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The Evolution of ADLM

by Thomas Murphy  |  October 19, 2015  |  1 Comment

Software development has been changing dramatically over the last 5 years driven by a number of shifts including SMAC (social, mobile, analytic, cloud) technologies, the growth in first Agile practices and now DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Still terminology and tools are stuck in an era of applications. Gartner believes we are moving to a “post application” world and as such tools will need to respond. We will shift or language from Application Development (AD) toward something else, more generically Software Development but while terms are important as they communicate our intents and constraints we are approaching a shifting era in tools. 

DevOps practices often makes use of the concept of a Tool Chain. Discrete tools designed to plug into a delivery pipeline performing a specific task and upgradable independently just as services may move indepently from each other. Feebly has a design pipeline bit.ly/1XgyHy2 that uses a similar concept. 

In a recent interview, Mik Kersten of Tasktop states “what’s lacking entirely is an adjustment of the ALM tools to manage a much more heterogeneous lifecycle of loosely coupled services from a multitude of vendors and open source suppliers.” bit.ly/1MQJX18 

This fits well with patterns we have been watching as tools shift from single vendor solutions to federated suites however the other element that must change and which is hinted at in the interview is existing ADLM tools are built around managing a software Application project. As we shift into micro services and deliver new functionality based on service compositions our tools will have to evolve as will our practices. 

In the short term this means our ADLM MQ will change this year toward enterprise scale Agile planning and execution. We are in the definition phase of this update clarifying criteria and prepping to do our initial vendor survey to form the selection of tools that will be included. I believe this document will continue to evolve dramatically over the coming years as organizations shift to product-centered approaches and in support of cloud delivered solutions. 

I believe it will be critical for organizations to define (or redefine) their culture and surrounding practices and metrics. This should be done in conjunction with the business rather thean as a solo. We have a great stream of research in the pipeline around agile practices and enabling continuous practices. Will business as usual continue? Of course, and traditional ADLM tools will continue to support them. But, a shift has begun and must be understood. 

Category: adlm  agile  trends-predictions  

Thomas E. Murphy
Research Director
15 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Thomas Murphy is a research director with Gartner, where he is part of the Application Strategies and Governance group. Mr. Murphy has more than 33 years of experience in IT as a developer, product manager, technical editor and industry analyst. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on The Evolution of ADLM


  1. Our journey to SIEM use cases begins at SIEM USE CASE DISCOVERY, a commonly overlooked [even by me :-)] step. Coincidentally, why didn’t I take it seriously sometimes? Because if you acquired a million-dollar SIEM tool, an intelligent position would be to assume that you know what problems it will help you solve! As you can imagine, in our reality things are quite different. Plenty of organizations have acquired expensive SIEM tools for all sorts of magically idiotic reasons (such as “for compliance”) and only then started thinking about the problems the tools can help them solve and the operational practices need to actually solve them



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