CA exec predicts next step for IT: from a useful tool to a way of life

CA exec predicts next step for IT: from a useful tool to a way of life

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

DENVER'Information technology is ready to move beyond streamlining back-office processes and toward making a real difference in people's lives, said Charles Wang, Computer Associates Inc. president and chief executive officer.

'We have to think of IT as more than accounting and productivity tools,' Wang said during the keynote address at the Government Information Technology Executive Council's Information Processing Interagency Conference last month.
''IT has focused on the bottom line, and that has boosted the economy, he said, but technology's real advantage will be in added value.

'We can do much more with technology,' Wang said. That means thinking less about saving money and more about doing things that could not be done without technology.

'We are just beginning to learn how technology can enable the business,' he said. The online bookstore is an example of a business that could not exist, and in fact is virtually impossible to imagine, without technology, he said.

Such examples will be increasingly common, he said.

Wang gave the example of a Formula One race car to illustrate of the value technology can add. Computer Associates and West McLaren Mercedes, developer of the MP4/13 Formula One car, designed it using CA's Unicenter TNG network and system management application.

Wang said Unicenter TNG lets the McLaren team monitor data on the car's performance even as the car is speeding at more than 180 mph. That lets the pit engineers collect performance information as the car is in motion, which cuts pit-stop time.

Similar applications can benefit government agencies, Wang said. The General Services Administration manages a large vehicle fleet; it is increasingly possible to monitor mileage, maintenance logs and location remotely, thereby improving overall fleet management, he said.

Other technologies are now being developed that will help add value, he said. Neural network technology lets companies build systems that can predict the probability of events, Wang said. Such products will help organizations learn from their business data.

'We'll be able to make business predictions easier and more accurately,' he said.

Such information will be helpful in fraud detection and even with tasks such as tracking hacker attacks, Wang said.

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