IBM announced it has acquired UrbanCode Inc., a company that automates the delivery of software to help businesses quickly release and update mobile, social and cloud applications.

With UrbanCode’s technology, companies can reduce the cycle time it takes to get updates or new applications into market, from months to minutes, according to IBM. This approach is designed to help reduce cost and risk, while at the same time addressing changing business needs by enabling companies to rapidly incorporate feedback into and improve the overall quality of applications and services.

UrbanCode’s software is a “natural extension” of IBM’s DevOps strategy, which is designed to simplify and speed the software development and delivery process. The new capabilities also enhance IBM’s SmartCloud and MobileFirst initiatives by making it easier and faster for companies to deliver software through those channels.

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

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed that almost 70 percent of companies using software development for competitive advantage outperform their competitors in profitability.

“Companies that master effective software development and delivery in rapidly changing environments such as cloud, mobile and social will have a significant competitive advantage,” Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Rational Software, said in a statement. “With the acquisition of UrbanCode, IBM is uniquely positioned to help businesses from every industry accelerate delivery of their products and services to better meet client demands.”

After a dip in earnings from IBM’s most recent report, the enterprise IT megavendor was faulted as too slow to find returns on mobile computing capabilities.

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