Software has come a long way since its inception in the late 1940s. Even just a few decades ago, we would have found it hard to believe that by 2022, most people would have a computer (by the standards of those days, a supercomputer) in their pockets.
Because of the pace at which software has evolved over the past several decades, the way software is developed has also changed, along with the tools used to build it. That said, leaving behind tried and tested tools can be hard, and many companies risk falling behind the competition if they fail to modernize. Application Lifecycle Management tools have had by far the most positive effect on how software is developed efficiently and to meet ever-increasing quality standards.
Learn more about how digital X affects advanced product development!
Read on to learn more about future-proof ALM tooling, understand the difference it can make for your business, and find resources that help you take the tool modernization leap. With accurate information at your disposal, you can improve your ROI, your business performance overall, employee satisfaction, and customer experience – all the while developing better products faster!
What Is Application Lifecycle Management?
Application Lifecycle Management, or ALM, is a term that refers to all the people, tools, and processes that help manage the development lifecycle of software applications from requirements through completion & deployment. ALM and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) can be integrated for a seamless process for products that involve the tight integration of hardware and software components.
The key difference is that PLM supports the development of physical products, while ALM revolves around the development of software – which is, more and more often, embedded into manufactured products.ALM is built to address several different disciplines, with some of the key ones being:
- Project management (whether it’s Agile, Waterfall, or another method)
- Requirements management
- Software development
- Quality Assurance and Testing
- Risk management
- IT service delivery
- Product Line Engineering & capabilities to manage the development of multiple product variants
- IT Operations and maintenance, and/or DevOps
The adoption of Application Lifecycle Management helps establish a digital thread that connects the several stages of a software product’s delivery (and any updates to it). It also provides a solid framework for future software development by establishing mature processes and removing silos in development to improve collaboration and traceability.
What Are ALM Tools?
Application Lifecycle Management tools allow developers to successfully plan, manage, and track the software development lifecycle. Application Lifecycle Management tools can help with the design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of software.
ALM tools focus on the people, processes, and tools associated with software and application development and can help increase productivity and quality. Additionally, using an ALM platform can help boost transparency and efficiency in collaborative software development, a key factor in a multi-team environment where the development of complex software products typically takes place.
ALM tools also offer a variety of analytics tools to access insights on the progress and performance of development, letting managers export valuable reports. Overall, Application Lifecycle Management tools create a seamless process through a management layer that allows you to manage your product progress at all stages of the application development process.
Is It Time to Update Your Toolchain?
If you’re still operating with outdated legacy tools, you’re missing out on many of the benefits that modern tooling could bring – but you’re also taking on the drawbacks of an outdated toolset. These may not be immediately visible as most teams have created workarounds and processes to balance the limitations of their tools, including:
- Misalignment and traceability gaps that could be eliminated using a unified development platform
- Difficulty of use, a steep learning curve, and ongoing inefficiencies due to an outdated UI
- Limited collaboration capabilities and poor visibility into processes, which reduces team efficiency and could also hurt team morale
- Limited and/or manually created integrations between third-party tools causing tool friction and difficulties in tool maintenance
- Reporting and traceability difficulties that make regulatory compliance a headache
- Overall high Total Cost of Ownership
Homegrown, best-of-breed, and widely used legacy tools were once the popular choice, but they are reaching their limitations with the growing complexity experienced by product teams today – not to mention accelerating Agility across the board. In order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to shift from dated toolchains into the realm of integrated digital toolsets like codebeamer.
How Can ALM Tools Benefit Your Business?
Current ALM tools were designed to streamline the software development process, and they were made with the business, the employees, and the customer in mind. If you’re on the fence about updating your software tools or if you’re unsure if the update is worth it, these three reasons can help you understand the benefits of making the change.
1. Improve Your ROI (Return on Investment)
As a future-minded company, you need tools at your disposal that will meet your expectations and enable your teams to work efficiently – all at an optimal cost level. If you’re wondering about the Return on Investment of purchasing an ALM tool, download our guide to help you calculate the value of such an investment. Take a meticulous process to map how your team will benefit, and make every effort to calculate an accurate ROI!
Download this guide that helps calculate the ROI of an ALM investment!
2. Boost Employee Performance and Satisfaction
Implementing an efficient ALM tool will help keep you, your teams, and management focused on what they need and want to do in order for the organization to stay successful. Collaborative features and analytics insights in ALM allow your teams to stay aligned, track progress, and build custom reports of the entire process of development. Overall, ALM helps managers and employees track and contribute to various types of projects while balancing their workload with organizational goals. It does all this while providing clarity and accountability, leading to improved morale.
3. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the key to maintaining a long-term business, and high product quality is necessary for getting there.
Implementing Application Lifecycle Management tools contributes to enhanced product quality in various ways. It creates visibility, transparency, and an environment of collaboration, all conducive to high quality. Besides, ALM helps enforce the use of quality-focused (automated) workflows with no deviations possible. The result? High-quality products, smooth regulatory compliance audits where necessary, and satisfied customers that will mean a consistent source of revenue for your company.
Application Lifecycle Management Tools: Where to Start
Interested in learning more about upgrading to Application Lifecycle Management tools for the benefit of your business and your customer? Read our eBook for more information: