Virtualization, in which software on physical machines is split up to act as several physical machines, is showing up in processors, storage, networks, applications and databases.
However, these technologies create more complexity and need to be carefully managed as "enterprise IT management," said CA (Quote, Chart) CEO John Swainson during his keynote at the Interop New York 2006 event here.
That complexity is in large part derived from the automation of computers and all of the networking gear, applications, management and security infrastructure that connect and power them.
This complexity is manifested in remotely connected devices, as well as new types of security applications to corral those gadgets.
Moreover, these technologies must work with existing environments and legacy technology, such as mainframes.
In short, complexity derives from treating complexity.
"Businesses are continuing to automate their business processes, and that's a good thing," Swainson said. "It ensures that productivity will increase, and that drives up productivity and enables economic growth.
"But each time we do it we add another layer of complexity to the IT environment ... The level of complexity is becoming overwhelming."
Swainson noted that CIOs can use virtualization to cut through the time-and cost-consuming of traditional custom coding.
However, the next step is to find a way to choreograph the components in a virtualized environment, which is where service-oriented architectures (SOA) come in.
SOAs (define), he said, offer standard interfaces connected to centralized repositories, as well as a standard way for vendor software to integrate processes and transactions to allow for the smooth consumption of Web services (define).
But SOAs trigger the need for more management.
Complexity spawned by virtualization and SOAs, as well as the uptick in computing usage associated with falling IT costs, is creating the need for stronger management schemas.
"We need to drive relentlessly to full process automation via technology ... even as new and disruptive technologies emerge and are exploited," Swainson said.
Then came the pitch: Swainson said CA's enterprise IT management plan includes security, enterprise systems management (ESM) for storage, and business service optimization (BSO) "to do for IT what ERP did for business processes."
Enterprise resource planning provided a framework for managing application processes, which is what CA hopes to accomplish at a holistic level with EITM.