CA World 2011: Q&A: Russ Artzt, CA co-founder

We spoke to the man who founded CA Technologies with Charles Wang about the cloud, innovation and what businesses can expect next from the tech giant.

What is your main focus right now?

Going back, I was one of the founders with Charles Wang. In the last year my role has changed a little bit. I'm still very involved in strategy and that kind of thing but we've decided to set up an innovation centre in Long Island, New York right near our HQ.

The reason behind this is because our marketplace is changing very quickly. I believe the datacentre of today is going to change dramatically over next couple of years. It's already started to change. I think that, more and more, customers are going to want more self-service, they are going to want to buy software as a service (SaaS), buy it in consumable amounts and pay as they go.

Our customers now have a journey to go from their existing, legacy, on-premise environments into the cloud. For us to keep up in our industry, which is so dynamic, we have to innovate.

The MSP [managed service provider] business is going to grow dramatically, both small and large. You've got the mega-hosters like HP EDS and CSC and so on and some of the new cloud hosters like Rackspace, Amazon and those kind companies. The cloud just makes things much more robust but also more complicated in a sense.

Things are changing. The whole opportunity for service providers has changed. Our customers now have a journey to go from their existing, legacy, on-premise environments into the cloud. For us to keep up in our industry, which is so dynamic, we have to innovate.

Our first innovation centre works hand-in-hand with development and I work very closely with Peter Griffiths. The idea is for CA to have an innovation centre off campus so it's away from the company. It's located at Stony Brook University, which is seven or eight miles from CA. They have world-class students about 500 with computer engineering Master degrees and PHDs. A lot of their graduate students are kids who've worked in industry for three or four years after they got a Bachelor's degree and a lot of them are from India.

I've brought over some strong development talent and management from CA. And we've started development on new innovation projects. We lease space at Stony Brook - the idea is to be away from all the busyness of CA so we can work in a more innovative environment. We wanted to create an environment where we can be really focused on new stuff, think more outside of the box and where more creativity comes out.

We're looking to build products that will, hopefully, get CA into some new directions beyond infrastructure management and our traditional base of manage and secure. I think the cloud really opens things up.

We're developing innovative technologies. One of our first products will be a Nimsoft automation engine.

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