Thanks to the rise of DevOps, there has been a lot of focus on various forms of application lifecycle management (ALM) spanning multiple application development methodologies. But as IT organizations become more comfortable with multiple methodologies, it turns out they are not replacing one with another as much as simply trying to figure out where to employ one over another. That, in turn, is driving some consolidation across the ALM category.
CollabNet this week announced it is merging with VersionOne, a provider of an ALM framework optimized for agile application development. While CollabNet has made some forays into the space, historically its primary focus has been on waterfall methodologies commonly used across larger enterprise IT organizations. CollabNet CEO Flint Brenton says the goal now is to combine the best of the ALM tools provided by both companies to enable IT organizations to leverage agile and waterfall methodologies as they best see fit. In fact, he says the biggest ALM issue facing organizations today is the need to balance developing applications faster and the inherent risks associated with potentially moving too quickly.
Robert Holler, formerly the CEO of VersionOne, will assume the post of chief strategy officer for the combined company. He says there’s very little overlap between the two company’s product portfolios, and the one thing that will distinguish CollabNet going forward is an open approach to ALM that enables organizations to employ whatever tools they prefer. Instead of forcing organizations to rip and replace those tools, Holler says ALM frameworks need to foster collaboration rather than trying to impose a closed ALM environment. That environment also needs to be deployable on-premises or in the cloud, depending on the requirements of the customer.
Holler notes that once any segment of the IT industry reaches a certain level of maturity, consolidation is all but inevitable. The opportunity CollabNet has is providing an ALM environment that makes it possible to automatically package and deploy applications that includes strong version-control mechanisms. Those capabilities will become even more critically important as IT organizations expand usage of microservices based on, for example Kubernetes, alongside traditional virtual machine deployments across the enterprise. Accomplishing that goal will require a common management layer capable of spanning both environments, he says.
The combined companies have more than 20,000 customers. That number may not collectively represent the lion’s share of the ALM market, but it does make CollabNet a serious contender against a host of rivals that are both a lot older and larger. CollabNet’s challenge now is convincing customers of competitive organizations to switch to an ALM platform that CollabNet contends is a whole lot more flexible.
In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to wait and see if the combination of CollabNet and VersionOne will drive any additional acquisitions at a time when IT organizations are becoming a lot less religious about what type of application development methodology gets employed by who and when.