Unify and simplify IT management, CA’s Swainson urges

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Managing the often “bewildering complexity” of an enterprise’s information technology environment requires a holistic approach, said John Swainson, CEO and president of CA Inc.

“What’s needed is an approach that recognizes the world is getting more networked, distributed and global all the time,” he said.

Swainson gave a keynote at CA World 2007 that kicked off this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference’s theme this year was ‘innovation in the real world.’

The six-day event will focus on how technology can unify and simplify the management of complex IT infrastructures, an approach that CA has dubbed enterprise information technology management (EITM). Contributing factors to such an environment, said the CEO, can be multiple PC vendors, server and storage suppliers, applications management and security providers, for instance.

Further adding to the fray, are constant innovations, said Swainson, such as faster and more extensive networks, pervasive use of virtualization, service-oriented architecture (SOA), open standards, and enhancements to software and hardware functionality.

“We face a future in which each new innovation threatens to deliver diminishing returns because each adds a new level of complexity.”

Therefore, he added, the industry needs to do more to address this “enormous complexity” that has been created – ironically, by the industry itself. “It [needs to be] a modular, integrated approach built around a common view of the services that IT is delivering to businesses.”

CA’s vision for EITM, said Swainson, embraces effective IT governance, better management and superior security. These three areas are generally not what developers have in mind when creating an application, he said.

The keynote also included a synopsis of the company’s accomplishments during the past 18 months – since the last CA World conference. Six key priorities were announced at the 2005 event against which “tremendous progress” has been made, however, additional work is required, he said.

CA has since strengthened customer relationships – its key priority – by increasing the number of client-focused account directors to almost 800, and introducing industry verticals in order to entertain customized technology management solutions. “Everything needs to begin and end with your customers.”

It’s since more than doubled its market reach by way of business partners, and expanded relationships with strategic partners. “This means more highly-trained experts to help clients with implementation,” said Swainson.

The company has focused on market leadership and making investments that grow the business.

CA has aligned its teams – sales, marketing, development – into cross-functional groups for the common purpose of evaluating business process and ultimately transforming how IT is managed.

The company has built an internal infrastructure to support future growth, for example, replacing financial systems with an enterprise resource planning environment.

And last, CA has rebuilt company culture to “create a performance-based culture [rooted] in integrity, accountability, teamwork and innovation.”

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