It might seem on the surface to be a little late in the game, but data center management software maker CA is now officially in the on-demand software service business.
In actuality, CA has been developing hosted versions of some of its server-based data management products for about four years. In fact, about 1,000 of its customers have been using some of these on-demand versions since earlier this year.
But CA, which just launched a new on-demand business unit, simply decided not to market them publicly until it was good and ready to do so.
On Nov. 16, the opening day of its annual CA World user conference in Las Vegas, CA announced three new SAAS (software-as-a-service) offerings that work across the scope of its enterprise IT management and governance portfolios, allowing users to simply rent the services on a monthly basis.
Two of the services, CA Instant Recovery On Demand and CA's Clarity PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) On Demand, have been at work in a number of data centers since their behind-the-scenes introduction in April 2008.
The third service, GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) Manager On Demand, is debuting Nov. 17.
SAAS is a model in which software is developed, hosted and operated for use by customers over the Internet on a subscription basis-usually monthly or yearly.
"CA is now in the on-demand business but actually has been for a while," Helge Scheil, general manager for CA's Products for the Governance Group, told me. "We just decided that now is the time to make this publicly available and publicly known, for multiple reasons."
Trends toward on-demand computing have finally been substantiated, Scheil said. "If you listen to IDC, for example, the current SAAS spending is growing about four times the rate of traditional, on-premises relational software."
CA has gotten "quite a bit of demand" from existing customers, Scheil said. "We are increasingly being asked to provide SAAS [versions of software] as an additional option," Scheil said.
Here are details about each of the three new services:
CA Clarity PPM On Demand-currently used by about 900 customers worldwide for enterprisewide governance of IT expenses, staffing, investments and projects.
CA Instant Recovery On Demand-business continuity and disaster recovery package that enables continuous application and data availability in the event of systems failures or external disasters.
CA Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager On Demand-This aims to manage critical risk and compliance initiatives across an enterprise. This topic has become an important legal consideration with increasing federal regulations and compliance obligations, including the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
"CA pushed the 'on demand' message when IBM invented it about eight years ago," analyst Robin Bloor, a partner at Hurwitz & Associates and founder of Bloor Research, told me.
"They've also had an extremely flexible approach to negotiating contracts, so pulling down software from a defined group of products when needed has always been possible for CA," Bloor said. "This time they are mainly talking about virtualization and cloud computing [which is a form of application virtualization]. They are just now starting to venture into both of these."
For more information, go here.