Where CA Technologies Is Headed: Q&A With CEO Mike Gregoire

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-11-20 Print this article Print

In your market, how worrisome are competitors like Splunk and ServiceNow?

They're all good competitors, and they all focus on a piece of our total ecosystem. When it comes to service management, ServiceNow is a very good company, but we have a different offering there. For certain types of high-scale opportunities where you want to really link your service management into your operational management, we are more than very competitive in that space.

Similarly with Splunk: They're a very good company that's taken a novel approach to some of the monitoring of infrastructure management. You have to remember that they are reviewing logfiles that have happened in the past; we deal in real time. If you have servers that have just gone out, you're going to want to have a system like ours that reports immediately that this server is going down now.

You'll see us move more into analytics-based decision-making. That's where everybody in the industry is going. I think Splunk will have to move to more real-time decision-making.

Do you think that IT will have to get out of the tech silo and start managing social, cultural and political implications of disruptive innovation, rather than just producing technology?

That's a great question. We believe the overall benefits of new technology will be much greater than some of the harms that will come in its way. The issue happens when you ignore it and not get on board. If you're not improving your skill set, for example, you do get left behind.

Look at this example: migrant farm workers. If you're picking grapes, a machine visioning system picks grapes better than humans. And they're more accurate; as these machines are going through the orchard, they're looking right at the grape and can determine the sugar content of the grape and whether to pick it or not. Humans have to do this by look and feel, and there's going to be a margin of error. If you go whole hog on some of these systems, you've just displaced a whole workforce.

What are we doing to help that workforce understand the new skill sets? This is not an easy question to answer, but it is a question that has to be answered, and we have to be very thoughtful as we play to some of these technologies and truly understand how they affect everybody. On the other hand, to get in the way of it would be a huge mistake.

Look at Uber. If you think you're going to stop this sharing economy, it's just not going to happen. The analogy I use is this: Back in 1908, when cars first started showing up in London, they had a law that lasted like six weeks that said someone had to walk in front of the car with a red flag. What they were really trying to do is keep the horse and buggy business going. Well, the population was violently against that, so the politicians got rid of the rule.

The same thing is happening with a lot of new technologies. It's in all of our best interests to work through it in a systematic fashion.


Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz
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