INTEROP - CA's Swainson: We need to improve in mgmt. tools

As IT infrastructure becomes more complex and supports advanced applications such as VOIP and wireless, technology vendors must help enterprise network executives simplify the management and security of their IT assets, said John Swainson, president and CEO of CA in a keynote speech delivered at Interop Wednesday.

"If we had to grade ourselves ... we'd have to give ourselves a poor score" for previous efforts to provide integrated tools that manage and secure multiple layers of IT, Swainson said. "Enterprise IT is never going to be simple, but we have to make the managing and securing of IT simpler."

Swainson, an IBM veteran who took the helm at CA after accounting scandals wiped out its executive management team, said the best innovation technology vendors would enable CIOs and the like to "unleash the true value of IT" and reap the benefits of reduced costs and improved operation efficiency.

"Businesses are continuing to add layers of complexity to their infrastructure and extend the reach of their enterprises," Swainson said to attendees at the second day of the conference in New York. "Technology vendors attempting to provide an integrated, holistic view need to come up with innovations that interoperate with pre-existing technologies."

Swainson extolled the potential benefits of instilling the automation technologies and processes used in other industries such as manufacturing into IT operations, saying the evolution would enable IT executives to stop spending the majority of their IT budget (upwards of 60 percent according to Gartner) on maintenance and labor. With 81% of IT executives admitting they mostly use homegrown systems for management, Swainson said, every major company is essentially taking their own unique approach to management. That means the industry as a whole is further away from implementing best practices standards such as those laid out in ITIL -- which could in turn enable IT shops to automate manual tasks and reduce IT labor costs.

"IT management has traditionally been done at the component level, but the technologies are now in place to aggregate components into a service," Swainson said. "IT organizations have not been process-centric, but now we must manage IT as a set of business services. It is critical that IT is governed to the same high standards of compliance that other areas of business are."

In line with CA's Enterprise IT Management product strategy, Swainson said all aspects of IT should be integrated into a single console and transformed from a "disjointed set of point products to software suites." The company has worked to integrate interfaces and management data among its own products, and Swainson emphasized the interoperability must also exist between hardware and software, old and new systems, and multiple vendors.

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