The current market for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is worth around $2.9 billion. If you're still using outdated toolchains, you're likely already behind your competition – and this gap is only about to widen. By 2026, experts project that the ALM industry will be at over $4 billion!
Luckily, it's easy to keep your business edge, assuming that you choose appropriate ALM software. But choosing the right one is a bit of a challenge. That's why we've compiled a guide to make selecting the right ALM platform easy and effective. Read on to take your applications to the next level and eliminate outdated methodologies and tools!
The Basics of Inadequate Toolchains
Long and outdated toolchains take a lot of time and effort when developing applications. You will need to plan, develop, test, deploy, maintain, and upgrade the software manually at various steps of a toolchain. ALM software fuses these application stages together so that developers can create apps more easily.
Hindered by outdated legacy toolchains?
Your IT team will therefore be able to innovate new applications more quickly and efficiently. They will no longer need to perform all steps separately and constantly switch between systems. In addition to the gapless traceability that this unified toolchain provides, development also becomes simpler, faster, and more accurate.
Integration Points for ALM Software
You likely have a plethora of tried and true single-point tools that you don't want to eliminate even with new ALM software. That's why you need to implement an ALM solution that has integration points with the other technologies that you want to keep.
You need to be able to tailor ALM software to your preexisting toolchain so you don't need to start from scratch. It's important that there are multiple integration points so that you can customize your tools based on other applications and file formats.
Taking realities into consideration, Microsoft Office integrations are one of the most important things that you must look into. Word and Excel are still required at many companies and are recognized by clients and coworkers as necessary tools. You'll need an ALM solution that lets you export and import files from these platforms, make changes, re-incorporate these alterations with information stored in your ALM software. Make a list of all other tools you'll possibly need to integrate your ALM platform with and check if the vendor offers native or 3rd party integrations with them!
Customizable and Configurable Platforms
Make sure that you're looking for an ALM solution that's highly customizable and flexible to suit your current and future needs. All development teams function differently and have unique needs. Prioritize getting something that your team can tailor to the internal processes that they currently use.
This means ensuring that you consider fully customizable workflows as an important factor in ALM. You need to invest in a tool with this capability as well as configurable work items and flexible reporting options – all of which help manage sophisticated development processes.
When choosing Application Lifecycle Management tools, make sure you're keeping in mind what information you have to store. Assuming that you get something that lets you configure workflows, you can then drive them through custom architecture that's consistent with your essential operations.
Agile management breaks your project down into small steps called iterations. Your team completes these iterations over time and finished the project upon finishing all steps. This lets innovators (such as applications developers) focus more intensely on smaller tasks that help to meet long-term goals.
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Those who employ an Agile framework benefit on multiple levels. They are more efficient, take less time to market, and result in higher product quality than those who exclusively use Waterfall or V-model processes.
It's critical that you choose an ALM platform with built-in Agile functionality. You can then adopt this efficient and effective process without worrying about purchasing and learning other tools.
This lets you gradually introduce Agile (or some elements of Agile) into an outdated Waterfall process. Over time, your business will grow, scale, and change for the better.
Security and Reliability
An Application Lifecycle Management platform stores sensitive information that your business requires. This data might include employee identity information or financial data. Even if you aren't directly working with this data within ALM software, it will be connected to the same network and therefore susceptible to the same vulnerabilities.
It's important that you look for single sign-on capabilities in an ALM platform. This allows for easy and effective user authorization and provides high-level security. You also should get an ALM technology that only gives permission-based access to certain work items.
Other security features to look for include firewall protection and SSL encryption. Research suggests a data breach can cost your business anywhere up to an average of $3.86 million and untold reputation-related damages, therefore, this needs to be a top priority.
Tips for Evaluating and Comparing Application Lifecycle Management Tools
These are but some of the core features that you should look for when implementing an Application Lifecycle Management platform.
To evaluate which options are best for your individual needs, it's critical that you get in-depth information about ALM and the possibilities that any given platform can offer. Don't just rely on information provided by the ALM software's vendor! Look for experience reports and reviews by actual users.
Evaluations of ALM platforms are also essential when making your decision, so look into reports from professional analyst companies. Gartner and similar tools conduct and regularly update ALM evaluations and generate reports. These are specifically intended to help you make your decision. It's also a good idea to check review sites such as G2 to see what other users of your shortlisted ALM tools think! Getting feedback from actual users can be invaluable.
Find out how G2 users rate the ALM tools available on the market!
Get Started and Optimize Your Operations
While working with a long toolchain can present challenges, it's easy to switch to an all-in-one application lifecycle management platform. Now that you know some of the things to consider when selecting ALM services, it's time to begin your search with all the necessary information.
We're committed to providing you with the top ALM-related information and technologies so that you can more easily integrate and optimize your applications. Download our eBook for more information on evaluating application lifecycle management solutions and comparing the many options available to you.