Live from CA World '13

April 24, 2013  4:23 PM

CA World 2013: Big Technologies, Big Ideas, Big Dreams

TheTechster Alan Perlman Profile: TheTechster

After spending four days at CA World in Las Vegas, The Techster is walking away thinking big: Big concepts, big ideas, big opportunities ahead and, perhaps best of all, big dreams. There is also the prospect of big sequester-inspired airport delays, but we’ll leave that subject for another time.

So what are some of the big ideas, concepts, opportunities and dreams that inspired The Techster and thousands of others here this week at CA World where the theme was, naturally, Go Big? We divide them into three categories: technologies, IT attributes and personal characteristics. Here’s what we mean.

Big Technologies

DevOps: All of the CA Technologies executives wanted to talk about DevOps at every opportunity. This is a big technology because, as we noted at the beginning of the conference, IT consumerization is bringing new challenges and expectations to the delivery of applications: Faster, better, more elegant and far more intuitive.

Mobility: The proliferation of devices is one aspect and it touches a lot of IT issues: Security, data protection, device management, BYOD. But that’s only part of the story. If you’re developing apps today, you have to recognize that if the application has a customer touch point, then it must support mobile devices.

Social Media: We think people in technology are finally starting to “get” social media and why it is included as a major pillar of the next-generation computing platform. There is a whole generation of people who live in this world and, if you are in IT, they are your customers and employees and co-workers and, eventually, they will be your bosses.

Big Data: After spending four days here, we’ve concluded that big data is what we thought it was: A potentially groundbreaking technology platform that is still at the beginning of delivering its full potential. Now is the time to start figuring out how to harness it and what you will want to do with it.

Big IT Attributes

Speed: Everything has to be faster. Technologies such as storage, servers, networks and databases, and processes such as provisioning, deploying, scaling, managing and, as noted above, application development and DevOps.

Agility: Do you really need us to explain this one to you?

Availability: Or this one?

Security: Or this one?

Big Personal Characteristics

Vision: The Richard Branson keynote was entertaining and enlightening. It was impressive how he has been able to consistently follow a vision and alter that vision while taking what he repeatedly described as “calculated” risks.

Commitment: We took this from Branson as well. If you have a vision, stick with it. Be prepared to change and adapt, but keep your commitment until it is proven to be wrong, which, hopefully, will never be the case.

Trust: In this case, we believe that IT decision-makers have to trust that the changes we are witnessing – the big technologies and the big IT attributes cited above – are not only here forever, they are presenting us with a defining moment in the history of IT. Trust it and be part of it.

Courage: It always takes courage to push through change and adapt to a changing environment. But, really, what choice do you have? As CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire said right at the outset: You can be a driver of change or you can be driven by change. As far as The Techster is concerned, tighten up your seat belt and drive!

This is our final blog from CA World 2013. We hope you have enjoyed it and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

April 24, 2013  7:20 AM

More Big Themes: Mobility, DevOps & Cloud

TheTechster Alan Perlman Profile: TheTechster

We’ve been focused on big themes during our several days here at CA World 2013 in Las Vegas, which, we suppose, is quite appropriate for a conference where the overall theme is Go Big. Today we will focus on the themes of mobility, DeVops and cloud, as addressed by CA Technologies executive vice-president Peter Griffiths in his keynote address on Monday morning. Each of these areas – mobility, DevOps and cloud – raises the bar to unprecedented levels for IT professionals, requiring new ways of thinking, new tools and new partnership models.

“All interactions within organizations today – customers, employees, partners – are essentially IT interactions,” said Griffiths, who added that as these and other interactions become more commonplace, they also add to complexity for organizations – and especially for IT teams. Griffiths had an eye-opening statistic for the audience to consider: Nearly 70 percent of all patents being issued today are in some way related to mobility. “It changes everything we do,” he said. “BYOD may be the most significant shift in our industry since PCs took over from typewriters.”

In the area of DevOps – the unification of development and operations designed to space applications development, testing and production deployment – Griffiths pointed out that CA Technologies was putting more emphasis than ever on tools and partnerships to help customers get their software up and running faster and more efficiently. For instance, not only did he point out that the company was bringing out a new release of its CA LISA application delivery solution, but it was also making two significant acquisitions – Nolio for application service automation, and Layer 7 for enterprise API management.

