The need for enterprises to get applications into the market faster and cost-effectively is the next logical progression in the life cycle, according to IBM’s Peter Spung. To that end, the company today announced the acquisition of UrbanCode, maker of release-automation software in what has become known as the DevOps space. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The market drivers “are probably obvious to you… mobile, cloud, Big Data analytics and social,” said Spung. “They require customers to release more software more quickly, and organizations are saying, ‘We’ve got to speed up but still be cost-effective.’ ”
Today, Spung was named Integration Executive of UrbanCode at IBM. Previously, he had been director of worldwide strategy for Rational tools.
In the days before Web-based applications and mobile development, application development times were measured in months, while the app’s shelf life was measured in years. In today’s world, “If a shelf life for an application is six weeks, you can’t take three weeks to deploy it,” said Spung.
He went on to say that the acquisition fills “an opportunity gap for us. We’ve been talking about DevOps for a few years; we’ve been describing it as a collaboration workflow between developers and operations, working on the goal of delivering software as quickly as possible. DevOps is a way to get teams unified around this goal.”
Developers tend to be incentivized around delivering software more quickly, while operations tends to view any change to software or the system as a risk. “What UrbanCode has done is to build automation capabilities around deployment and delivery that reduces the risk,” said Spung. “They bring accuracy and predictability around pushing changes in the application through to delivery.” He expressed his excitement about working with the UrbanCode team and integrating its tools into the IBM Rational suite. UrbanCode had sold uBuild, uDeploy, uRelease and uProvision, along with AnthillPro, which has evolved from a build tool to a continuous-delivery platform that integrates with a large number of third-party offerings.
Spung acknowledged there is a lot of work ahead to be done to come up with a combined product road map and to complete the integration of the products. He also noted that IBM acquired Green Hat in January for its testing solutions, and its Tealeaf purchase last May adds to the company’s feedback story. “Enterprises need to get stuff into the marketplace quickly and get feedback quickly,” he said. “This is the next logical progression in the life cycle: application release automation.”
In its announcement, IBM indicated the UrbanCode tools align with the company’s MobileFirst and SmartCloud enterprise initiatives.