CA Technologies has acquired Rally Software Development for $480 million. The deal potentially pushes CA forward in such areas as agile software development, DevOps and self-service customer adoption.

CA believes Rally's software can help customers to continually improve their applications at a faster and faster pace -- which are prime goals of the agile and DevOps industry movements. Of the Fortune 100 companies, roughly 35 already use Rally's tools for cloud- and on-premises software development, CA indicated.

The buyout is CA's latest step beyond traditional mainframe and client-server offerings. Some acquisitions, such as the Nimsoft deal of 2010, have successfully pushed CA deeper into the IT service management market.

Still, CA's overall business has continued to slip as customers increasingly shift workloads to cloud computing and converged data centers. The company's fiscal 2015 revenues fell 3 percent to $4.262 billion, according to results released on May 7, 2015.

CEO Mike Gregoire has been pushing CA to introduce more self-service applications for customers and developers to "try before they buy" on the web -- an area where CA noticeably lagged many SaaS and cloud companies. Rally fits that self-service vision well, offering free demos, trials and expert guidance all online.

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