IBM Acquisition Bolsters Application Release Management

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With the rise of agile development, application release management has become a major issue with enterprise IT organizations. IBM this week moved to fill a hole in its portfolio relating to application release management with its acquisition of UrbanCode.

According to Randy Newell, director of go-to-market for the IBM Rational business unit, IT operations has increasingly become a bottleneck within organizations. By adding UrbanCode to the IBM Rational portfolio of tools for managing the application development and deployment process, IBM is looking to help customers automate an application deployment process that, in the age of agile development, needs to be continuous.

As agile development becomes the standard way of developing applications, Newell says multi-dimensional teams of people consisting of developers and IT operations people will be the new norm.

As part of that effort, Newell says IT organizations need more visibility into the application release management process than ever. The Rational suite of tools is now structured in a way that allows IT organizations to begin automating the entire DevOps process starting at any point without necessarily having to re-engineer their entire process overnight.

UrbanCode is the second major DevOps acquisition IBM has recently made. Last year the company acquired Green Hat to add a service virtualization capability for application testing in the cloud to the IBM Rational product line.

With just about every IT vendor now squarely focused on the DevOps process, the tools that IT organizations have access to have never been richer. The challenge is not necessarily acquiring the tools but rather committing to actually changing the process.