With ongoing economic uncertainty, the ability to drive innovation and stay competitive is more important than ever before. There’s no doubt that platform engineering and Internal Developer Platforms (IDPs) can drive DevOps efficiency. But how can they help organizations reach their wider business goals and translate to real business value?
From slashing lead time to digital transformation, creating new revenue streams, and responding faster to change, today’s organizations focus on maintaining that critical edge. This means business leaders must recognize platform engineers' critical role in building IDPs that can support overarching goals. Especially with the impact IDPs can have on overall business performance and key value drivers such as improving time to market (TTM), productivity, and customer satisfaction; all of which will be key to staying ahead of the curve.
“The companies that invest in shorter innovation cycles, faster time to market, and shipping new features on time will outperform their competitors.” - Lee Ditiangkin, IBM.
Platforms speed up innovation and impact key business metrics
An IDP provides a curated set of processes and tools that are easy to consume and can improve DevEx as well as productivity. Thanks to recent research, we can also now see how which areas platform engineering initiatives and dynamic IDPs impact when it comes to wider oragnizational performance. According to a recent Forrester Opportunity Snapshot study:
“Tech leaders invest in IDPs and platform engineering teams to increase revenue through faster time to market (TTM) and improved customer satisfaction.”
With effective, frictionless self-service capabilities that drive DevEx, developers can reduce lead time and thus decrease time to market (TTM), which ultimately helps boost revenue. In fact, according to Forrester, 77% of respondents who invested in improving DevEx agree they can shorten TTM, while 85% are able to drive revenue growth. In short, if you can deliver an outstanding DevEx by enabling developer self-service with an IDP, you’ll likely realize the benefits across the organization and drive overall business performance. Let’s dive into some of those key metrics business leaders are concerned with and what impact an IDP can have.
Finance: Time to market and net burn
TTM is one of the most important business metrics and essential to use when building your IDP case for the business. For example, to stay competitive your organization may need to build new and faster revenue streams. TTM defines the time it takes to develop a new product or feature, enter the market, and generate revenue. Therefore the longer your TTM, the more investment is required for every new product and feature.
As Lee Ditiangkin explains on InfoQ,
“With an IDP, developers can self-serve all the tech and tools they need, reducing time wasted waiting on Ops. IDPs also make it easier to make architectural changes on applications, which you need for rapid iterations. The result is a boost in productivity for developers and operations, enabling us to react faster to a competitive landscape.”
You could also argue that if high cloud costs are an issue, an IDP can help address net burn by making it easier to manage your setup in a more efficient manner. For example, it’s possible to reduce costs with the ability to detect and pause unused environments. For larger organizations, opting for cloud vendor-neutral platforms is beneficial since they’ll be able to easily switch between different cloud vendors.
Workforce: Talent acquisition and retention
Since IDPs can vastly improve DevEx, they also have the potential to greatly impact an organization's ability to find and keep top talent. Often, the cause of DevOps burnout and high turnover boils down to excessive cognitive load. And with an ongoing specialist skills shortage, this is something that could drastically hinder the business in achieving many other critical goals, such as slashing lead time and shortening time to market. As Gartner quite rightly points out,
“Investing heavily in better developer experience is the best way to safeguard developers’ creative work and the key to their productivity. This results in happier engineers and helps your organization.”
Operations: Digital transformation
Imagine the scene: Your large-scale enterprise wants to move to a cloud-native setup, but it still depends on legacy systems to run. It’s true that Kubernetes does the trick for smaller teams beginning new projects. But at scale, things can turn crazy complex. The moral of the story? Kubernetes is not the be-all and end-all engineering solution, despite what your organization’s expectations may be. This is because many teams simply underestimate the additional developer cognitive load that can result from Kubernetes adoption. In turn, this results in lower developer productivity which slows down release cycle times and, ultimately, the speed at which you’re able to innovate. Building an IDP can provide abstraction layers on top of Kubernetes and help mitigate the risk of your digital transformation initiative failing.
In times of uncertainty, it’s critical that developers can work in an environment where they’re able to self-serve everything they need. The ability to drive creativity and innovation is an absolute business imperative, especially in the face of a potential and pending financial crisis. Companies that invest in platform engineering and IDPs stand to make a real impact on wider business metrics and key value drivers such as innovation cycles and time to market. Which in turn will better meet customer demand, help maintain a competitive edge, and drive revenue growth.
Do you want to learn more about how top-performing teams achieve DevOps success using dynamic IDPs? Download our 2023 DevOps Benchmarking Study. And check out the Forrester Opportunity Snapshot to discover how IDPs and platform engineering teams increase revenue through improved TTM and customer satisfaction.