All you need to know about Application Lifecycle Management
The concept of ALM has made its entry into more and more Norwegian IT departments in recent years. But what actually is ALM? Why is it so relevant? What opportunities does it offer, and how can you implement it at your organisation?
What is ALM?
ALM stands for ‘application lifecycle management’, and can be described as an approach to development that involves taking into account an application’s entire lifecycle - from the very first planning meeting through the application’s deployment and updating and continuing to its end of life.
ALM involves planning right from the start what will happen once a solution is deployed, how long it is intended to be in use, and what problems might be expected during its life. The result of this is a better quality product, optimised productivity, a better user experience and simpler administration and maintenance.
In other words, there is no reason not to develop new solutions using ALM.
What are the benefits of ALM?
- Better collaboration between teams.
- Quicker and more reliable deliveries.
- Access to the right expertise at the right time.
- A better basis for taking decisions when developing new solutions.
- Risks are addressed earlier.
- A higher level of quality once the solution is deployed.
- Greater clarity about who is responsible for monitoring the complete solution.
What are the benefits of ALM compared to traditional application development?
Traditional development processes are often silo-based as development work is completed by different teams before and after deployment. With ALM, there is a continual transfer of expertise internally within the organisation, and this means you can create a better product or service in a shorter period of time, with team members who have been involved from the start.
ALM makes it possible to continually assess and take into account newly emerged business opportunities and user requirements. It also ensures the solution is effectively monitored in the production environment at all times, it strengthens the connections between IT and business functions, and it contributes to expertise development across the teams.
With ALM, everyone involved gets the same information about what is being built and why, ensuring progress towards a shared goal. This means you can exploit new business opportunities and address new customer expectations more quickly.
What are the benefits of ALM from a business perspective?
Under a traditional approach to development, a lot of time is lost completing tasks that are overcomplicated or unnecessary because there is not sufficiently good communication between all those involved or because repetitive tasks and processes have not been streamlined.
These challenges are avoided using an ALM approach, and this has a positive impact for the organisation both in terms of organisational development and the organisation’s ability to respond to additional business opportunities:
- Greater insight into data helps make the organisation more data-driven.
- Higher quality solutions provide a better user experience for end-users.
- Greater focus on building solutions sustainably.
- Greater satisfaction for all stakeholders.
- Greater control over the development process.
- Greater collaboration across the organisation.
- Fewer human errors.
- Clear responsibility for the solution once it is deployed.
Who is ALM relevant to?
Basically, ALM will be relevant to all organisations that use applications and digital solutions. It is particularly useful for those organisations that have made good progress on their digital transformation journey and/or have consciously organised the development, management and operation of their solutions in a product-focused way.
The more critical a solution is for an organisation’s ability to achieve its objectives, the more important it is to think in an ALM way. It can make sense to take a holistic approach with a common ALM strategy across all solutions.
What do you need to succeed with ALM?
All organisations that develop/use digital solutions can benefit from using an ALM approach, but there are a number of factors that influence the benefits that can be achieved – and the extent to which it is likely that you will achieve them.
First of all, a business needs to be willing to make the investment that is required. Although ALM will help you reduce the costs associated with a solution over the course of its life, getting all of the processes and tools in place takes effort.
Secondly, our experience is that adopting a holistic perspective will always pay off, not just in relation to the development of your solution, but also across your entire organisation. Before you implement ALM, you need to have worked out how the approach can address general and specific challenges so that you can make a good plan for the way forward.
Once these first two pillars are in place, the success factors relate to operational considerations. You will need the right expertise at your organisation that is capable of asking the right questions, you will need to do everything in the right order and you will need to set up vertical responsibility for your solutions. You must accordingly give the team the necessary mandates and opportunities they need to succeed.
If you can tick off all these points on your checklist, you will have a great foundation for succeeding with ALM.
How does Itera work with ALM?
Itera has extensive experience of helping Norwegian organisations with their digital transformations. We provide ALM as a service, which is to say we can either provide specialists and technical experts who work within your organisation or we can help with the entire lifecycle of an application. We have methodologies, guidelines, checklists and tools set up ready for use as a starting point and can thus reduce the effort and investment needed to put ALM in place at your organisation.
We are committed to meeting the commercial needs of our customers in the best way possible. ALM is part of our “Digitalisation Factory” (link once the page exists) where we have brought together all our service areas to ensure a comprehensive perspective on your needs – at the same time as providing quick and agile deliveries.