Project and portfolio management at CA World

CA attracted thousands of global IT professionals to Las Vegas for its annual CA World event on 16-20 May. As well as a predictable focus on all things cloud, the level of enterprise interest in project and portfolio management (PPM) was unmistakable. High-profile enough to operate as a discrete area of focus, the PPM stream claimed to be the largest PPM event (in terms of PPM practitioners) of its kind in the world. It introduced the latest CA PPM products including CA Clarity On Demand and CA Agile Vision, a SaaS-delivered Agile management tool built on the platform.

Enterprises continue to need project and portfolio management

Attendance at the event is indicative of the continuing enterprise adoption of PPM processes, tools, and techniques, with 623 people from 282 companies registered for the CA World PPM track. While 2009 was relatively slow for PPM software vendors due to more stringent investment criteria, 2010 has seen a resurgence in PPM technology demand as organizations continue to fight their way out of the downturn. CA has added more than 200 new Clarity customers in the last 12 months (with a sizeable portion of them choosing SaaS delivery), to give a total CA Clarity customer base of more than 1,200 customers. These numbers are testament to the growing need (or realization of need) for PPM within enterprises.

CA Agile Vision offers governance for Agile development

At the PPM stream keynote, CA asked the audience if it was ready for the next generation of PPM – which includes both Agile development and social collaboration in the context of PPM. The former, supported by the integration of CA Agile Vision Enterprise Edition and CA Clarity PPM, brings Agile projects into the portfolio management mix on the back of CA’s larger service portfolio management strategy. This strategy supports IT organizations struggling to demonstrate delivered business value across discrete IT expenditure silos. It is also further testament that PPM is breaking out of its silos to be more integrated into a broader IT ecosystem.

Agile development can be viewed as yet another resource-consuming IT silo, and may even be seen by some as a way of circumventing mandated IT governance processes and procedures. However, the integration of CA Agile Vision and CA Clarity has created a way of supporting both freedom and visibility to manage Agile resources in a larger IT organization context, helping to plug the oft-perceived “IT governance gap” associated with Agile development. By linking Agile projects as “investment items” alongside expenditure-driving and resource-consuming activities from elsewhere within the IT organization, it provides a business-based assessment of Agile-delivered value in the context of IT as a whole. It offers insight into resource consumption (people and money) and the ability to determine the strategic alignment of IT services (new and existing) to business goals.

Will we start to see PPM tool churn soon?

The IT service management tool market has long been subject to a cycle of technology churn, with enterprises changing their service desk (and beyond) provider every five to six years on average. In our opinion, there are many similarities between IT service management and PPM technologies. We anticipate a level of PPM maturity at which enterprises start to reconsider the suitability of their existing PPM tool against the benefits available from competing products. This would be the case especially where the incumbent tool was procured at a time of low PPM maturity, with an incomplete understanding of the necessary and unnecessary functionality delivered.

As with IT service management tools, the drivers for change will vary between organizations. They will include cost, ease of use, people changes (“we used the superior product X at my last company”), upgrade effort, and need for increased or reduced functionality. The availability of SaaS-delivered enterprise-level PPM capabilities will not only address some of these concerns – it will also make it easier to change between vendor products. On the back of SaaS, we predict that 2010 will be the year when PPM starts to feel this impending technology churn.

Originally posted at


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