CA pushes on-demand trend

Avoiding any mention of the accounting scandal that has rocked Computer Associates International (CA), interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Cron used his keynote speech at the opening of TechXNY Tuesday to place the company at the center of the trend toward on-demand computing.

"A fragmented, manually controlled IT environment cannot deliver consistent service," Cron said. "We can all take a page out of the book of consumer technology." If consumer products don't work, Cron said, they are quickly jettisoned by users. "In the consumer market ease of use and affordability delivers on the promise of the technology."

In the corporate IT sphere however, IT infrastructure remains complex.

"A wide variety of products from a wide variety of vendors has delivered too much complexity," Cron said.

Now however, corporations and vendors are struggling to deliver IT much in the same way that utilities offer services, Cron said. "Stage two for corporate IT is managing on-demand computing ... where you get power from a grid," he said.

Vendors such as IBM and Sun Microsystems have been touting on-demand IT services, which offer users the ability to pay for computing power and applications on as as-needed basis, for several years.

"CA is at the forefront of this revolution," Cron said, pointing to CA's eTrust security and product patch-management services to illustrate that the company is on top of this trend.

He also talked about several users that have benefited from CA IT infrastructure management services and applications.

"Arizona Electric cut backup time by 50 percent .... they didn't do it by overhauling their business IT infrastructure but by better managing what they already have."

However, Cron did not delve into details about specific products, nor did he address the accounting scandal that has caused key CA executives to be indicted by federal authorities.

Ex-CEO Sanjay Kumar's indictment was announced last month, on the same day that CA agreed to pay US$225 million to reimburse shareholders for alleged fraud. CA promised to work with the government on garnering compensation from accused former executives. As part of the deal, the U.S. Department of Justice will not prosecute CA.

One attendee at TechXNY Tuesday said he was not bothered by Cron's avoidance of the accounting issue.

"This was not a speech to financial analysts," said Henry Nass, president of New York-based General Mnemonics Co.

But Nass said he was disappointed that Cron did not talk more about product specifics or discuss new IT trends in detail. "What he said has been said before. It wasn't anything new. We did not have to sit here and listen to someone get up there and say these things."

Cron's speech lasted about 30 minutes, about half the length of the typical IT convention keynote address.

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