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DevOps / Platform Engineering / Software Development

The DevOps Future Is User-Centric Platform Engineering

This transformation envisions streamlined, automated processes as products optimized for user experience and efficiency.
Aug 14th, 2023 11:00am by
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Image from Andrey Suslov on Shutterstock.

This is the second post in a series on platform engineering. Part 1 talked about factors driving this shift.

In recent years, platform engineering has undergone a notable transformation, but it’s more than just a shift from old to new tools. This transformation represents a move from traditional command-based operations to streamlined, automated processes, envisioning processes as products optimized for user experience and efficiency.

What’s Behind the Shift?

This evolution transcends mere tools or technology enhancements. It reflects a holistic shift, treating the platform as a product. This user-centric approach ensures that platforms are more than just a conglomeration of tools, and the DevOps team emerges as a bridge, boosting developers’ efficiency and productivity.

The Goal: Developer Productivity and Experience

Platform engineering is redefining the development landscape. It views platforms as dynamic products, consistently delivering value similar to business applications. The platform engineering team plays a pivotal role here, empowering developers with optimized tools. Given the high value associated with developers, especially in industries where staffing costs dominate, efficiency gains equate to significant cost savings. Thus, platform engineering balances enhanced efficiency with an improved user experience.

The Evolved Role of Ops: More than Just Operations

Organizational transformation on platform engineering is not achieved in a day, but rather in a series of ripple effects — first transforming the internal organization and then achieving organizational goals faster. The constraints around Ops teams, especially the lean nature of it, will mean the improvements will be staged to achieve this outcome. The improvements in platform engineering redefine collaboration between developers and operations teams, far beyond mere Ticket Ops (the back-and-forth handling of tickets).

  • Breaking down dependencies: First, by reducing daily dependencies, however possible, Ops teams will create the necessary bandwidth for themselves to focus on creating a better internal product for the developers.
  • Empowering developers: Ops team will use the additional time in refining “golden paths”; developers can swiftly handle most of their requirements without compromising the cloud posture.
  • Driving purpose and standardization: The above “golden paths” then lead to DevOps processes that are consistent and accessible.
  • Driving aligned autonomy: The Ops team’s role will then expand to areas like quality assurance (QA) and security, enabling these groups to be more autonomous.

In essence, this shift creates a ripple effect that advances the entire business, fostering agility and effectiveness and contributing to the organization’s success.

A Ripple Effect: Adaptability and Agility in Business Goals

We have had the privilege of watching a few companies in their journey of platform engineering, creating a ripple effect and eventually equipping organizations to adapt quickly to changing business needs. It results in necessary changes in infrastructure requirements, whether it’s geographic expansion, local compliance or multicloud strategies. Key benefits include:

  • Agility: The ability to swiftly adapt to market demands and competitive pressures, setting the pace in the evolving business landscape by launching newer workloads.
  • Faster geographic expansions: Seamlessly launch services in new regions, maintaining efficiency and compliance.
  • Country-specific compliance requirements: Facilitate the implementation of local laws, preserving agility and efficiency.
  • Facilitate multicloud operations: Enable consistent experiences across various cloud providers without sacrificing coherence.

Vive la Révolution!

Platform engineering is not just a passing trend; it signals a new era. By redefining developer experiences and organizational workflows, it sets the stage for innovation as the norm. In emphasizing automation and productization, we are steering toward a future marked by agility, resilience and forefront innovations, a future where platform engineering leads the way.

This is part of a series on platform engineering. Read the entire series:

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Enable, Pragma.
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