CAs New CTO Outlines Mission, Future Focus Areas

Q&A: Mark Barrenechea, CA's new CTO, discusses how acquisitions will fit into CA's product lineup and the company's vision to simplify enterprise IT management.

CA, the company formerly known as Computer Associates, last week shuffled its executive lineup when it moved Mark Barrenechea into the post of CTO, and Yogesh Gupta from that slot into a role as senior vice president of Business Development.

Gupta, who will now report to Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Michael Christenson, will spearhead CAs technology analysis of acquisitions.

While he will focus on how acquisitions fit into CAs product lineup and fulfill customer requirements, Barrenechea will lead CAs technology vision to simplify enterprise IT management.

The former executive vice president of technology strategy and chief technology architect for the Islandia, N.Y., company sat down last week with eWEEK Senior Editor Paula Musich to discuss his new mission.

What prompted the moves?

I think as we look at CAs position in the market today and our alignment over the last year by business units and our heightened acquisition activity, integration has become more important. (That includes integration of) data, business processes and workflows and user interfaces.

We wanted to create a team that would enable and deliver a common architecture across our products, accelerate our advanced research in the industry and continue to enhance the customers experience in usability, installation and deployment of our products. So we brought these teams together into a new office of the CTO.

Is this a swapping of Jobs with Yogesh?

No, not at all. The modern CTO role spans the gambit from…evangelism to inwardly focused technology architecture and to a delivery role.

Were looking to be somewhere in the middle of that spectrum where the fundamental driver is enabling a common architecture and integration platform—and all the common services that come with that—across a $4 billion product line.

At the same time (CA must be) able to get ahead of our market segments with advanced research. We want to be able to evangelize the great things were doing in the market, set a market pace as well as concrete deliverable along technology inside of CA.

What do you see as your mission in your new role?

We want to be able to stay very focused on the customer need and experience. What were hearing from our clients today is that they want best in class capabilities in security, (enterprise systems management), storage and (Business Service Optimization).

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about CAs efforts to commit to enterprise IT management.

We want to tie together CA solutions and many of the point products they have internally. We want to provide a common platform—to have Toby Weiss (General Manager of CAs Security Business Unit) deliver the best security and integrate other security products based on the clients needs.

Second is enhancing the customer experience (from upgrades to patch installation)—all the way through great usability—we want to continue to enhance the customer experience as they deploy, install and use our software.

The third thing is doing this in a standards-based way—to evangelize, define and adopt the best standards in the industry in an open and acceptable way.

The fourth goal for our group is to begin to define a set of projects in our advanced research group. There were focused on RFID, IP V 6 and furthering the adoption of IP addressable devices.

Storage is becoming IP addressable, and there are other assets that dont have IP addresses. The first set of projects we are looking at is around IP enabling the entire enterprise. I think we should set a high bar when we look at advanced technology.

Next Page: Integrating, growing.