Tuesday, 22 November 2011 15:46

No more major acquisitions expected at CA - for now

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Acquisitions are going on the back burner at CA Technologies, according to CEO Bill McCracken. But 'never say never' may apply.

CA Technologies has a long history of acquisitions, but the pace may be about to slow down. According to CEO Bill McCracken, the most recent acquisitions have been to support the company's entry to the cloud and SaaS markets, and resulted from 'build or buy' analyses that showed it would be quicker to buy in technology than to develop it internally.

CA Bill_McCracken

But the current product portfolio "looks pretty good," he said, and so in the shorter term any further deals are likely to be relatively small acquisitions that will "tuck in" to the existing product range rather than taking it in new directions.

"Things can happen that you don't anticipate," Mr McCracken said during a media conference at CA World 2011, declining to rule out the possibility of a significant purchase.

He expects CA's organic growth to at least match the industry's growth rate (ie, somewhere in the mid-single-digit range) in the short term, and notes that its enterprise business is currently growing at around 12-14%.

"You can never discount the economy," he warned, but noted that the recession in some parts of the world is helping to drive cloud adoption, and spending is also moving towards things that allow organisations to make better use of existing investments, which is one of CA's specialties.

CONTINUED

 


He highlighted LISA, the composite application testing platform that became part of the company's range on the acquisition of ITKO earlier this year. One of the key features of LISA is that it simulates other parts of the system (internal or external), months in development and testing time, and greatly improving the quality of the delivered system by subjecting the component being tested to realistic loads and constraints.

According to David Dobson, CA executive vice president and group executive of the company's customer solutions group, US retailer Best Buy's use of LISA reduced the lead time for a new in-store application from 12 months to six. More generally, it can save millions in test environment costs, cut time to market by 30%, and yield a 50 to 80% improvement in quality.

LISA "is a vital part of our strategy," said Mr McCracken. "We've seen great interest and adoption already." The software places CA in "in one the big growth areas in the industry" with a market opportunity in the billions of dollars.

Disclosure: the writer travelled to Las Vegas as the guest of CA Technologies.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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