silicon.com profiles software giant CA Technologies and takes a look at its technology, strategy and acquisitions.
Enterprise IT is a jungle. Inside every large organisation is a mess of servers, mainframes, storage and networking which has grown up, unchecked, over the years. Managing this chaos is one of the biggest headaches facing the CIO and the IT team - and that's where CA Technologies has made its business: the company aims to help tackle the tech jungle with software that allows its customers to manage increasingly complex computing environments.
While CA Technologies started out managing mainframes, as its customers' computing infrastructures have developed the vendor has added more products to manage the jumble of different technologies that have sprung up as a result.
And as its users now start to extend their IT infrastructure beyond their own four walls and onto the internet by adding elements of software as a service (SaaS), CA Technologies intends to follow them by extending its management tools into the cloud as well.
A bit of history
A four-person start-up more than 30 years ago, CA Technologies is now one of the world's biggest software companies with 13,200 staff and revenues which hit nearly $4.4bn in its 2010 financial year.
CA Technologies was founded in 1976 as Computer Associates International, selling a product called CA-SORT for mainframes - a market which continues to be vital to the company today.
In the subsequent decades, CA Technologies expanded into broader systems management software: for example, introducing its Unicenter software in 1985 and Unicenter TNG 10 years later, which integrated network and systems management.
Since then it has continued to add products and its software can now be used to manage mainframe, distributed, virtualised or cloud environments.
Many of its products are sold on a subscription model and it counts the likes of Tesco and LV= among its customers.
What's in a name?
Back in 1976 it was plain old Computer Associates International, but the decision was taken in 2006 to shorten the company's name to CA.
In this search-engine age the renaming proved to be something of a mistake, as typing CA into Google can deliver up many things including the State of California and Cocaine Anonymous. In a bid to improve its online visibility and make its handle a little more memorable, CA became CA Technologies earlier this year.
What about the products?
These days CA Technologies positions itself as a company that can help its customers deal with the complexity of their IT infrastructure, either by governing IT policies and practices or by managing and securing systems.
Its huge array of products - which now runs into the hundreds (you can find a CA Technologies product list here) can be grouped under a series of broad headings.
Under IT management, its array of offerings include service automation and assurance (its Wily, Spectrum and eHealth products), service management suite (including its Service Desk Manager and Service Catalogue), and project and portfolio management software (including CA Clarity PPM) that helps organisations evaluate and prioritise projects.
Back-up software includes its CA ARCserve family of products, while its IT security offerings include its identity and access management and data loss prevention technologies.
It recently divested itself of its...
Steve Ranger has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic. An award-winning journalist, Steve writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture, and regularly appears on TV and radio discussing tech issues. Previously he was the editor of silicon.com.