HOW SELF-SERVICE INFRASTRUCTURE PLATFORMS IMPROVE THE DEVELOPER EXPERIENCE

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Trends in the software industry like cloud native and agile methodologies have increased the complexity of today’s enterprise applications. This has forced many development teams to deal with infrastructure challenges instead of focusing on building high-quality software. That’s why many platform engineering teams are building self-service infrastructure portals to simplify developer workloads and improve productivity.

In fact, Gartner research has found that 80% of large software engineering organizations will establish platform engineering teams as internal providers of reusable services, components and tools for application delivery by 2026. Many leading companies like ABN-AMRO and Adidas have already established self-service infrastructure platforms to enhance their developer experiences.

Read to learn more about self-service infrastructure platforms and how they enable developers to build, run, and manage their applications independently, safely, and reliably.

What Are Self-Service Infrastructure Platforms?

Self-service infrastructure platforms are internal tools and services designed to make it easier to deploy, manage, and scale computing resources — including cloud servers, virtual machines, and containers. These platforms typically leverage automation and orchestration so that developers can provision and manage infrastructure for their applications on demand without extensive intervention from IT operations teams.

Infrastructure platforms help software teams overcome the increasingly complex architectures of today’s distributed systems. Modern applications rely on complicated underlying services built by many different teams and third parties like public cloud providers and contributors to open source projects like Kubernetes, which creates a cognitive burden for developers. Most developers do not have the bandwidth to become experts on the hundreds of services their workflows rely on.

The most successful platform engineering teams apply product management principles to create and maintain infrastructure platforms that are compelling and useful to developers. They design self-service platforms based on developer demand, and then work with specialized teams and consultants to build the necessary shared infrastructure services. This product-oriented approach can help organizations minimize investment until the platform has been validated for its usefulness.

By designing shared infrastructure services that are easy to discover and use, platform engineering teams can streamline application delivery workflows. This decouples software and IT operations teams so that developers can focus on coding and innovating instead of learning how to operate the underlying infrastructure.

The Benefits of Self-Service Infrastructure Platforms

One of the main benefits of self-service infrastructure platforms is reducing the time it takes for developers to access the computing resources they need. Instead of waiting for manual approval or assistance from IT operations teams, developers can simply request infrastructure resources through a self-service portal and have them provisioned automatically. This greater level of autonomy can accelerate application delivery and improve developer experiences.

Self-service infrastructure platforms can also improve security and compliance. Platform engineering teams can integrate role-based access controls, enforce compliance policies, and implement other safeguards as features within internal platforms. These guardrails help software teams adhere to security protocols and compliance standards, which can mitigate infrastructure risks without impacting developer workloads.

As part of a paved road to success, self-service infrastructure platforms can also give developers access to more reliable deployment environments for their applications. The platform engineering team can choose the best infrastructure technologies that optimize performance and maximize uptime, and create guidelines for developers to use them. In turn, development teams that adopt these internal platforms can improve application performance and deliver better user experiences.

In addition to guidelines and guardrails, internal portals can provide knowledge by educating developers about risks related to cybersecurity, data residency, and compliance. This can help reduce the need for mandatory requirements and encourage development teams to make choices that make sense for individual software projects while still aligning with the overall goals and requirements of the organization.

Modernizing Infrastructure with Platform Engineering

Organizations are recognizing the need to streamline their development workflows, and platform engineering is a key strategy for overcoming the complexity of modern applications and infrastructure. By building self-service infrastructure platforms, organizations can improve developer experiences, accelerate application delivery, and generate more business and customer value.

AHEAD is an enterprise solutions expert that helps companies rapidly modernize their software delivery processes and infrastructure. We offer Platform Engineering as a Service so that organizations have the tools and expertise necessary to adopt platform engineering at scale. This includes templates and runbooks related to software deployments, infrastructure management, and other areas that can be customized to meet specific business requirements.

Ready to adopt platform engineering to better manage your modern infrastructure and application delivery processes? Contact AHEAD to learn more about our platform engineering solutions and services.

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