Platform Engineering
PLATFORM ENGINEERING: A GATEWAY TO ENHANCED BUSINESS EFFICIENCY

Platform engineering is an emerging technology approach that offers faster application delivery and accelerated business growth. It is a way of creating and maintaining a platform that provides common, reusable set of tools and capabilities for software developers and other users, such as CI/CD pipelines, staging environments, and infrastructure automation.

But what are the benefits of platform engineering for your organization? How can it help you improve your development efficiency, reduce your operational costs, and mitigate your security and compliance risks? This article will explore some of the advantages of platform engineering and how it can transform your software delivery process. Importantly, utilizing platform engineering can give your organization a competitive edge in the market, leading to future-proof and sustainable growth.

Empowering Development Autonomy

One of the main benefits of platform engineering is that it improves the developer experience and productivity by providing self-service capabilities with automated infrastructure operations. This means that developers can access the resources they need, such as environments, databases, or APIs, without the need for manual approvals or interventions. They can also deploy their code faster and more reliably, as the platform handles the complexities of infrastructure provisioning, configuration, and orchestration.

Considering the impact on business leaders or owners, the grant of autonomy and control to developers, platform engineering enables them to focus on delivering value to their customers, rather than spending time on tedious and error-prone tasks. This also fosters a culture of innovation and experimentation, as developers can try out new ideas and technologies without fear of breaking the system or affecting other teams.

Cybersecurity vs Cost Efficiency

Another benefit of platform engineering is that it helps the organization improve its cybersecurity posture and optimize its cloud spending. By implementing a platform that automates and standardizes the security and cost policies across the software delivery process, platform engineering ensures that the software is built and deployed in a secure and cost-effective manner.

A significant aspect to consider is the potential economic impact of security breaches. According to a recent report by IBM, the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.24 million, the highest in the 17-year history of the report. Consider an organization recently grappling with increased cloud spending and overwhelming development backlog due to growth, whilst simultaneously managing reputation-damaging cybersecurity incidents. Platform engineering could assist such an organization by enforcing security best practices such as encryption, authentication, authorization, logging, monitoring, and by identifying and reporting platform vulnerabilities. This helps not only mitigate cyber threats but also prevents possible substantial losses impacting reputation and operational performance.

Additionally, platform engineering can control and optimize cloud spending, which otherwise may spiral into cost overruns and inefficiencies. A recent forecast from Gartner suggests that public cloud end-user spending will reach $679 billion by 2024, with 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders facing considerable public cloud cost challenges. Platform engineering can navigate around these issues by implementing wide-reaching cost baseline protocols throughout the DevOps pipeline, and by providing self-service capabilities. These enable developers to access only the resources they need, without unnecessary waste or overprovisioning.

By gaining control of infrastructure usage and mitigating its environmental impact, businesses will not only be empowering their staff and improving their bottom line, but they will also be making a tangible difference to our shared environment, supporting our planet as it recovers from years of climate neglect.

From Chaos to Agility

A common example of a company development management and processes is that the company has multiple teams working on different projects, using different tools, technologies, and methodologies, without any coordination or alignment. This can result in a lack of visibility, collaboration, and integration across the development lifecycle, leading to delays, errors, conflicts, and rework. Moreover, the company may face challenges in meeting the changing customer needs and expectations, as well as the regulatory and security standards.

Platform engineering can help the company overcome these challenges by creating a unified and standardized platform that supports the entire development lifecycle, from planning to deployment. The platform can provide a common set of tools, capabilities, and processes that enable the teams to work together efficiently and effectively, such as version control, code review, testing, deployment, and monitoring. The platform can also enable the teams to adopt agile and DevOps practices, such as iterative development, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous feedback, that can help them deliver software faster, better, and cheaper.

By implementing platform engineering, the company can transform its chaotic development management and processes into a streamlined and agile one, that can improve the quality, reliability, security and time-to-market of the software products, as well as the satisfaction and loyalty of the customers.

Therefore, for business leaders looking to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive advantage in the digital landscape, adopting platform engineering is an investment in future success.

Conclusion

Platform engineering is a powerful and promising technology approach that can help your organization deliver software faster, better, and cheaper. It can improve the developer experience and productivity, standardize the software delivery process, and ensure the security and compliance of the software products. It can also create a platform that evolves with the needs of the users and the organization and fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation.

The article was published in Äripäev on 21st of January 2024.