Software has changed, end points have changed, even the role of the developer has changed. So, it only makes sense that the way developers and organizations manage the application life cycle would have to change too.
In the beginning, the ALM process was very independent, according to Robert Holler, CEO of VersionOne. “You kind of had your application life-cycle-management capabilities that supported requirement-management tools, design tools, coding tools, test tools, build source, deploy tools and project-management tools,” he said. “At first there was a lot of disintegration. Each one of those tools was completely independent.”
With the ever-increasing demand for better quality, better user experience, faster delivery and advanced technologies, the way in which tooling has worked together has evolved.
(Related: Do we need to replace ‘ALM’?)
“Through the years, tool sets have become integrated,” said Holler. “All those tools are no longer independent tool sets; they are actually integrated tool sets that all work together to help manage the project, the product and the process, all at the same time.”
But it hasn’t just been the tool sets going through an evolution; the entire scope of ALM has changed. Where once testing had a definitive role at the end of the life cycle, or requirements took up a large part of the life cycle, the aspects of the life cycle are now linked together. “The life cycle starts with a business idea and doesn’t end with delivery of some value to a customer, but rather cycles around with feedback back to the business again to say did we actually meet the need,” said Kurt Bittner, Forrester analyst.
A new world of development
In the beginning, ALM was straightforward: It was about managing application development. But today, managing that development isn’t only a developer’s concern; it is also now in the best interest of the business.
“If you think across every single industry, the importance of delivering applications has really evolved to a point where it is fundamental to business success,” said Kelly Emo, director of product marketing at HP. “Today, everybody is a software company.”