IP protection is not important but it has gone too far and abused in many cases.
Tech for music
What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
It is the application of technology that matters most. A microprocessor isn’t worth much until it is combined with other hardware and built into a device that runs cools software. I love my Sonos music system which runs on my Wi-Fi network – it can accesses a huge range of music sources and plays high fidelity music throughout my house.
What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing?
We are growing very fast and so is our budget, especially for good people who get our vision and are passionate about having an impact.
Apart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
I think it is truly amazing to see what Mark Benioff at Salesforce.com has done. Salesforce is the leading enterprise SaaS company and has grown rapidly while disrupting an established space.
What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
The greatest challenge is to assimilate all the great technology that is coming into their company. This should be used to make people more productive whilst avoiding the creation of a technology Tower of Babel.
To Cloud or not to Cloud?
Cloud all the way – at AtTask we kick SaaS!
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an architect or builder. I think I achieved it; I just build businesses not buildings.
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