Modern businesses need to deploy a significant number of applications so that consumers can always access their services from anywhere.
One report from Appinventiv indicates that an average of 3,739 apps become available to consumers each day through a single digital storefront. This illustrates the need for enterprise developers to streamline app development to keep pace with the market, a task that is achievable through application lifecycle management.
- Improved management over the application lifecycle yields benefits such as faster deployment and higher app quality.
- The application lifecycle consists of several stages, each of which can experience boosts in efficiency through competent management.
- There are many tools to assist with the management of an application’s development lifecycle, with some options catering especially to cloud-native developers.
IT leaders can bring about new innovation during development by learning more about the application lifecycle and the techniques an organization can implement to manage it.
What is application lifecycle management?
It is possible to summarize the process of optimizing the development, performance, and maintenance of an application from its conception to the end of its life under the umbrella of application lifecycle management (ALM). The people, tools, and processes involved with the lifecycle of an application are all part of a comprehensive ALM strategy.
There is a close relationship between ALM and DevOps philosophies. While DevOps refers to the practices that facilitate collaboration between developers and operators in the IT space, ALM supports the DevOps approach by allowing for greater agility and even more effective collaboration.
It is possible to approach almost any software development task with an ALM mindset, and there is in fact a significant overlap between the application lifecycle and the software development cycle. In many cases, the application lifecycle will extend over the software development cycle in its role to ensure acceptable performance and availability of the software long after deployment.
The goal in building an application lifecycle management plan is to bring about continuous delivery of software and necessary updates on a frequent basis, rather than neglecting to support a deployed application for months or years on end. Successful implementation of this strategy allows for more control and management of software over time while also providing a framework that streamlines future software development.
Check out this customer success story to see how Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) used the Nutanix Cloud Platform to improve application management and performance.
The benefits of application lifecycle management
Traditional software development methods, such as the sequential waterfall model, become increasingly inefficient in a fast-paced IT landscape. ALM comes from a need for a more iterative model that can keep pace with the sheer number of applications an individual company tends to deploy today.
Within a proper application lifecycle framework, requirements are put into place for each application and a streamlined process emerges to ensure compliance with those requirements. Through thorough testing and automation, it becomes possible to constantly monitor the outlined requirements and see the application’s health at a glance.
Specific benefits of implementing ALM include:
- Faster deployments
- Streamlined planning
- Efficient management
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Higher application quality overall
Application lifecycle management is an essential practice for modern organizations to adopt because costs and deadlines are tighter than ever in a climate where consumers expect the constant availability of a vast number of apps.
The stages of application lifecycle management
Adopting the most efficient method of managing each stage of an application’s life benefits businesses in almost every imaginable way.
The first stage of ALM entails careful requirement planning. Project leaders must use this opportunity to understand which teams will handle what tasks and gather estimations on how long each task will take.
After initial planning, the actual development of software applications can begin. This stage of application lifecycle management can see increased efficiency and expediency through the implementation of automation and DevOps practices.
Testing and QA
The testing and quality assurance stage enters full swing as development wraps up, but typically begins during development and will likely extend beyond deployment for apps with live service features. Testing and QA serves to improve the customer experience by constantly verifying that the application meets requirements established early on in the lifecycle.
An application that is complete or that reaches a minimum viable state is ready for deployment. Determining an organization’s exact deployment goals and methods is often a matter of identifying critical opportunities through product line management.
Monitoring and Maintenance
The post-deployment stage can easily compromise the majority of an application’s lifecycle. During this time, a developer must continue to assess risks, monitor analytics, and provide ongoing support and maintenance for the application and its users.
Application lifecycle management solutions for enterprise
Application lifecycle management is a complex and broadly encompassing practice. Achieving effective and practical ALM often requires the use of the best tools for the job. The right ALM tools automatically prioritize requirements, track risks, manage testing procedures, and allow for simplified management of the entire lifecycle from an intuitive dashboard.
Organizations that develop, deploy, and manage applications within a hybrid multicloud infrastructure model also need their ALM tools to be compatible with the cloud environment with the capability to capitalize on its unique features. An ALM strategy deployed in a multicloud setting should even allow for workloads throughout the lifecycle to move between nodes in the network.
The Nutanix Life Cycle Manager is the solution for enterprises in need of a comprehensive ALM tool with cloud functionality. Nutanix LCM makes it possible to roll out centralized software or firmware updates across a cloud infrastructure with a single click, all from a unified control pane.
With the right application lifecycle management tools to satisfy the business’s unique needs, enterprise leaders can improve development, deployment, and post-deployment stages by leaps and bounds. Streamlining each phase of the application lifecycle in this way can bring about a business model in which consumers can interact with a large number of data and apps from anywhere at any time.
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