CA chief gives thumbs up to industry consolidation

LAS VEGAS — Consolidation is good for the IT industry, said Sanjay Kumar, both for vendors and ultimately customers.

The chairman and CEO of Islandia, N.Y.-based Computer Associates International Inc. made the statement at his opening keynote for CA World 2003 and in a Q&A session with Canadian

journalists. He said there will always be room for small, innovative technology vendors, but that there’s little room for mid-market firms. He said the potential Oracle acquisition of PeopleSoft (which wants to acquire J.D Edwards) makes sense.

“”I think the industry has to and will consolidate,”” said Kumar. He added the scope of the industry is changing — integrated suites will be more important than ever before.

He also said customers are telling CA they want less complexity.

“”The IT industry is really under pressure to perform,”” he told 10,000 attendees. “”You are being forced to justify technology investments with hard ROI numbers.

“”To get new technology dollars, technology people are going to have to show alignment,”” he added. “”It’s good for the industry.””

Management was the theme of this year’s CA World, with the company launching four new products to help enterprises manage their IT infrastructure and realize the benefits of autonomic and on-demand computing. The products fall under CA’s Unicenter, BrightStor and eTrust brands and all have a common thread: Sonar, new technology developed by CA to discover and manage business processes.

Using a patent-pending “”agentless”” intelligence technology, Sonar correlates business processes to the supporting IT assets to align IT infrastructure investments with business priorities.

The four new management solutions for on-demand computing are generally available or entering beta release.

BrightStor Process Automation Manager automates the allocation and provisioning of storage resources across multiple platforms in response to business demands. An eTrust Vulnerability Manager is an asset-based vulnerability management appliance that provides the monitoring capabilities and security intelligence required to automatically pinpoint vulnerabilities that threaten the integrity of enterprise IT environments. Unicenter NSM Option for VMware

Software monitors virtual machine environments on Intel-based Linux and

Windows platforms and determines when additional resources are needed to fulfill service level requirements. Finally, Unicenter NSM Dynamic Reconfiguration Option is for managing and dynamically provisioning VMware virtual machines as needed.

Kumar said on-demand computing is not so much about hardware, operating systems or business applications, but more about making all of these components work together in a highly adaptable way.

“”We manage the platform, we don’t provide the platform,”” said Louis Blatt, chief technology strategist for enterprise software at CA.

Blatt said on-demand computing is not only about consolidation, but it is one of the obvious benefits. However, he said even in an environment of tight IT spending, enterprises must strategically invest in new technologies to stay competitive.

For the Alberta Cancer Board in Edmonton, doing more with less is a reality, said Holger Henke, director of IS.

The ACB, which provides cancer treatment across the province at 19 different sites and collaborates with the Universities of Alberta and Calgary on research, is using CA’s Unicenter 3.0 to keep a better eye on its infrastructure.

Henke said Unicenter allows the ACB to be more proactive about solving problems. It is currently looking at deliver Unicenter alerts to its tech support people via handheld devices, since they are on the road between sites fairly frequently.

‘The organization’s IT staff has not grown significantly,”” said Henke, “”(but) we’ve been able to manage more.””

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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