In 2014 Gartner reported that 50% of new IoT products failed! This increased the questions over this new internet technology, i.e. the Internet of Things. Also, for the investors, it became difficult to invest more; especially for electronics manufacturers.
That is not the case today! In the 21st century, the custom software development companies cannot leave product and software separately. It is because using the software you create your final product which yet again is an application or software. Today, the usage of IoT technologies is in all industries such as healthcare, social networking, education, and automation. IoT has also bridged the gap in communication. By incorporating machine learning & big data technology, IoT manufacturers have harnessed real-time data and increased the online usage of automation technologies.
In this article, we will find the relationship between software development and IoT manufacturers via PLM and ALM integration.
PLM + ALM = Successful software development
It is always complex to create new software with heavy business requirements and new functionalities. Furthermore, you need to become precise with your software because it must be integrable with other legacy applications. Therefore, the need for PLM and ALM integration exists today; in order to achieve a unified solution to manage products and software development.
PLM – Product Lifecycle Management is a software business solution whose motto is to extend the enterprise by creating and managing the product information. PLM starts managing the lifecycle of the product right from the engineering design, implementation, development, manufacturing, and execution. On the other hand, ALM – Application Lifecycle Management governs, develops & manages the software lifecycle. ALM addresses the software requirements, coding, testing, and the final release of a software product. They both might appear to be similar, but actually, they are not.
The world of software management looks more complex and daunting than the mechanical world. The software world needs a high amount of data integration, technical collaborations, design integrations, processing speed, and vast data volumes. Though managing software from its early stage to its last stage looks difficult, both PLM and ALM integration let the development teams effectively manage software with better traceability and security testing.
Benefits of PLM and ALM integration
- The integration aligns with the architecture and development process.
- The integration fulfills the software and hardware requirements.
- The integration results in better test strategies.
We call this connection of ALM and PLM as – PALM (Product & Application Lifecycle Management). It is the future generation of controlling and managing the systems of engineering and software! Thus, integrating them will reduce software development complexity, while enhancing flawless software deployment.
Application of IoT technologies require both ALM and PLM systems
Traditionally, both ALM and PLM are different but once integrated, they provide more opportunities for the IoT manufacturers and electronics investors.
PLM software single-handedly cannot reduce the complexity of software development because it is not designed to manage the frequently occurring changes. This is the only reason why ALM software steps in and meets the needs of constantly changing product requirements.
We all know that the electronics manufacturers and IoT module manufacturers today relies on the software to add new features; thus, increasing complexity of the final product not in hardware but in software. Therefore, ALM software manages the complexity of both software and hardware development; though the hardware management falls in a PLM environment.
Some examples of PLM – ALM integration
- Hardware products such as Refrigerators, heating systems, ACs, geysers, and TVs, act smarter due to IoT.
- Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, two popular gaming consoles are the best milestone in the world which shows PLM and ALM integration.
- Television, mobile phones, tablets, etc. also support PLM and ALM integration.
- Business applications including salesforce and online platforms like Amazon’s Kindle are trying hard to integrate PLM and ALM processes.
Some of the questions regarding ALM and PLM remains same. For example, one such question related to our context is; How an IoT manufacturer manages the increasing amount of software which coexists as a component within a product? Ideally, it is possible by PLM-ALM integration and ALM-PLM interoperability.
The ultimate need of IoT manufacturers – PLM & ALM together
Some of the IT managers who have invested in PLM systems tried to use PLM for managing software. However, due to some set boundaries of a PLM system, they could only manage product-related workflows, versions, designs, and specifications. In other words, if you think a PLM system is capable to manage the files and complexity of the software development process, then you are pushing PLM way beyond its boundaries. That is why managing the software development process is better with ALM, which is designed specifically for this purpose.
Thought the PLM and ALM processes, systems, and approaches are different, we can conclude the following things:
- To manage the product and software lifecycle, PLM-ALM integration is important for IoT manufacturers.
- PLM toolsets cannot manage software development while the ALM toolsets cannot manage product development.
Therefore, the electronics IoT manufacturers are using PLM and ALM by establishing the cross-relationships between product and software lifecycle. For the new startups and custom software development companies, the integration and ALM-PLM interoperability are compulsory to completely understand and assess the impact on the software world.