Time to market has considerably reduced in the age of DevOps and CI/CD. The IT world isn’t what it used to be. Today, organizations invest in various tools and services to help developers deliver software better and quicker than before. Service provisioning cannot be left in the dark ages with IT Ops teams manually provisioning resources that developers need. The solution is to adopt the platform model for service provisioning. That’s what we discuss in this post.
The advent of the self-service platform
Service provisioning helps developers access various applications, services, databases, and environments. Traditionally, developers would have to create a ticket or personally reach out to IT personnel to help them gain access to services of their choice. This would usually be a long and frustrating process. The IT personnel would have to make sure the services are allocated to the developers and said services are configured to meet the best practices and standards set by the security team. On top of this, IT personnel will have to repeat this process every time a new member joins the team. In the age of DevOps, the delay caused by this manual provisioning system can delay deliverables, marring the organization’s reputation.
Organizations today rely on the platform model to ensure service provisioning isn’t a hassle. With the platform model, architects and IT personnel can work together to build pre-configured resources, environments, services, and database instances on various cloud platforms. These pre-built services meet the best practices and business standards. IT teams can also configure these services so that sensitive information like keys, secrets, and passwords are abstracted from the developers to ensure security from the very beginning.
By reducing the friction faced by development teams, the platform model helps developers meet deadlines, making it necessary for most organizations. Big organizations have hundreds of thousands of employees and manual provisioning isn’t an option in today’s high-speed world.
Why the platform model is indispensable
The platform model is quickly gaining traction among cloud architects. Let’s look at why organizations should invest in a self-service platform.
Efficient service provisioning
One of the biggest reasons for implementing a platform model is efficient onboarding. New team members don’t have to wait for 3-5 business days to access critical systems and install different tools they need for their development. Teams can just pick the tools and services they need from a centralized portal with a self-service platform. And, since these services and tools are pre-configured, the setup process becomes very straightforward and smooth with no room for faulty installation or setup. The platform model also helps make service integration easier since everything is preconfigured.
Teams should be allowed to pick and choose the cloud platform and environment that works for them. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cloud implementation. The requirements can vary drastically from team to team, and developers should have the liberty to choose the cloud platform, monitoring/testing tools, and version control repository of their choice. With the platform model, teams can decide the right combination of services they will need for their development. This removes the rigidity many developers have to make their peace with and allows them to experience services before making the final call.
Improved developer productivity
Developers should be able to focus on their work rather than worry about the underlying infrastructure. Having a poorly configured infrastructure can decrease productivity as developers will have to identify infrastructure issues and resolve them either by themselves or by contacting support. Constantly having to deal with infrastructure-related issues affects developer productivity. With the platform model, developers get tried and tested services configured for efficiency. Therefore, developers can focus entirely on their code without constantly tinkering with the infrastructure.
By having a dedicated team that handles the platform, Ops teams can focus on more critical jobs like optimization. Teams aren’t bombarded with service requests and can use their time effectively to work on innovation. Ops teams can also benefit from the platform team’s security and compliance automation built into the CI/CD pipelines. This ensures that security is implemented from the very beginning and improves the quality of deliveries.
IT personnel must perform maintenance on tools and services used in projects regularly. Failure to do so can lead to security and performance issues. Manually updating and maintaining resources can be a daunting task. With the platform model, automated workflows can perform regular maintenance. Automation helps teams focus on their work and helps save a lot of time and effort. Teams’ work isn’t disrupted due to services being unavailable due to maintenance.
By using pre-configured services, organizations can limit the costs incurred by cloud services. With the manual deployment of services, there is always room for wrong configurations that can spike cloud costs. By configuring the services the right way, the platform team can ensure developers get what they need to get the job done and nothing more, avoiding wasted processing and computation power.
One organization that is innovating in this space is Upbound. They are built on the open source Crossplane project, and make it easy for Ops teams to deliver services and resources to developers in a self-service model.
The platform model is essential to organizations of all sizes and helps drive innovation, and helps your teams release new features and updates faster. The platform model isn’t just beneficial for the developers; it also allows the Ops team to focus on critical tasks rather than constantly tending to service requests and tickets. Organizations looking to invest in the platform model should map out all the cloud resources that teams might use in the future and keep them ready so developers get right to work. The platform model will become a standard and a basic necessity.
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