Faster delivery time means shorter time-to-market means quicker time to value
Ranked by Gartner as #5 on the top 10 list of strategic technology trends for 2023, platform engineering — alongside industry cloud platforms at #4 on the list — is poised to accelerate vertical offerings, increase the pace of product delivery, and enable connectivity everywhere by creating a secure foundation. (1)
It is expected that these digital transformations can be accelerated within the next 1-2 years, where, by 2026, Gartner estimates that 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams to create reusable services, components, and tools for application delivery. (2)
This positive momentum behind the platform engineering movement represents an incredible opportunity for organizations to evaluate how they bring applications to market. It’s a chance to reset or replace legacy processes, technologies, and culture to better align with fast-moving business objectives, mounting market demand, and unforgiving user expectations.
When time-to-market matters, platform engineering has a significant role in achieving the desired outcomes. This post explores five ways that this could play out to your benefit.
1. Shared services created by centralized experts can bring more features to market for more products, faster
One of the fundamental principles of platform engineering is that the platform is a product. With this, one of the core responsibilities of the platform engineering team is to constantly innovate within the platform so that the product teams consuming the platform gain a competitive advantage for their users. Continually experimenting and pushing the boundaries on processes, technologies, tools, and collaboration, the platform engineering team can help drive best practices through to the product team so the product team can push the best use cases through to their customers.
2. Cloud independence with an aim for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud compatibility ensures portability and sustainability
Another critical responsibility of the platform engineering team is understanding the target operating and runtime environments for the target market. When the core tenants of cloud are developed by a dedicated platform engineering team and shared as a common platform, the resulting products can be built to run on one or more clouds, containers, and data centers. The platform team is geared toward keeping up with the latest trends and outlooks for services, data hosting, networking best practices, and endpoint support.
When the product development team doesn’t have to worry about getting the product to run in every environment imaginable, they can focus on creating features that drive user engagement and successful transactions.
3. Improved engineering performance accelerates delivery outcomes
When the platform and product engineers focus on their areas of strength and expertise —cloud, services, APIs, data analytics, and UX — the company will experience more passion for work and increased personal investment in achieving the desired outcomes in the product.
This can also reduce the burden for some engineers, mitigating burnout and improving satisfaction. A team that feels better will perform better. A team that performs better will often produce better results.
Another outcome of a platform engineering model is the implementation of developer self-service. When the core capabilities are available in the platform, the developers can pick and choose those features that matter most, enabling faster decision-making that sticks (avoiding re-works) and doesn’t break other things (fewer widespread regressions).
If something does introduce a gap, fault, or regression, it can be resolved once in the platform, reducing waste and delivery time for updates to all the products.
4. Centralized security, scalability, maintainability, and reliability drive critical standards throughout the organization’s product line
By baking compliance and resiliency into the platform — and thereby, into the products — from the beginning, the platform gives the product team the ability to use only the approved core elements — such as validated open source code — that developers can select from the platform’s self-service model. This translates to less time required for application development, delivery, and maintenance across all applications built on the platform.
A secure and compliant platform also helps protect the application pipeline and the overall supply chain, as the critical components are validated as being safe to use before they are introduced into the platform. Everything downstream inherently benefits from the assurance inherent in the validated elements.
5. Collaboration across the entire lifecycle improves business workflow efficiency and user experience
The platform engineering team is also responsible for developing and deploying the infrastructure and applications, along with the operations development, management, and maintenance. This takes the burden off the product development team’s shoulders to ensure the smooth operations of the end-to-end CI/CD pipeline. This ensures that the right capabilities drive the proper actions when the product hits the market.
Platform engineering strategy accelerates time-to-value
Faster adoption, feedback, and response mean the best product gets to market and delights users faster than ever. However, shifting to a platform engineering model requires some strategic planning.
Designing, developing, and managing a platform requires deep technology and process expertise across clouds and must be aligned with an organization’s unique requirements. Taos remains at the forefront of the platform engineering revolution. We are ready to help you extract the benefits of a platform with quicker time-to-market and swifter time-to-value by successfully meeting your unique business, development, delivery, and operating requirements.
Learn more about Taos Platform Engineering Services.
- Gartner, Top Strategic Technology Trends 2023, October 2022