Whether it’s via a perfect storm, product onslaught or the ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ times, CA Technologies appears to be making steady, if slow, progress from its mainframe roots to the app-fueled digital transformation world where trust, AKA cybersecurity, is essential. Changing a $4-billion company is proving challenging, especially when you consider that the bulk of your business is tied up with a mainframe environment synonymous with slow and steady, as befits the platform that holds between 70-80% of corporate data and affects 70% of enterprise transactions.
The software developer may be pushing the ‘software factory’ theme together with fast and agile DevOps, or the newer handle, DevSecOps, but that doesn’t mean it’s customers are comfortable with rapid changes. Not that they have much choice: only 12% of the Fortune 500 survived the period between 1955 and 2016, and up to 50% of the S&P 500 ranks are expected to be replaced over the next 10 years.
So disruption is the name of the game, and CA is doing its best to change its spots and become the essential go-to partner for fast and agile DevSecOps where ‘everyone is responsible for security with the goal of safely distributing security decisions at speed and scale to those who hold the highest level of context without sacrificing the safety required.’ That’s a mouthful, but the stakes are mind-boggling, with the potential to take CA’s total addressable market from mainframe billions to DT/DevSecOps trillions.
“The ability to manage change, respond to new inputs or insights and pivot has never been more important,” said CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire in his opening keynote . “Our entire portfolio is designed around the pillars of the Modern Software Factory to increase the velocity, security and performance of the solutions and the apps that are critical to our customers’ businesses.”
He said the company is on a “deliberate journey”, balancing creation and execution and morphing from a solutions company to one that is focused on “accelerating business values.” Operational efficiency isn’t enough, Gregoire added. “First among the tools to confront these challenges is your Modern Software Factory. It ensures that your company is built to change and can adapt to an accelerating digital world.”
We may be app-driven, but without security, you’re looking at a world of pain. With DevOps, CA helped break down the barriers between development and operations but “we don’t think about security,” said Gregoire in a media scrum following his keynote.
The application is the weakest link in your chain, he said, so you need security involved right from the start, with the coder. However, rather than best-of-breed standalone tools, customers are going to choose a security suite company and hold them accountable, “and to the extent we can tie the pieces together and make sense, that’s the prize.”
The Modern Software Factory — ‘where agility, automation, insights and security work together to power your digital transformation in the application economy’ — can play a critical role in making DT a success, and with failure rates languishing between a low of 70% and the slightly less low 84%, DT success is anything but assured.
According to a recent CA survey of over 1,200 IT leaders, ‘building a ‘Modern Software Factory’ is at the heart of business success in the digital economy.’When compared to the mainstream, the ‘Masters of the Modern Software Factory’ – the top 25% who embrace the principles of agility, automation, insights and security – delivered 70% higher profit growth and 50% higher revenue growth.
CA’s Ayman Sayed, President & Chief Product Officer, noted that one of the repercussions of the app economy, especially one where security becomes not only table stakes, but a competitive differentiator, is the increasing shortage of software developers. That is driving the need for automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, he said.
The IT industry agrees. By 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services; by 2021, 75% of commercial enterprise apps will use AI; and the majority of adopters have seen quantified returns meeting or exceeding expectations.
“AI is a positive force for change,” stated Mark Purdy, Managing Director-Economic Research, Accenture Research. “It has the potential to markedly increase growth rates and substantially raise economic output across industries, while helping organizations to more easily rotate to the new way of doing business.” A recent survey found that AI could boost average profitability rates by 38% and lead to an economic increase of $14 trillion by 2035.
CA may be pushing software suites, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have best-of-breed products too. Largely as a result of a history of acquiring almost every company it came into contact with — approximately 70 companies since opening its doors back in 1976 as Computer Associates — the ISV lists 192 separate products on its website, but to paraphrase George Orwell, some products are more equal than others. Recent awards and accolades include:a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Access Management, Worldwide 2017; a Leader in the “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Agile PPM 2017 Vendor Assessment – Enabling Adaptive Planning for Emerging Markets, DevOps, and IoT; in the Leaders quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide”; a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Release Automation; and, a Leader in the “The Forrester Wave: Continuous Delivery and Release Automation, Q3 2017”.
CA’s recent financial results have shown mixed results as it attempts to reinvent itself, but it appears to have been doing the heavy lifting required to become the toolmaker to the DT economy. While acknowledging the broad range of competitors, Sayed stated that the company has a unique differentiator. “We support any workload on any infrastructure… better than anybody else.”
DISCLAIMER: In addition to looking after airfare and hotel for this event, CA is also a part of my investment portfolio.