The switch from on-premise software to on-demand software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications is the biggest transition yet in IT, according to CA.
CA chief executive John Swainson discussed the cloud computing revolution at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce customer and developer conference.
"This industry has been through many profound changes, but this change is probably more so," Swainson told attendees in his Thursday morning keynote.
"This is not a technology change, but a change in the economics of IT. Business technology will never be the same. There will be a pre-cloud era and a post-cloud era. This is the most profound change I have seen in my 33 years in the industry."
Swainson said that the change to cloud computing is more profound than other IT changes because there is no incremental approach to the switch when it comes to the economics.
However, he pointed out that it is possible for organisations to gradually adopt the SaaS delivery model.
"Many of our customers decide to put all their IT into the cloud, but a lot of our customers are big enterprise guys, like financial institutions and JP Morgan. These customers have mixed models of IT and might have a lot outsourced as well," he said.
"They need to figure out what to run where, and it gives me a great opportunity for us to help companies make sense of it."
However, a US financial analyst, who did not want to be named, said that the cloud revolution is still in its early stages, and will not suit every corporation.
"It's early still. The only difference is that cloud computing has a different delivery model. The thing that companies love is that you are outsourcing all the IT hardware," he said.
"But you will always have on-premise software. It will never go away. There will always be financial institutions that want to protect their data behind their own firewall."
Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, meanwhile, was keen to continue his usual rant against on-premise vendors, after describing Swainson as his "mentor ".
Benioff told the audience to forget about traditional platforms because they are "too slow" and costly due to maintenance agreements.
"People have to continue to pay year after year even though they have no access to innovation," he said.
Benioff also criticised Microsoft for being "slow to deploy", BEA Web Logic for having "too many people" and SAP because of its "complicated processes".
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