DevOps Deeper Dive: DevOps Consolidation This Way Comes

The merger of XebiaLabs and CollabNet VersionOne announced this week will accelerate the ongoing consolidation of providers of DevOps platforms that has been slowly gaining momentum for the better part of two years.
Under the terms of the agreement, the unnamed combined company will be led by Ashok Reddy, formerly with Broadcom, CA Technologies and IBM. Current XebiaLabs CEO Derek Langone will become president of the combined company. Current CollabNet VersionOne CEO Flint Brenton is stepping down from the combined company.
CollabNet has been trying to make a case for employing value stream management tools to better align application development projects with business objectives ever since it merged with VersionOne, a provider of an application lifecycle management (ALM) platform anchored around version control software, in 2017. Late last year, CollabNet VersionOne was acquired by TPG Capital, which pledged to make $500 million in funding available to drive organic and inorganic growth. The decision to appoint Reddy as CEO of the combined company was made by TPG.
XebiaLabs, meanwhile, raised $100 million capital in early 2018 to drive investments in building a continuous delivery platform. The goal now is to more tightly integrate the respective platforms of the two companies to advance value stream management with Global 5,000 class organizations, says Langone.
“There is no enterprise-class player in this space,” said Langone.
Rival offerings either don’t scale to meet the needs of larger enterprises or they are simply too shallow to meet business requirements, he noted.
Of course, value stream management is where most of the rivals of the combined entity are also focused. CloudBees, for example, has already rolled out value stream management modules as an extension of its continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform. CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey said the company is now taking that concept to the next level by building a software delivery management (SDM) platform that normalizes data from multiple data sources. The open source Jenkins CI/CD platform, along with the Electric Cloud application release platform CloudBees gained via acquisition last year, would be one of many data sources for that platform, he said, while value stream management would be one of several applications available to different classes of users within that SDM platform.
While mergers and acquisitions among DevOps vendors have been occurring slowly, Labourey said he expects the pace of such deals to increase in the months ahead as organizations embrace more complex modern application architectures based on microservices.
“The destination is now clear,” he said.
GitLab, meanwhile, has already signaled in 2020 that it will be adding value stream management capabilities to its namesake platform. Rather than trying to merge disparate code bases acquired by acquisitions, GitLab is building an end-to-end platform on a common code base, says Jackie Meshell, a senior product manager for GitLab.
“We’re seeing the market follow that fast,” Meshell said.
There are, of course, other approaches to value stream management applications that span multiple application development platforms, including offerings from Plutora, Tasktop and Panaya.
Value stream management has become an industry buzzword of late as more organizations appreciate the degree to which their businesses now revolve around the rate at which software gets built and delivered. Value stream management applications are roughly the equivalent of business intelligence software for business managers, who pull metrics and data from application development platforms to determine whether projects are falling behind and what impact those delays might have on the business.
Most business leaders are going to lean toward value stream management applications that can be applied across multiple application development platforms, said Bob Davis, chief marketing officer for Plutora. Few organizations are standardized on a single application development platform, he noted.
While it’s still early days in terms of adopting value stream management applications, Davis said it’s already apparent that in the age of digital business transformation the category is red hot.
“Value stream management these days is everywhere,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether a strategy that focuses mainly on slower-moving enterprise IT organizations will succeed at a time when more agile startups continue to gain share at the expense of larger incumbents in almost every industry. Many of those enterprise IT organizations may get exposed to value stream management by acquiring a rival that has already adopted an application. Of course, it’s also just as likely that by the time many of those enterprise organizations reach the point where they need value stream management applications, it may be past the point where they remain relevant.
Regardless of how they get there, however, wider adoption of value stream management as an extension of SDM is coming. The only unknown now is how and when.
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