Reduce complexity, CA president says

The IT industry has seen much innovation over the years, none of which reduces the complexity of managing distributed environments, said the head of Computer Associates Inc. That is the challenge the management software maker plans to tackle going forward, said John Swainson, CA president and CEO, at CA World 2007, the company’s 12th user conference, which this year drew some 6,000 attendees to Las Vegas.

“IT is more networked, more distributed and more mobile than it has ever been, and technologies such as service-oriented architecture introduce flexibility but also vulnerabilities,” Swainson told attendees during his keynote address. “And it is important for us to remember that nothing ever goes away in our industry.”

Swainson said that while technologies such as virtualization are adopted, IT executives don’t often consider how they will govern, manage and secure these new tools across their networks. As environments become more diverse, the tools to manage and secure those complex environments must evolve, he said.

“Enterprise IT is not going to become any simpler, so we have to make the management of IT simpler,” he said.

For CA, Swainson said, appropriate IT governance is about understanding and managing IT and risk in the business. Management is about ensuring desired service levels are met from networks, systems, applications and services. And security provides the tools to manage identities and access, while also enforcing controls put in place and then providing data for an audit of such controls.

The company 18 months ago introduced its Enterprise IT Management strategy, which provides IT managers with comprehensive and integrated products to manage and secure technology within enterprise companies, and now it has taken that strategy a step forward with more integration across a modular product set.

“To truly address complexity, the answer needs to be a modular integrated approach,” Swainson said. He discussed CA’s introduction of the Unified Service Model as a means to look across IT to provide a common view of services, both unifying and simplifying management.

“The Unified Service Model can be likened to the common ledger in ERP and the common view of the customer in CRM applications,” Swainson explained.

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