CA portfolio management services can now reflect IT budget changes

CA's project and portfolio management software, formerly called Clarity, now offers what/if planning features

IT and business managers who want to play with their projected budget numbers can now get a hand from a new add-on for CA's flagship project and portfolio management software, formerly called CA Clarity.

The extension, called Executive Playbook allows managers to do what-if scenarios, in which they can adjust the budget numbers for one project and see how it impacts a proposed budget in other areas.

"The Executive Playbook will help IT leadership align the portfolio with the business objectives," said John Michelsen, CA chief technology officer. "For the first time, IT can operate from the very top concept level all the way down to the hours billed and hours paid."

Executive Playbook requires CA's project and portfolio management software, formerly called CA Clarity. In September, CA quietly renamed Clarity CA PPM. Executive Playbook is one of a number of services and products announced this week at the CA World user conference in Las Vegas.

The Executive Playbook is offered only as a software service, though it can work with on-premises installations of CA's software. It is designed to work with the latest major release of the CA PPM software, which was called Clarity 13. CA Executive Playbook is an update to a previously released add-on for Clarity, called Clarity Playbook, which provided a set of business analysis and decision support tools for Clarity.

Large organizations use PPM software to manage the budgets, personnel and other resources of multiple projects. With over 1,500 enterprise users, CA's is among the most widely used PPM packages, competing with software from Oracle, Microsoft, Planview and Hewlett-Packard.

Typically, an organization will do an annual budget detailing all of the internal projects it is undertaking. Once a budget is finalized, however, it can be difficult to adjust if changes need to be made. "Everyone throws out the budget once changes are made," Michelsen said. Executive Playbook tackles this issue.

"Playbook allows us to drive from the very top-level business initiative down," Michelsen said. "We know we're spending $100 for an initiative and if we want to move from $100 to $110, Playbook shows us the spend in every other area, and allows us to make changes to our budgeting windows and change the portfolio investments all the way through [what had been called] Clarity."

CA Executive Playbook can work with the latest release of the CA PPM software, Clarity 13.

CA has also updated a number of other services and products in time to demonstrate at the conference.

CA Cloud Service Management, a service for managing deployments across multiple clouds, has now been integrated with other third-party management applications, including the Puppet configuration manager, the Dropbox storage service and CA's Release Automation software for managing the application releases.

The company has released application life-cycle management software it acquired from SCM Solutions. Called CA Application Lifecycle Conductor, the software provides the ability to visualize and manage the development process of an application.

CA Service Virtualization, an application testing tool for emulating cloud environments, has been updated for faster performance and to work more seamlessly with Release Automation.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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