CA unveils simplified suite, SaaS portfolio

CA unveils simplified suite, SaaS portfolio

Enterprise IT executives want to buy management software now: as integrated bundles and via subscription.

CA's gets SaaS-y

CA also announced at the conference that it will broaden is SaaS offerings with the release of Clarity PPM (Project & Portfolio Manager) On Demand, a hosted pay-per-use version of the vendor's Clarity PPM 12 enterprise project management software. This release marks the third application CA delivers via a SaaS model -- the other two being CA GRC Manager On Demand and CA Instant Recovery On Demand -- and company officials say a hosted services model currently works for more than 1,000 customers worldwide.

"Customers don't want to operate a lot of infrastructure and don't have the staff to learn new management applications or the time to maintain them," says Jules Ehrlich, senior vice president of CA On Demand. "It provides a rapid time to value for customers and frees them from worrying about how to operate the application technically."

The appeal of SaaS is amplified with the current economic climate, but industry watchers argue management software is an ideal candidate for hands-off implementation. That's why CA -- along with competitors HP, IBM and BMC -- has ramped up its efforts in this market. According to Forrester Research, SaaS makes up a little more than 1 percent of the US$18 billion IT management software market in 2008. But by 2013, the research firm estimates SaaS will represent 10 percent of the same market.

"Incumbent software vendors are setting up new business units and adding SaaS offerings to existing portfolios," Forrester's "How big is SaaS in IT management Software?" report reads.

The management heavyweights are on-board with the delivery model to ease deployment and maintenance of their suites, but still analysts say they will be challenged to compete with pure-play SaaS offerings.

"It will take more time and commitment from these vendors to replace their existing product architectures with a more typical SaaS-facing solution -- one that is truly multitenant, billable based on usage and with a Web 2.0-style user interface," the report reads.

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