The Events That Will Help Shape the Future of Configuration Management

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In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.

Summary:
Joe Farah details the events that will help shape the coming year of configuration management (CM) and application lifecycle management (ALM). The CM and ALM industry will prosper as companies look at how they can reduce costs.

2008 brought us the buyout of Telelogic by IBM, not long after IBM had already acquired and integrated Rational. However, 2008 also brought us a global recession that has governments working hard to avoid having the R-word turn into the D-word. These events will help shape the coming year of configuration management (CM) and application lifecycle management (ALM).

To begin, companies are downsizing. Large, expensive CM and ALM systems are adding to the pressure not only to keep the bottom line in the black, but to keep companies afloat. The total cost of operation for CM and ALM systems, which can be quite significant, will not be justified by the technical need when there are other, less costly, and in some cases more capable, solutions out there, and when there are more pressing financial needs. So the shift from big-IT will start in earnest this year. CM and ALM will only be one segment of big-IT affected. Watch for SAP and Oracle to be hit hard. Off-site training and conferences will be hit hard, with a move to put more on-line.

2009: An Opportunity for CM and ALM Industry
Nevertheless, the CM and ALM industry will prosper as companies look at how they can reduce costs. The proof of reducing operational costs will have to be there, up front, before anyone commits to new capital purchases, however. For that reason, much of the CM/ALM industry action will involve companies migrating from existing costly solutions, including big-IT CM/ALM solutions, to more lean solutions. This is the real beginning of the 3rd Generation of CM.

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About the author

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah

Joe Farah is the President and CEO of Neuma Technology and is a regular contributor to the CM Journal. Prior to co-founding Neuma in 1990 and directing the development of CM+, Joe was Director of Software Architecture and Technology at Mitel, and in the 1970s a Development Manager at Nortel (Bell-Northern Research) where he developed the Program Library System (PLS) still heavily in use by Nortel's largest projects. A software developer since the late 1960s, Joe holds a B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. You can contact Joe at farah@neuma.com

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