At the Root of Enterprise IT Evil

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Application Lifecycle Management Matures

Study finds improved processes are the number one reason to invest in ALM and improved visibility is the primary benefit.

When IT professionals stop to consider the root cause of many of the issues associated with enterprise IT, much of the problem can be traced directly back to the lack of a structured approach to application development.


More often than anyone cares to admit, applications that duplicate a function that already exists within the organization are being developed more frequently than ever. The reason for this has been the rise of agile development methodologies that make it possible for developers to create more applications faster than ever. However, the rise of agile development is creating an IT operations crisis because the people in charge of deploying these applications, along with the ensuing onslaught of rapid-fire updates, are having a tough time keeping pace.

This crisis is creating a sense of urgency around finding new ways to manage the "DevOps" process that puts a spotlight on application lifecycle management (ALM). In terms of bringing some order to the chaos that is often enterprise IT, this is a very good thing in that ALM addresses many of the original sins that wind up making IT so difficult to manage once the applications are deployed.

The good news is that a new worldwide survey of 2,442 IT executives conducted by Serena Software finds that about half of IT organizations that embrace a structured approach to ALM report that not only can they audit the application development process better, but that they have also gained more visibility into the process, which in turn led to improved business processes.

Obviously, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done in terms of first streamlining the DevOps process and then leveraging ALM to improve business processes. But Carl Landers, Serena vice president of product and campaign marketing, says the survey clearly indicates that IT organizations are getting more sophisticated when it comes to managing applications. This is critical because the huge amount of the money misspent every year on enterprise IT can be attributed to redundant applications and all the duplicate data they generate.

The inability to effectively manage applications has been an ongoing plague with enterprise IT for better part of three or more decades, so obviously it's a problem that is not going to be solved overnight. But it's also pretty clear that many organizations are making some progress in terms of bringing their application development processes under control, which down the road should pay additional dividends by ultimately reducing the number of applications and associated IT infrastructure that needs to be supported by understaffed and overworked IT staffs everywhere.