Despite the fact that I clearly see CA's recent acquisition of IDfocus LLC and their ACE technology as a plus to the whole offering of IAM technologies from CA, for me it is still sort of a "back to the roots".
CA has had a (rather bad) history of acquiring companies whose technology would make a nice fit to the portfolio, but then coming out sub-par after 6-18 months. This was either due to human failure, aka not being able to keep the talented people or due to underestimating the market traction one could generate from a certain technology. From my point of view, Netegritys' SiteMinder was one of those. Nice "solution" back then, but it was mistaken as a "product" by CA, and their sales failed to deliver the expected projects due to that.
But there had been changes to the recently re-heated discussion on this "buy-and-let-die" strategy, a senior database vendor executive was blamed for coining. The Niku Clarity solution prospered since the acquisition. Also, the Network & Systems Management tools were integrated and continue to excel (even though some brain-drain happened after those had been acquired). And, last but not least, CA was also able to deliver first glimpses of the "innovate from within" strategie (see recently launched GRC products), Al Nugent as CTO had introduced a while ago.
So, why going back to the old habit? Well, we all know they are to resist! And in the case of an ever expanding field of IAM and GRC, one can only innovate so much from the inside with decreasing numbers of talented developers being available...
From my point of view, CA does the right thing in going back to acquisition, IF they keep innovating from the inside. Furthermore, they need to speed up on integration of acquired technology. I was quite happy to see their Identity Manager product integration finished with the recent release. But it took them more than 2 years - too long for a fast moving market like IAM & GRC.
I am looking forward to see how CA is dealing with this, as it for sure could strengthen their position as IAM leaders, if played well.