Software is becoming a more and more important part of various of products in practically all industries. Development companies are facing the challenges of growing product complexity, connectivity to the Internet of Things, and in the case of safety-critical sectors, increasingly stringent regulations.
As fierce competition forces companies to acquire or expand software development competences, tooling issues are plaguing development teams regardless of what industry sector they operate in. Whether you’re developing the latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for the automotive industry, or a smartphone app to complement the functionality of a high-tech medical device, hiring skilled software talent is just part of the solution. In a highly competitive market environment, the trick is not simply to be able to develop high quality products, but to do it fast, with moderate costs, while complying with relevant regulations efficiently.
Never mind the price, take care of the costs!
Software experts know that Application Lifecycle Management platforms such as codeBeamer ALM were created specifically to help you achieve these goals. codeBeamer ALM helps development teams collaborate efficiently, automate processes & audit trails, and offers powerful features that cover the entire product development lifecycle to help you develop better products faster. The problem is that more often than not, management buy-in is more difficult to achieve than the enthusiastic cooperation of software developers when it comes to evaluating and purchasing an ALM platform.
Managers mostly care about the numbers – sure, a sophisticated ALM tool could bring the development team all those benefits, but do those outweigh the costs, and do they seep down into the bottom line? Calculating the ROI of an ALM investment is a key step in getting decision makers on board.
First, let’s take a look at the costs of buying, and rolling out an Application Lifecycle Management system:
Costs involved in the implementation of integrated ALM platforms
License investment: To start with, there’s the obvious cost of purchasing access to an ALM platform, in whatever way licenses are offered by your chosen vendor. Bear in mind that license investment is just part of the total cost: most ALM vendors expect you to sign up for yearly support, adding to the overall cost. However, having access to support means that you can always upgrade to the latest version of your ALM platform with all its new features.
Rollout investment: Having purchased your new ALM platform, the real work is about to begin. It’s a good idea to bear the costs of ALM deployment and configuration in mind when evaluating ALM tools. Also consider the fact that the more flexible an ALM platform (and hence, the more configuration work needed during rollout), the more you’ll be able to adapt it to suit your needs perfectly – and therefore, the more money it could save you in the long run.
Training costs: OK, so you now have your ALM licenses purchased, the ALM tool configured, and all processes set up. In order for your team to be able to benefit from all this, you’ll have to train all team members working with your Application Lifecycle Management platform. While some vendors may charge hefty sums for such training, Intland takes a “train the trainers” approach: certain team members (core users) are trained during rollout so that they can train the rest of the team on making the most of codeBeamer ALM.
Tangible benefits of ALM
So what do you get for your money when purchasing an integrated Application Lifecycle Management tool such as codeBeamer ALM? In addition to the intangible benefits of the higher perceived quality and value of your products (leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and increased brand reputation), implementing integrated ALM brings you the following tangible benefits directly affecting your bottom line:
Cut time to market: As enhanced collaboration and advanced DevOps and Agile features make work more efficient, your products’ time to market will be reduced by around 8% on average. This helps you be a pioneer of innovation in your market.
Quality improvement: By some estimates, codeBeamer ALM’s change and test management functionality helps decrease the average time spent on correcting errors by 25%. Having mature processes in place enhances quality real-time, resulting in significant cost and time savings on all of your projects.
Enhanced reporting: While it might not seem significant, the weekly time spent creating reports for management adds up over time, and some companies might not even realize the volume of costs this involves. With reports available at your fingertips and even automatically sent to specific stakeholders, codeBeamer ALM can help cut reporting time in half.
Reduced audit preparation time: Reporting to management is a joyride compared to preparing for compliance audits. As it ensures and lets you prove gapless traceability from requirements all the way through to release, codeBeamer ALM is the go-to solution for safety-critical companies facing the requirements of various regulatory bodies and standards. As you’re being continuously compliant, the time of preparing for audits can be cut by as much as 40%.
Easier process configuration: Designing, implementing, enforcing, and monitoring the use of compliant, mature processes is a huge part of the work of safety-critical development teams. With codeBeamer ALM’s ready to use, preconfigured templates (Intland’s Medical IEC 62304 Template, Intland’s Automotive ISO 26262 Template, Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template) that are available out of the box, you can easily reduce the burden of process configuration by up to 60%.
Tool integration & maintenance costs eliminated: Much of the value of using integrated ALM lies in the fact that it offers a single platform to cover the entire product development lifecycle. In a fragmented tool environment, integrating and updating single-point solutions (JIRA, SCM, Confluence, Jenkins, etc) means a significant and continuous investment of time and costs. codeBeamer ALM uses a single repository to store all your development data, and offers end-to-end features from requirements to release. By integrating easily with other tools in your software ecosystem, transitioning to codeBeamer ALM is not necessarily a disruptive process. Therefore, the costs of integrating several software tools can be cut by as much as 80%.
Calculating the ROI of ALM
Some of the benefits that ALM could bring to your product development team may be difficult to measure. That said, with all the above data about the average rate of improvement that some of Intland’s customers have been able to realize with codeBeamer ALM, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to crunch the numbers and calculate the return on investment when purchasing an ALM tool. Getting decision makers to commit to an ALM investment doesn’t have to be an arduous task: just use the above guide to assess the ROI and you’ll be able to start evaluating Application Lifecycle Management systems sooner than you’d think.
Need help on understanding, or convincing management about the benefits of ALM? Contact us with your questions, we’ll be happy to help.