Platform Engineering
HOW PLATFORM ENGINEERING CAN IMPROVE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

Platform engineering is a way of building and managing IT infrastructure and applications that enables faster, more reliable, and more secure delivery of business value. Platform engineering involves creating reusable and standardized components, processes, and tools that can be used across different projects and teams. Platform engineering also involves automating and orchestrating the deployment, testing, monitoring, and scaling of these components and applications.

What are the Challenges of Application Development and How Can Platform Engineering Help?

Application development is a complex and dynamic process that requires constant adaptation and innovation. However, many application developers face various challenges that can affect the quality, speed, and security of their applications. Platform engineering can help IT leaders tackle common challenges in their daily work by providing solutions to improve their application development process.
For example, one of the challenges is setting up and maintaining the infrastructure for each new project. This can be costly, time-consuming, and prone to errors and technical debt. Platform engineering can help by leveraging cloud services, containerization, and infrastructure as code to create and deploy standardized and reusable components that can be easily scaled and updated. This can save time and money and reduce technical debt.

Another challenge is dealing with different processes and standards for different projects and teams. This can lead to inconsistency, inefficiency, and increased complexity. Platform engineering can help by implementing best practices, policies, and guidelines that can be applied across different projects and teams. Platform engineering can also use continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to automate and streamline the development, testing, and deployment of applications. This can improve quality and productivity and reduce complexity.

A third challenge is testing the applications in different environments and ensuring they work as expected. This can be difficult, especially when there are bugs that are discovered later in production or when the environments are not identical. Platform engineering can help by using automated testing tools and frameworks to ensure that the applications are tested in the same environments as they will run in production. Platform engineering can also use monitoring and feedback tools to detect and fix issues before they affect the users. This can enhance reliability and user satisfaction and prevent costly errors.

A fourth challenge is securing the infrastructure and code from potential threats and compliance violations. This can be challenging, especially when security testing is not done or when security rules are not followed. Platform engineering can help by using security tools and frameworks to scan and audit the infrastructure and code for vulnerabilities and compliance violations. Platform engineering can also use encryption, authentication, and authorization to protect the data and access to the components and applications. This can increase security and compliance and prevent breaches and penalties.

A fifth challenge is managing and monitoring the servers, components, and applications across different vendors and datacentres. This can be cumbersome, especially when there are servers that are unknown, unused, or outdated. Platform engineering can help by using inventory and configuration management tools to track and manage the servers, components, and applications across different vendors and datacentres. Platform engineering can also use dashboards and reports to provide insights and metrics on the performance, availability, and cost of the infrastructure and applications. This can optimize resources and performance and enable better decision making.

Conclusion

Platform engineering is a way of building and managing IT infrastructure and applications that can help application developers improve their application development process and deliver faster, more reliable, and more secure business value. Platform engineering can provide application developers with the benefits of faster and easier provisioning, more consistent and efficient processes and standards, more reliable and quality testing, more secure and compliant infrastructure and applications, and more visibility and control over the infrastructure and applications.

The article was published in ITuudised on 29th of January 2024.