CA World: New CEO Backs Move To DevOps

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DevOps improves speed and quality, new CEO Mike Gregoire tells the CA troops in Las Vegas

CA Technologies will be pushing DevOps  – the streamlined development methodology that marries developers with operational staff – according to Mike Gregoire, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, one of the largest independent software corporations in the world. The announcement was made during his inaugural keynote at this year’s CA World gathering in Las Vegas.

CA will also be launching a mobile management suite built in partnership with SAP, Grigoire said. He added DevOps to the usual three  “high concepts ” promised by software vendor: mobile, Big Data and SaaS (software as a service or “cloud”). A recently coined word, DevOps describes closer collaboration between application development teams and IT operations, designed to provide much needed stability and quality.

Gregoire became the CEO  of company in January, following a few turbulent years in which all the top CA staff were reshuffled.  He has 25 years of experience in IT, in companies such as EDS, Taleo and PeopleSoft.

CA goes big

“The benefits of DevOps are not trivial,” said Gregoire. “We believe our solutions can help you achieve as much as a 30 to 50 per cent reduction in time-to-market, an 80 to 100 per cent improvement in quality and a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in infrastructure costs.”

DevOps will be crucial for the companies that want to considerably shorten time-to-market for their projects, perhaps using agile development methods, without sacrificing quality, he said – and the  new methodology will be fully supported in the new version of CA LISA software.

“DevOps will be a big thing,” analyst Michael Azoff of Ovum told TechWeekEurope. “While Agile has sped things up, DevOps promises to ensure reliability.”

CA Goes Big

Under the slogan “Go Big – IT With Impact”,  Gregoire kicked off a CA World which brought thousands of IT professionals to Las Vegas for their annual update on what next from the firm.

“Value is no longer measured by the size of the IT staff, MIPs under management or the square footage of your data centres,” said Gregoire. “IT’s value today is all about providing the innovation, speed, insight and security the business needs to gain a competitive advantage – using resources from both inside and outside your company.”

He warned that the role of the CIO was changing into that of a “broker of technology” – with increased responsibility but also much more impact on the success of business as a whole.

Mobile platforms are suffering from a lack of comprehensive solutions for managing devices and applications, content and services, he said – promising a new suite of mobile device management (MDM) tools, designed in partnership with SAP.

Gregoire also compared the rise of BYOD to the proliferation of personal computing over two decades ago, joking that after CA handled the transition from mainframes to PCs, surely it can handle smartphones and tablets.

As part of its strategy for the next year, the company will be increasing its investment in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products. “For most people, SaaS means moving applications to the public cloud,” said Gregoire. “But I have a different point of view. To me, SaaS is more of a technology infrastructure and a business model shift.

“Ultimately, SaaS is a business model that enables us to provide better quality code faster, deliver continuous innovation, meet your needs more rapidly and accurately, and help you deliver better business results in a public cloud, private cloud or behind a customer’s firewall.”

As for Big Data, according to Gregoire the most pressing challenge was to manage and secure huge quantities of information that originate outside the company’s firewall, before it can be “mined” for insight. “The bigger the data, the bigger the challenge for management and security, and this is our sweet spot.”

Beyond next year, CA has promised to maintain its focus on engineering, launch new initiatives to help clients review and optimise their software at no additional cost, and ultimately motivate customers to move onto new releases, where innovation is at its most advanced.

Additional reporting by Peter Judge

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