As conference season winds down in a somewhat quieter-than-usual Las Vegas that’s preparing for winter, CA Technologies has unveiled a host of product releases and updates that scream and shout the company’s DevOps and agile business agenda at its annual CA World conference that, in contrast to a peaceful Las Vegas, is buzzing with enthusiasm.
CA Technologies, the enterprise software firm founded in 1976, has managed to defy all odds to still be relevant in 2015. Over the past few years, through a combination of leadership changes and strategy u-turning, the company’s main focus is to now support enterprises on their path to success through a combination of DevOps and agile IT. CA is effectively picking up what startups have done in the past few years with APIs and mobile technology, and teaching (and selling) that philosophy to the slower, incumbent IT giants that really are struggling to keep up with today’s youngsters.
One easily referenceable example of what CA wants to help companies to do was demonstrated on stage today by CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire as he explained the story of Uber, the 6-year-old transportation startup.
“Uber alone is now worth more than four times the combined 12 billion dollar value of Hertz and Avis. These are mature, well-known brands that took years to develop. Avis was founded in 1946, and Hertz was a 12-vehicle Chicago “start-up” in 1918. Think about it: A company less than 10 years old is now worth quadruple their valuations,” he said.
The company’s main releases today include updates to its DevOps portfolio. DevOps, if you aren’t already au fait with the term, is the practice of smashing together the development and operations teams for apps or programs, and making the teams work together side by side to speed up development and deployment. That might seem like a simple and obvious idea, but you’d be surprised.
“DevOps is a philosophy, a cultural shift that merges operations with development and demands a linked toolchain of technologies to facilitate collaborative change,” reckons research house Gartner. Gartner predicts that 2016 will be the year in which DevOps jumps from being a niche strategy to being a mainstream strategy.
This is the market CA Technologies is going after, especially with today’s releases. The company has bolstered its CA DevOps portfolio with tools that it says will drive business agility and prove to bring a competitive advantage to any customer using them.
There are new API management products that speed up API creation and mobile app development, with a product called CA Service Virtualisation (which is now available from the Microsoft Azure marketplace) speeding up how developers can simulate and test applications.
CA Technologies’ DevOps portfolio now also comes with two new monitoring products called CA Virtual Network Assurance and CA Unified Infrastructure Management for z Systems. The former, obviously, gives ops teams assurance for dynamic virtual networks, and the latter comes as CA culls its dedicated data centre infrastructure management offering, replacing it with a product that the company says provides a better vertical offering. The Infrastructure Management tool “accelerates problem resolution with a unified view across mainframe and distributed systems”.
“It’s clear that today’s businesses with high performing DevOps organisations will be the digital leaders of tomorrow,” said Mike Madden, general manager, DevOps, CA Technologies. “CA remains committed to helping customers accelerate their digital transformation journey with this expanded and enhanced portfolio of solutions that drives the continuous delivery of high quality software innovations and services.”
Other new products include the CA Live API Creator, CA Mobile App Services, and CA Data Content Discovery.
According to Ayman Sayed, CA Technologies’ brand new chief product officer, digital disruptors have a lot in common. Some of those similarities include twice as much revenue growth as legacy players, with the disrutprs 2.5 times more likely to introduce DevOps as a way of working, and 2.5 times more likely to have agile practices in place.
Sayed went as far as calling this change “nothing short of another industrial revolution, in the impact it’s going to have in our lives,” in a media Q&A session this morning.
Devops goes hand in hand with CA Technologies’ second master plan, implementing agility as a way of making profit. During today’s keynote, Gregoire explained why he thinks that for enterprises to stay successful, they must adopt the agile way of working.
“The first true smartphones came out in the mid-2000s. It took only five years for the sharing economy to appear. You have to catch the wave when it hits – or risk being left behind. The window of opportunity to surf the wave is getting shorter.
“History books are filled with tales of big companies that were once stalwarts… but misjudged the rate of innovation compression. Today innovation is incredibly democratic – and fast. And it radiates at an exponential pace,” he said.
Gregoire thinks that it is an absolute must that companies use software to correctly identify and use waves of innovation before they pass by. The “application economy” demands that businesses are agile, use application programming interfaces (APIs) and implement DevOps and invest significantly in security.
For the agile management space, CA Technologies has updated its Agile Management portfolio, combining software and service components from CA and Rally, which CA acquired in July 2015.
“Companies are made or broken on how quickly they can deliver innovation while still managing within the resource and funding constraints of the business,” said James Harvey, general manager, IT Business Management, CA Technologies.
“Leading with the best agile coaches in the industry, our Agile Management solution portfolio is the first of its kind to tightly connect business strategy with development execution, creating a high-speed work environment.”
With Gartner’s 2016 DevOps predictions, and the race to keep up with the plethora of high value startups currently outpacing the legacy giants, will CA’s plan to keep its agile software at the cutting edge of a customer’s portfolio payoff?
“New technology tools, new revenue models,how we are rewriting business through software, all of this helps everyone thrive in our world of continuous disruption,” said Mike Gregoire.
“And everyone has a part to play. It’s not a zero-sum game. We’re all in this together. We understand our part. We are more than happy to ride in the wind and do the heavy lifting. And our satisfaction is driven by your success.”