Is the software supply chain just ALM by another name?

Following on from my blog yesterday which described the many layers of the software application development ecosphere as a patchwork quilt of sorts – I’d like to clarify the theory with regard to a couple of issues.

If this many layered argument for software holds true – and the mixture of embedded, hosted, third party, outsourced and other software all make up a huge complex interwoven network… then how should refer to the process of gathering all this software if it comes in at different times from different sources?

It’s called the Software Supply Chain, of course!

But hang on; managing and integrating a mixture of software sources across the length and breadth of a product cycle is just called Application Lifecycle Management isn’t it?


For a clarification, Computer Weekly Developer Network spoke to David Hurwitz, SVP of worldwide marketing at Serena Software.

“Software supply is different from ALM, because ALM should cover the business demand for software alongside how it is created,” said Hurwitz. “Whereas software supply can cover internal or external development work that is then used to meet a need, ALM covers the initial business request for functionality, manages how the software to meet that need is developed, and then how this product is pushed out to the wider organisation. This is a much more orchestrated approach than the supply chain side.”

.. and you know what? I think that’s pretty accurate.