Platform Engineering is DevOps with an action plan

If you’ve been around Cycloid socials, you’ll know that we’ve had a quiet change of name - from Cycloid Hybrid Cloud DevOps Platform to Cycloid Platform Engineering. Besides the fact that the new title is less of a mouthful, it’s also a better reflection of what we do here at Cycloid. We are not having a sudden change of heart and reimagining everything the Cycloid platform does - quite the opposite. The core principles of the emerging trend of platform engineering are aligned with the vision Cycloid has been bringing into the world of DevOps and hybrid cloud since its conception - so the soft rebrand was in order.

In a recent article, Gartner described platform engineering as a strategy aimed at “improving developer experience and productivity by providing self-service capabilities with automated infrastructure operations.” This term is trending because of its promise to accelerate product teams’ delivery and increase business value.

Cycloid’s core focus is enhancing developer experience and improving operational efficiency. We’ve seen the need for DevOps and developed a concrete and practical way of achieving it - by enabling developer self-service and opening up DevOps and hybrid cloud adoption to everyone. Platform engineering is simply another word for something we’ve been doing for a long time.

But with this shift towards platform engineering as Gartner predicts, new questions come up - does this mean the end of DevOps? How does platform engineering align with hybrid cloud management? Let’s take some of your most burning questions.

What is Platform Engineering?

AdobeStock_364309552 (1)

Platform engineering is the solution to the central problem of frictionless collaboration between developers (end-users) and platform teams. Today, forward-thinking companies are already establishing platform teams that deal with precisely the objectives platform engineering aims to tackle - and Gartner identifies the following:

  • enable developer self-service
  • boost effectiveness and productivity by automating repetitive tasks
  • enhance developers’ and end-users’ experience of working with the infrastructure.

Companies that have begun to build an internal platform that offers to connect end users and ops through a series of high-quality building blocks - a self-service portal, RBAC and cloud governance, FinOps, etc. - are already seeing positive results. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 80% of companies will establish platform teams as internal providers of reusable services, components, and tools for application delivery.

Why should you care?

In a nutshell? Platform engineering accelerates software delivery and boosts business profitability by focusing on 3 major areas of improvement:

  • breaking down team silos
  • increasing developer happiness
  • rolling out DevOps

An operating platform that sits between the end user and the infrastructure which they rely on will end the “over the wall” mentality and open up the software delivery process for everyone in your organization.

Platform engineering creates a culture of transparency where your developers can self-service infrastructure to design, build, and deploy while also being able to estimate the financial impact and manage resources all on their own. The platform team can focus on designing, building, and maintaining their own opinionated platform and the service catalog with all the automation and plugins needed in a GitOps approach, with a high-level view of project progress, tools, CI/CD, cloud, bottlenecks, and user roles with strongly enforced governance. Larger organizations can adapt the platform to their exact needs by developing plugins.

Finally, when no one is thinking it’s the other team’s problem, everyone shares the collective responsibility to find a solution and contribute to business growth.

Moreover, with infrastructure concerns out of the way, onboarding times for newcomers are significantly reduced. This means it will become easier to attract new talent as talented engineers like to be able to innovate without being held back by repetitive tasks - which, in the age of DevOps engineers shortage, is definitely something you’d want to consider.

Is Platform Engineering the end of DevOps?

If the aims and benefits of platform engineering seem suspiciously close to those of a DevOps approach, that’s because they are. We’ve seen articles that claim that Platform engineering is the death of DevOps supported by nothing but strong marketing - and that is simply not true. Platform engineering is not here to replace DevOps best practices, but to help enforce them. It is a clearer path to the beautiful world of self-service, continuous delivery and deployment, improving day-to-day operations, and flexibility that DevOps has been promising for over 10 years.

While DevOps is the dominating framework, 80% of organizations are still struggling to adopt it fully. The reasons for that are plenty - the main one being that DevOps describes a set of rules and best practices without a defined plan of action to achieve them in practice. This results in slower DevOps rollout as teams often aren’t sure where to start or which area to focus on first.

Platform engineering is a lot more on the nose. Today, platform teams already take on the challenge of building an internal developer portal that would answer their organizational needs and offer the right capabilities to enable developers and others to produce valuable software with as little overhead as possible.

In other words, platform engineering is DevOps dressed in a trenchcoat - same concept, different name!

How does Cycloid contribute to Platform Engineering?

Whether you already have a platform team or are just at the beginning of your internal platform development, Cycloid is designed to complete your internal solution with high-quality building blocks focused on specific DevOps and hybrid cloud best practices.

Self-service platform, cloud governance, RBAC, CI/CD pipelines, built-in FinOps, and GreenOps are all modules that you can pick and choose to complement your internal solution or begin your digital transformation. Like a piece of a puzzle, Git-based and lock-free Cycloid can fit into your organizational strategy and solve the burning issues at hand.

Platform engineering may be a fresh trend, but the strategy of improving operational efficiency through a developer platform has been our bread and butter for years.

Contact our team to build your own opinionated platform with Cycloid’s platform engineering modules to improve governance, deployment, operations, and FinOps.

Speak with our team

Read More

7 Platform Engineering KPIs you should be tracking

Platform engineering is becoming an increasingly popular approach to software delivery because it...
Feb 07 - 4 min read

Developer self-service: your key to adopting Platform Engineering!

Wider teams are resisting adopting an internal developer platform, and platform engineers are...
Feb 23 - 3 min read

When should you adopt Platform Engineering?

If you’ve not been living under a rock for the last year and a half, chances are you’ve heard of...
Apr 10 - 4 min read