CA Unveils New DevOps Tools, Commits To Increased SaaS Offerings

As businesses increasingly rely on software to transform their companies, CA Technologies will focus its product development efforts around cloud and IT management systems, DevOps and security, CEO Michael Gregoire said in his CA World 2014 keynote Monday.

"Software is rewriting the rules of everything," Gregoire said, addressing the 4,000 attendees. "New business models, new go-to-market approaches, the re-invention of product and service design and recognizing that user experience drives adoption."

While Gregoire's keynote focus was on the transformation of IT and its impact on business, the transformation of CA itself is a dominant theme at the conference. Gregoire, who took over as CEO in early 2013, has been shifting the company's direction and appointing a new management team -- many joining the company just this year.

[Related: CA Promises New Channel Commitment, Outlines Plans For Partner Program Overhaul]

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CA channel managers and other executives on Sunday outlined for the company's solution provider partners how those transformations also apply to the vendor's channel operations.

CA has been using the tag line "the application economy" to describe the accelerated trend among businesses to optimize and transform their companies through the use of IT. That's embodied in the company's marketing motto "Business rewritten by software."

"In every market, every industry, customers are looking at their businesses in new ways," Gregoire said. "Innovation is measured in weeks. In today's application economy, time has been compressed. Speed is no longer a differentiator. It's table stakes. This is not going to be a gentle evolution, but a fundamental transformation of business, society and life," Gregoire said.

DevOps is the juncture of software development and IT operations, improving collaboration between the two in order to help a business develop new applications and become more agile.

"When it comes to innovation, DevOps needs to be at the center," Gregoire said. "It's time everyone in this room gets religion around this because it is the most important software practice."

CA unveiled on Monday CA Application Lifecycle Conductor, a lifecycle management system that automates and manages the flow of complex application development processes. By using the technology, businesses can speed up application development processes and improve the quality of their software.

Also new is CA Release Automation 5.5 with capabilities that improve the continuous delivery of multi-tiered application deployments. And CA is starting a DevOps practice, a network of systems integrators and other partners that CTO John Michelsen said in a press briefing will provide DevOps training, assessments and services to customers.

"DevOps is becoming a vital platform of our clients' continuous delivery strategies," said Vilas Patil, practice leader of DevOps services at CA partner Cognizant. "That is why Cognizant and CA are expanding our partnership to help companies drive innovation and business value with DevOps. By combining Cognizant's DevOps experience and the CA Devcenter technologies, we can help companies automate complex release deployments, reduce errors and speed up application delivery from days to minutes," he said in a statement.

CA's security product portfolio focuses on authentication and identity management software, including APIs for linking applications.

"Security is at the heart of your business," Gregoire said in his keynote. "But let me be clear this isn't about keeping people out. It's about providing the right access to the right users at the right time with the least amount of friction."

At the conference CA debuted the new CA API Developer Portal SaaS, which developers use to create, test and publish APIs from data sources. CA also announced a new release of the CA API Developer Portal and enhancements to the CA Mobile API Gateway.

Mainframe systems are the back-end of most large, complex mobile applications, Michelsen said, calling mainframe-to-mobile links a new "killer app."

APIs will become increasingly important as businesses seek to develop links between mobile devices and back-office systems. Gregoire cited a forecast that by the end of this decade 80 percent of Internet traffic will be from mobile devices.

CA's Management Cloud line is a broad portfolio of cloud service management, enterprise mobility management and project and portfolio management (PPM) applications offered on a Software-as-a-Service basis.

CA currently has 20 SaaS products. And while CA does not break out sales figures for specific products, Michelsen said sales of the company's SaaS products are growing more rapidly.

"It is clearly our intent to become more and more a SaaS company," the CTO said.

CA will increasingly offer both SaaS and on-premise versions of its products and Michelsen added, "it will not be too far off [when CA has] only SaaS versions."