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CA World: Reality bites for CIOs - even in the virtual world

The disruptive technologies are coming to shake up an already complex IT world for CIOs.

Second Life has become much abused in corporate presentations of late, but CA's head honcho chose to use it during his opening keynote at the company's user conference to drill home the message that businesses are having to deal with challenges from all angles something that's set to increase in the current economic climate.

Delegates attending president and chief executive John Swainson's CA World presentation were initially greeted by an avatar that flew around the world, rode on a zebra and sent competitor avatars running away screaming.

But, as the man himself explained when he appeared on stage for real, the introductory frivolity paved the way to more serious points about the issues faced by chief information officers (CIOs) and other business and technology decision makers.

"Why did I begin such a serious discussion with a foray into Second Life? Because it's clear to me that wherever you go in this world or in the virtual world you end up grappling with some familiar realities like tough competitors, even tougher economic times and IT complexity, which is the monster CA can help you wrestle with," he said.

"This problem is not going to go away. In fact it intensifies every year, because the IT industry continues to promote new innovations that promise tremendous business benefits; innovations that in turn are layered into already-complex IT environments."

To further compound this complexity, Swainson predicted the era of six disruptive' technologies that will shake things up even more. Virtualisation, converged networks, SOA, enterprise-focused social networking, cloud computing and networked device explosion are all going to require new management models, he warned.

"Economic uncertainty has intensified the pressure to do more with less. But, at the same time, companies [are looking for] a competitive edge to ensure that they not only survive the current economic downturn, but emerge from it stronger and thriving," Swainson added.

"Many companies look to IT to provide that competitive edge, which puts today's CIOs in an interesting position. As IT has become a key driver of business growth and profitability, the challenges CIOs face are more strategic and business-focused than ever before."

Click here to read more coverage from CA World 08.

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