Innovation is key to surviving recession, says CA exec

IT departments need to help their businesses become more innovative if they want to survive and grow out of a recession, according to CA's new VP and general manager of UK and Ireland.

Consequently, rather than trying to push the company's 1,800 products, CA is focusing on some key technologies that it believes will help businesses be innovative in a downturn.

"Customers are desperate to become agile and innovative in a competitive environment, and in an environment where they have to survive and grow," said Jacqueline de Rojas at CA Expo in London today.

To stay ahead of the game and be agile, companies are looking for technologies that can help them launch new applications to market faster, such as CA's service simulation tool ITKO and cloud platform AppLogic, said de Rojas.

In a recession, customers also want to focus more on their core business, rather than on their technology, which means that customers also prefer to pass on some of their complex IT problems to service providers, said de Rojas.

As well as working more closely with its managed service provider partners, CA wants to become more of an advisor to its customers.

"I have reduced the focus on 1,800 products [and increased] focus on what is relevant. I am more about the consultative relationship with our customers," said de Rojas.

"In technology we are so guilty of the 'show up and throw up' - let me show you what we have got and how we do it. But unless there is that 'why' - this is where we will compete and win."

De Rojas is relatively new to CA, having only joined the company in February. However, with an impressive background of turning around tech companies that were eventually sold off to some of the biggest names in the industry - such as Business Objects to SAP, and McAfee to Intel - de Rojas now hopes to apply what she describes as her "fixer" skills to CA during the double-dip recession.

"What I have learned is how to build teams that can operate under pressure. I have always been hired by blue chip companies to grow in a flat market. It is about people who really understand how to deliver value proposition and making it relevant [to customers]," she said.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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