IBM buys UrbanCode for its devops chops

If there was any doubt that devops — the practice of getting development and operations teams to work together to design and deploy software fast — is getting huge, here’s more evidence: IBM(s ibm) is buying UrbanCode.

ibmlogoCleveland-based UrbanCode’s software helps automate the production and delivery of new applications in a way IBM said is aligned with its own SmartCloud and Mobile First initiatives. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the company’s 50 employees will now be part of IBM Software’s Rational group, according to IBM Software director of marketing Randy Newell.

According to IBM’s statement, UrbanCode will work nicely with IBM’s Worklight mobile application development platform:

” … by combining UrbanCode software with the IBM MobileFirst Worklight technology, businesses can now author and deploy an application for any mobile device in hours, versus a previous multi-day timeline. The UrbanCode solution also works with traditional applications including middleware, databases and business intelligence.”

Legacy IT giants like IBM are trying to find ways to strip out overhead of the development process, particularly for mobile and cloud apps, in order to better compete with leaner, nimble startups. For example, last August, BMC(s bmc), which competes with IBM in systems management tools, bought Varalogix to bolster its devops story.

IBM applies devops concepts to the whole software life cycle including planning, development, testing, deployment, monitoring and feedback phases, Newell said. UrbanCode fits into the deployment piece of the cycle , while IBM’s acquisition of Greenhat in January fills in a testing check box and its buyout of Tealeaf in May 2012, figures into the feedback module.

IBM, the 100-year-old IT giant that has managed to stay relevant by changing when needed, is really focusing on cloud and mobile — and the middleware to power those efforts — to such an extent that it is reportedly thinking of selling off its server business to Lenovo.