Application economy to fuel customer relationships: CA Technologies

CA Technologies chief executive Mike Gregoire has highlighted how future businesses will be driven by software.

The application driven economy has been predicted to surpass US$80 billion in the next two years, a three-fold increase from today, which creates a challenge for businesses that are unprepared for it, according to CA Technologies chief executive Mike Gregoire.

Speaking at CA World '14 in Las Vegas, Gregoire said that the application economy is something that enterprises must use to establish relationships with customers in the increasingly competitive market, and fuel productivity within its employees.

"We now live in a world where customers no longer are loyal to the brand, the product, or the service. Instead they are loyal to the complete experience a brand delivers, and that experience is being delivered through software. In other words, software is the business," he said.

In August during CA Expo '14 event in Sydney, Hope Powers, CA Technologies' Australia and New Zealand senior vice president and managing director, similarly echoed the importance of the application economy . At the time she referred to the application economy as the key to seeing companies "leap forward quickly", but only if they can reduce costs and free up time so that application developers can focus on being "more creative".

Gregoire warned that enterprises that do not embrace the application economy, there is a chance of being left behind, particularly as the next-generation of tech-savvy employees join the workforce.

"This next generation isn't just tech-savvy, but massively tech-capable. What we see as ground breaking, they see as normal. When they graduate and hit this workforce we will experience the most powerful biggest generation disruption in business history," he said.

He continued saying that technology knowledge at c-suite level however is beginning to increase, and therefore businesses are engaging in more application-related conversations around mobile-enabled apps, big data mining, and software strategies.

"In many cases we're seeing leaders with software backgrounds take the helm of non-software companies, joining their boards and contributing to strategy," he said.

"Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, started in software early in his career and he brings his understanding of the power of software and how it can be leveraged, and that's why Walmart asked Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instgram, to join their board."

Gregoire highlighted there are three imperatives that enterprises need to address to strive in the application economy. These include accelerating the time it takes to launch applications across the enterprise with DevOps; establishing a secure business with identity-based solutions to eliminate any friction for a seamless user experience and grant information access to the right people; and to manage the growth of the IT environment.

Gregoire said to provide support to its customers, CA Technologies is "marshalling full resources" to help build new solutions — on top of the existing 27 SaaS products the company has on the market — to service the application economy.

"At CA we're thinking about this new world. We're leveraging the cloud and bringing new solutions with greater speed, and deployments with enhanced simplicity. We're building software to prepare you for the coming explosion of the Internet of Things. We're looking at big data to transform volume into cohesive intelligence," he said.

"We've brought in over 1,000 new developers and engineers to help us move faster. We've opened up development hubs to become more agile and sharpen our execution. We've expanded our footprint in the Valley, a new hub focused on innovation, and [brought on] strong people obsessed with building new software."

At the same time, Gregoire said CA solutions are expected to "bridge the gap between startup innovation and world-class execution and scale".

"We offer a broad portfolio to reduce complexity. We're a company with a track record of managing our customers' most complex issues, yet at the same time are able to innovate with speed. I see this as CA's purpose and mission to build the next generation of software that sits on open platforms anywhere in your enterprise," he said.

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled as a guest of CA Technologies to CA World '14.

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