Finally, Griffiths stressed CA Technologies’ work on cloud solutions, using the example of how the company partnered over the past several years with a major customer, Shell Oil, to aid in the development of a long-term technology roadmap for what eventually would become CA CloudMinder.

Using technology to its fullest may require great tools and superior processes, but in the end the single most important ingredient for success, according to Griffiths, may be the willingness of IT leaders to challenge themselves – and partners such as CA Technologies – to not reject out of hand what may seem like unproven ideas and solutions. After all, a lot of CIOs may have freaked out when they started seeing a rash of credit card receipts for public cloud services such as Amazon Cloud Services, and it wouldn’t been unusual for IT leaders to try to quash that movement like a bug. But those business end users clearly were on to something, and tomorrow’s IT innovation must survive natural, initial reactions of fear over the loss of control.

What do you think? How are the big issues of mobility, DevOps and cloud impacting you? Are you ready to innovate?

April 23, 2013  10:31 AM

Of Luminaries, Social Media and Major IT Transformation

TheTechster Alan Perlman Profile: TheTechster

One of the cool events at CA World 2013 is a series they are calling Luminaries Live! It is a series of 5-minute presentations packed back-to-back in a condensed session, with each presentation delivered by an individual with both a vision and a point of view on a subject that is in some way related to technology and some of the themes of the conference. The first one was yesterday at the CA World 2013 Broadcast Center in the exhibit hall, and the second and final one will be at 12:30 p.m. today also at the Broadcast Center. Try to get there early because yesterday all of the seats were filled.

The presentations yesterday were all thought provoking and, fitting with the format, tightly structured and entertaining. One of the topics that struck closely with The Techster was focused on the culture around social media and why it is critical that IT leaders and decision-makers embrace social media as potentially game-changing aspect of our culture and, consequently, as a potential driver of huge revenue opportunities. This viewpoint fits in very closely with The Techster’s own view and, really, with the dynamics that are transforming the computing paradigm. Wherever you look these days, pundits are describing another major generational shift in computing platforms, as we move from a distributed model to a model defined by the combination of social media, cloud computing, mobility and big data.

Jacob Lamm, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development at CA Technologies, made that case that there is a generation/community/nation of what he called “social media natives” who are at least as comfortable in the digital world as they are in the physical world. There is  tendency, he said,  for many people who are not social media natives to dismiss and perhaps diminish the digital interactions of these individuals as something that is inferior to the physical interactions that defined our interactions prior to the advent of social media. This tendency, Lamm argued quite persuasively, is a mistake and a potentially dangerous mistake if it is the attitude taken by our IT leaders.

The reality, Lamm said, is that for social media natives, digital interactions are in many ways more natural and common and, this is important, more trustworthy, than physical interactions. The trustworthy aspect is critical, because trust can be the foundation in building technologies and services to capture these social media natives in their native habitat. As Lamm pointed out, for companies to succeed in the future, they must be able to communicate with social media natives ” in their native tongue and set up shop in their digital neighborhood.”

What do you think? Do you agree that the role of social media will play a transformative role in the transition to our next major compute platform? Please feel free to comment. And, if you are here live at CA World 2013, as we are, try to stop by at the Broadcast Center in a couple of hours for today’s edition of Luminaries Live. You may even get a glimpse of The Techster himself.

April 22, 2013  8:48 AM

The Growing Role Of IT Consumerization In Application Development

TheTechster Alan Perlman Profile: TheTechster

Technology is at a pivot point as we move from a distributed model to a cloud model.  IT leaders and decision-makers are at a pivot point as well. The role of the CIO is changing so that CIOs are becoming brokers of technology rather than managers of data centers. That was one of the key messages in Mike Gregoire’s keynote speech at CA World ’13 yesterday evening and we would like to elaborate, if you don’t mind.

One of the important terms we often hear these days is IT consumerization. A lot of people get caught up in thinking about this as the proliferation of consumer devices and, indeed, this is a major component. Gregoire mentioned in his talk that there will be something on the order of 50 billion devices connected to our networks in 2020 – just seven years away. That’s six devices for every person on the planet. Scary.

