When PLM and ALM Collide: The Lifecycle Convergence

This is what it’s like when PLM and ALM collide.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a framework for managing a physical product from inception to engineering design to production to service to disposal. Integrating people, data, processes, and systems, PLM acts as the single source of truth (SSOT) for manufactured products.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) integrates different aspects of software development to establish a cohesive process for managing software from conceptualization to development to testing to deployment to maintenance to end-of-life (EOL).


PLM took shape in the 1980s, growing in popularity with the widescale adoption of CAD software.

ALM gained real steam with the advent of Agile and DevOps practices.

Where They Collide

The increasing convergence of hardware and software has led to a growing need for an integrated ALM/PLM approach. The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide passed 15 billion this year, according to Statista.

Working Together

In Product Lifecycle Management (Volume 4): the Case Studies, the authors write: “ALM and PLM solutions feature redundant functionality. Therefore, best practices for the systematic integration of ALM and PLM are required.”

Preventing Failures

The more products become connected, the more manufacturers open themselves up to embarrassing failures. Integrating ALM and PLM helps prevent embedded software problems with a clearer view of how physical and digital components interact.

Digital Thread

Integrating ALM and PLM provides a comprehensive and cohesive view of all stages of the product and application lifecycles. The integration ensures all the physical and digital aspects of a product are developed in tandem.


The unified ALM/PLM system facilitates enhanced collaboration between software and hardware teams, which improves product quality and drives innovation.


According to TECHNIA, “The main benefit you’ll find when integrating ALM and PLM is the seamless collaboration between software and hardware teams on issues, tasks, requirements, or change processes.”

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