It's CA Jim But Not As We Know IT

I was at a Gartner event in Barcelona last week, where Computer Associates were playing host.

Not only was there the amusement of the excellent and straight-talking EMEA CTO Bjarne Rasmussen referencing Forrester several times at a Gartner event (especially amusing for my Forrester analyst mate Nikki Babatola when I told her) but what followed was even better.
Beamed in on live video from the simultaneous CA World event in Vegas – AND IT WORKED! – we had CA CEO Mike Gregoire do a keynote on the new CA – and how right he is, this is an unrecognisable company from a few years back (and in a GOOD way) – and then the maddest panel debate ever. Hosted by Wired’s Jason Tanz, it featured Mike himself, Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter) and Jennifer “Legs” Hyman (co-founder of Rent The Runway clothes rental online).
How could this work? Well, Biz and Jennifer both looked like they’d been on something in the Green Room beforehand, but… they were all brilliant. Mike was comfortable in this company in a way that no senior exec from “old” CA would ever have been; Biz was the master of (laid back) common sense and Jennifer represented the new face of IT – i.e. not tech talk but pure business.
So what was a mainframe software company is now an Apps company…
The CA strap-line throughout was that your business is software and it’s hard to disagree with this, short of someone making pottery from their own home and selling direct from the doorstep!
With a few of the established IT and networking giants flounder currently (you know who you are guys!) CA is a good example of how you can reinvent yourself for the new IT economy; business not tech – about time too! Even if it does put a few of us out of business…