But Gregoire also alluded to what we think of as the “mindset” that is IT consumerization and that is this: Everyone is a consumer of today’s technology. That means our workers and managers and executives as well as our customers. All of these various constituencies bring their consumer mindset to every aspect of IT these days and it plays out in a wide variety of ways.

Take applications development as a perfect example, and an example that Gregoire discussed last night and which will be discussed often this week. The traditional model for applications development just doesn’t fit anymore with the expectations of today’s consumers/workers. Technology is moving so rapidly that waiting 18 months or two years for an application, and then not even being sure if it will deliver on its original promise, is becoming an anachronistic model.

In this era, IT consumers, in this case our workers and customers, expect much more accelerated delivery of applications because that’s what they are accustomed to seeing in the consumer world. They also want their applications to be far more elegant in design and much more intuitive right out of the gate.

IT leaders have to recognize that they are no longer in control of these expectations. That no matter what IT does or says, our customers are bringing these expectations – this mindset – with them from the consumer world. As Gregoire noted, IT can either drive this change or be driven by it.

Getting control over applications development with solutions such as service virtualization and continuous application delivery gives IT leaders the ability to be drivers of IT consumerization, rather than bystanders. This is an important topic and one we will be getting back to again this week as we blog live from CA World ’13. See you again soon.

April 21, 2013  6:11 AM

Speed, Mobility, Big Data: Just a Few Things to Watch Out For This Week at CA World ’13

TheTechster Alan Perlman Profile: TheTechster

The Techster has arrived in Las Vegas for CA World ‘13, where the theme is “Go Big. IT with Impact.”  As for us, we are going to try to go in moderation, it being Las Vegas and The Techster having gone big way too many times in the past, to the great chagrin of Mrs. Techster and the Techster bank account.

Nevertheless we are excited for a big week here of blogging and tweeting and talking to IT leaders, vendors and channel partners. There are a few key issues on our mind as we enter the festivities, and these are, in no particular order:

  • Speed: For the past few years agility has been the key watchword in IT as we have begun to see the impact that virtualization has had on enabling new levels of business agility and in setting the stage for next-generation cloud computing. What we are learning as we talk to IT leaders in all areas is that speed is starting to become the new agility. What do we mean by that? We are seeing a much greater need for speed across the IT sphere – from the development of applications, to the availability of new business services, to the demands we are making of our infrastructures in areas such as storage and database, to the response time our customers and employees are expecting from IT in its ability to do everything. IT consumerization has changed the way all of us think about delivering applications and accelerating time to value, and the whole idea of faster innovation and faster delivery of business services is a concept that seems to be gathering tremendous momentum. So that is one of the trends we will be tracking this week.
  • Mobility: This is related to speed in the sense that it is also being driven from the consumer world. The thing to watch in mobility is how organizations are incorporating mobility as they build new applications and, perhaps more importantly, how they are upgrading, expanding and modernizing legacy applications. Workers are insisting on mobility, just as they are insisting on an accelerated development cycle for new applications. It’s an area where workers and customers are driving IT and pushing for innovation, and we will be on the lookout this week to see how organizations are responding.
  • Big Data: With a theme of Go Big. IT With Impact it would be hard to ignore the potential of big data as a driver of next-generation business agility. What we see eventually in big data is the ability for organizations to harness social networking and other unstructured data – but mostly social networking – into creating transformative business services that use real-time information to address real-time business opportunities. We believe that we are several years away from seeing the real impact, but we also believe that that this is prime time for building the foundation for creating those types of transformative services – perhaps akin to where the cloud was three or four years ago. So we are anxious to see who is doing what with big data and how leading vendors such as CA Technologies are working with companies to address potential big data opportunities.

There’s plenty more, of course. We are watching trends around cloud and desktop virtualization and service assurance and security and so many of the other issues that are taking place in this very exciting and transformative era in IT. And it all begins later today with the keynote by Michael Gregoire, CEO of CA Technologies. We’ll be there and we’ll be reporting on all of the major trends and events for you this week. See you again soon.

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