CA Leader: Don't Let Legacy Hold You Back

In his Interop ITX keynote, CA Technologies CTO Otto Berkes took a hard look at technology change and how organizations approach it.



We can't have a tech conversation without talking about change, particularly the pace of change. Today, Otto Berkes put tech change into perspective, saying, "We are lost in a technological maze of our own making."

The chief technology officer for CA Technologies then told the keynote audience at Interop ITX in Las Vegas, "Our architectures are difficult to maintain, let alone evolve," noting that companies are still taking a "linear approach to dealing with exponential change."

Berkes called on the 3,000 Interop attendees and their organizations to find a different way to operate. "It's not sufficient to react to change. We need to reinvent the way we do things," he said.

Otto Berkes Interop ITX keynote

Of course, that calls for new ideas and innovation to enable the ongoing change and improvement that so many companies need to implement through Agile and DevOps. He said that while it is nice to have an idea factory, "Just coming up with ideas doesn't make them real." That calls for a "software factory" that can implement new software through containers and microservices. Those concepts help to bring to life the service-oriented architecture that was just a dream a decade ago.

But new forms of innovation and new architectures alone won't bring IT into a more modern world. Berkes noted that many IT budgets still suffer from the 80/20 rule in which 80% of the money goes to maintenance, leaving 20% or less for innovation.

He urged attendees to not let "legacy" hold them back, to embark on "creative destruction" to reduce their legacy systems where possible, and to "drive new bandwidth" for new applications and approaches.

Finally, he encouraged IT professionals to never lose sight of where the real value is in technology. "It's us, the people," he stressed -- the people whose lives are improved and whose work is enabled by technology.

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editorial director of InformationWeek and Network Computing, he oversees the day-to-day planning and editing on the site. Most recently he was editor ... View Full Bio

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