Research Hub > 5 Ways Your Organization Can Benefit From Platform Engineering
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5 Ways Your Organization Can Benefit From Platform Engineering

Take DevOps to the next level with platform engineering, which can help organizations manage tool sprawl, implement governance, strengthen security and more — all while alleviating developer overload and development bottlenecks.

For the past few years, DevOps has risen as the gold standard for organizations looking to build better software faster by improving collaboration between software development and operations teams, fostering Agile principles and implementing automation to accelerate the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC).

However, due to the popularity of cloud-native applications, software development has become more difficult due to the complexity of modern application architectures. Developers often face a convoluted web of infrastructure and a high volume of tools to navigate that results in cognitive overload.

Platform engineering helps resolve this friction from the development process by creating an internal developer platform (IDP), a self-service resource that serves up a collection of tools, services and automated workflows. Developers do not need to navigate these tools on their own or get help from other departments to complete essential software development tasks.

An IDP creates a paved road or “golden path” that helps developers stay on track, providing everything they need to deploy and test their code.  

Top 5 Benefits of Platform Engineering

There are many benefits platform engineering can bring to an organization’s current SDLC, but here are a few of the key issues an IDP can help address:

  1. Reduce tool sprawl: An IDP creates a golden path for developers by providing a standardized set of tools and services they need so they don’t have to search for them on their own. By essentially creating templates and pipelines for developers to do their work, developers no longer waste time figuring out that part of the development process, reducing the risk of errors. This also makes it easier to onboard new developers who are not familiar with the various tools and workflows an organization uses. 
  2. Improve productivity: IDPs make it easier for organizations to release software faster by using automation to provision infrastructure, configure servers and services, deploy applications, provide monitoring and alerting support, load balance and more. With more automation and a golden path, developers are more set up for success and no longer have to spend time on manual and repetitive tasks, leading to faster development cycles and improved operational efficiency.
  3. Establish governance: An IDP enables the ability to create a framework for developers to work within that establishes and enforces policies, procedures and controls around software development. This can include enforcing standardized configurations, infusing Infrastructure as Code principles, setting access controls and permissions, logging all changes and actions within a platform, implementing budget controls and more.
  4. Increase scalability: Platform engineering can help an organization juggle growing workloads and traffic by enabling them to scale their applications and services through containerization and orchestration technologies that automate the deployment and management of containerized applications, auto-scaling rules to manage resources, load balancing to distribute heavy network traffic and more.
  5. Stronger security: Platform engineering incorporates automated security scanning tools integrated into the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline to detect vulnerabilities earlier on into the SDLC, which helps eliminates bugs and defects further along the road. Automated compliance checks are also integrated and help verify that infrastructure and applications meet industry regulations and internal security policies.

Platform engineering can help organizations transform many areas of their SDLC, but one of the greatest outcomes from all the benefits is reduced cost through resource optimization, improved productivity, automation, fewer defects and stronger compliance. 

Building an Internal Development Platform

An IDP is built by a dedicated team that focuses on providing a curated set of resources to support the DevOps team in whatever it needs to accelerate software delivery. This team listens to feedback from their internal customers (those on development and operations teams) to build a product that integrates every technology and tools they need to rapidly deploy software and new features.

Organizations can build their own IDP, use an out-of-the-box IDP solution, and/or implement open-source tools. No matter which route an enterprise chooses, it is important to regularly evaluate the IDP to ensure it is still incorporating relevant tools, new technology and best practices.

Neil Wylie

Chief Architect for DevOps and SRE
Neil Wylie is the Chief Architect for DevOps and SRE within the Digital Velocity team of CDW. He is responsible for defining the company's opinionated approach to solutions within the DevOps space. Joining IGNW in 2019, Neil moved through several DevOps focused roles, assisting multiple customers before taking a role as the Chief Architect to define CDW's opinionated approach to Infrastructure as