Choosing the ALM Solution that Best Fits Your Requirements

Written by: Hanna Taller

Read Time: 4 min

The current market for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is worth around $ 5.50 billion. If you’re still using outdated toolchains, you’re likely already behind your competition—and this gap is only about to widen. By 2030, experts project that the ALM industry will be worth around $8.75 billion. 

Luckily, it’s easy to keep your business edge, assuming that you choose an 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 Read on to take your applications to the next level and eliminate outdated methodologies and tools.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Long and outdated toolchains take a lot of time and effort when developing applications.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, 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. 

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 point with other technologies that you want to keep. 

You need to be able to tailor ALM software to your preexisting toolchains, 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 fo 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, and 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 third 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 methodology 

Agile management breaks down your project into small steps called iterations. Your team completes these iterations over time and finishes the project upon finishing all steps. This lets innovators (such as application developers) focus more intensely on smaller tasks that help to meet long-term goals. 

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 authentication 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 $ 4.45 million untold reputation-related damages, therefore, this needs to be a top priority.

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Tags: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Codebeamer Agile Software Development

About the Author

Hanna Taller

Hanna Taller is a content creator for PTC’s ALM Marketing team. She is responsible for increasing brand awareness and driving thought leadership for Codebeamer. Hanna is passionate about creating insightful content centered around ALM, life sciences, automotive technology, and avionics.