IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

IBM and GitLab Join Forces – Engineering Teams Should Pay Close Attention

by Rob Shapiro | 01/18/2021

In order to serve the growing number of organizations adopting DevOps practices in their software development pipelines, IBM and GitLab announced an expanded partnership to help automate the delivery of cloud-native applications. Under IBM’s stewardship, GitLab Ultimate for IBM Cloud Paks brings the IBM and GitLab development communities closer together through a shared platform. New and existing customers using IBM or GitLab development environments can now collaborate efficiently and make use of the orchestration capabilities of IBM Cloud Paks. The OEM agreement also grants IBM the ability to supply the GitLab platform, extending their reach to new users. As software development needs continue to evolve, the new partnership provides greater versatility for both companies to meet them and capitalize on the lagged adoption of continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) tools in IoT/embedded workflows.

Use of Continuous Integration/Build tools by Project Type

Rooted in the formal nature of engineering-driven development workflows, IoT/embedded manufacturers are slower to adopt modern development practices and CI/build tools. However, as more devices integrate connectivity capabilities, IoT/embedded developers will need to revamp their approach and tools for software development to enable more rapid delivery to match the requirements for these systems.  Furthermore, expanded integrations, similar to GitLab Ultimate for IBM Cloud Paks, enable greater flexibility in tool sourcing for developers and consolidates them in a centralized management platform. These integrations will be crucial going forward to meet the growing demand from the IoT/embedded community.

The growing adoption of container technology will be another focal point for IBM and Gitlab, as more organizations use containers to streamline their software distribution process across more distributed infrastructures. Under the new partnership, GitLab users can now leverage the virtualization capabilities from RedHat’s Kubernetes platform, OpenShift. This additional connection also demonstrates the growing alignment between IBM and Red Hat, which IBM acquired in July 2019. The acquisition followed suit with a series of strategic moves from IBM over the last several years, including the divesture of Appscan and other software products to HCL.

The partnership with GitLab marks a renewed approach to serving CI/CD pipelines, similar to the vision of SDLC integration  first espoused by Rational product two decades ago. Supported by the notable synergy with IBM’s Urbancode products and recent initiatives, like the release of the Code Risk Analyzer for SCA scanning, the GitLab integration will play a significant role in IBM’s rejuvenated effort to meet the evolving demands from the software development domain. Future extensions and partnerships for additional integrations will be key to drive growth further in the future. These will enable the involved parties to reach a wider range of customers and meet their desire to avoid vendor lock-in across modern development pipelines. Furthermore, we believe that enhanced integrations with DOORS, Rhapsody, and the extended IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management Suite would be especially valuable to IoT/embedded developers aiming to modernize their software delivery workflows.

More details on the announcement can be found at the following,, as well as additional product information here,

To learn more about our IoT & Embedded Technology practice, download VDC's 2021 Research Outline.