The IT dashboard for tablets makes balancing the budget look fun, but is it actually useful?
On the last day of the annual CA World conference in Las Vegas, CA Technologies launched a brand new application designed to help manage technology investments, set goals and track business objectives, right from the screen of a tablet.
The CA Clarity Playbook (not to be confused with the infamous BlackBerry tablet) is delivered as a cloud service, and was created especially for upper management: the members of the C-suite. Essentially, it breaks down IT planning to make it more accessible and to show the results in real-time.
Age of the iPad
The Clarity Playbook allows IT managers and the rest of the business leadership to collaborate, set priorities, and manage the technology budget, all with the help of a few sliders, then present it to the key stakeholders. It draws information from the cloud and internal systems, and integrates with a number of existing CA products.
On the Clarity Playbook screen, all data is displayed dynamically through colourful, touch-enabled, virtual cards, opposed to the boring, permanent, annual spreadsheets of the past. Even though CA chose Apple’s iPad to demonstrate the Clarity Playbook running as an app, the software is written in HTML5 and can be accessed on any device that features a modern web browser, including desktop PCs.
The new product fits into CA’s Business Service Innovation range – a collection of tools that it says can “reinvent the approach to IT”. The company claimed Clarity Playbook can reduce costs associated with strategic planning by $20,000 (£1,300) per meeting, reduce time spent on budgeting by 240 people-weeks per year, and improve reaction to technology trends.
“Today, nothing works without technology. But our business people are becoming so technology-savvy, they don’t really need CIOs anymore. They can actually buy their own CRM with a credit card, meaning we become dinosaurs if we don’t change,” Eveline Oehrlich, VP and research director at Forrester Research, told the attendees at CA World. “So we have to get out of that mode of talking servers, availability and performance.”
One of the analysts in the audience told TechWeekEurope that consumerisation of IT has meant top-level executives often think they know what they want from the IT department – even if those are all the wrong things. Adding that, while Clarity Playbook sounds good in theory, it could become a major headache for IT professionals who were doing a fine job using spreadsheets.
Below, you can see some screenshots of CA Clarity Playbook in action:
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