of the software industry has focused on ease-of-use to a much greater extent than the CM niche. People are aware of the differences between easy-to-use and hard-to-use software, and so we'll start to see a clear shift in user interface functions as new vendors try to replace existing deployments.
Some of the things organizations will be looking for include:
- End-to-end integrated solution with point-and-click navigation along traceability links
- Interactive build and release comparisons
- Management and Role-based Dashboards with drill-down capability
- Tool driven CCB meetings and peer reviews
- Clear To-Do Lists for all roles/users
Whatever makes life easier will be an important consideration. Each user role will have their own impressions, so vendors will have to evaluate their offerings to ensure that they address each role in the ALM function.
2009 - A Turning Point
If IT infrastructure budgets are significant, it may be a significant turning point for CM/ALM tool and process infrastructure. This is an opportunity to which both vendors and consultants must be ready to respond. A crisis is a point of change, so expect to see a lot of it this year.
However, I've been around long enough to know that I shouldn't expect a lot of motion in the industry in a single year, but the current times do set the table for significant change, driven by competitive and financial requirements of the corporate world. Still, I'd be happy to see the shift to 3rd Generation CM platforms take place over the next 2 or 3 years. If 2009 serves only to get CM Managers to look around at their options, that will be a major advance. If they don't, they may find their trimmed budgets are unable to cope with their existing tools and processes.