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Key Criteria for Evaluating Regulated Software Lifecycle Management Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. RSLM Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Dana Hernandez

1. Summary

Industries such as automotive, aerospace engineering, utilities, financial services, and healthcare are highly regulated in many countries due to the mission-critical aspects of their products. These regulated industries are subject to compliance with a host of operational and reporting regulations that impact software development, and organizations in these industries are prone to auditing.

The impact of not having the right regulated software lifecycle management (RSLM) solution for tracking and managing software development in highly regulated industries can be catastrophic. Falling to manage compliance and quality throughout the lifecycle of development can lead to safety issues, recalls, and lawsuits.

Many aspects of development need to be tracked, from the planning stage, through every version of the software release, to the ultimate retirement of the software. Auditors demand full traceability, from high-level requirements to implementation in code and deployment.

Thus, organizations in regulated industries will often leverage application lifecycle management (ALM) tools to support development teams and provide project management, requirements management, automated testing suites, release management version controls, and reporting. ALM tools can produce compliance reports in an instant, demonstrating traceability and showing the testing history of each component.

Some organizations have also moved toward more agile practices to speed products to market. As a result, several agile planning and development operations (DevOps) tools have incorporated compliance and audit requirements. These tools track and report on key metrics and audit and compliance information as needed. They support a flexible, collaborative way for teams to engage and provide both a structured framework and working flexibility at the same time. The tools allow teams to focus on the high-priority features the business needs, even as those priorities are changing, while managing the compliance aspects mandated by regulation.

With the growth of digital transformation in regulated industries, the number of organizations needing RSLM solutions has grown significantly as well, creating opportunity for vendors. These solutions typically target specific industries, and vendors build the solution to ensure compliance with the specific regulations in that industry.

Knowing the requirements for a specific industry is essential for selecting the best solution for a company. Many of these solutions can be more costly than traditional agile portfolio management solutions. Depending on the company’s level of expertise in the industry, professional services may also be needed for the implementation and customization of the product to meet specific industry regulations.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting an effective RSLM solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those criteria and metrics. Together, they provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading regulated software lifecycle management offerings, and help information technology (IT) decision-makers evaluate solutions to make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.