CloudBees research shows why IT organizations have accelerated adoption of platform engineering

Research commissioned by CloudBees shows that platform engineering is quickly gaining traction within IT organizations, becoming an established practice for software development teams. 83% of respondents have either fully implemented platform engineering or are in some phase of implementation.

  • 7 months ago Posted in

Platform engineering is the discipline of designing and building internal developer platforms (IDPs), toolchains, and workflows that enable self-service capabilities for software engineering teams.

IT leaders are being continuously challenged to do more with less. According to various research studies, developers spend as little as 12.5% to 30% of their time per week writing code. This is driving IT and DevOps leaders to urgently find new ways to enhance developer productivity. Platform engineering has come to the forefront due to its ability to establish best practices for improving developer productivity and developer experience (DevEx). Platform engineering practices have already demonstrated success in shifting significant workload away from developers.

Key drivers of platform engineering adoption

Data from the survey shows significant levels of platform engineering adoption or planned adoption (83%), with 20% fully implemented, 33% in progress, 11% recently started, and 19% in the planning stages. Only 17% of respondents say they have no plans to roll out platform engineering.

The top five drivers of platform engineering each account for approximately 20% of responses and illustrate the critical and broad benefits of platform engineering for developers and DevOps teams. Drivers for adoption include developer productivity (21%), continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline implementation (20%), standardization of tools and processes (20%), and security enhancements (20%). Infrastructure as code is last, but only slightly, at 19%.

Business impact

As DevOps boomed over the last 10 years, platform engineering’s rise to prominence was often attributed to the “We forgot about the developers!” phenomenon. Many things shifted left during the rise of DevOps, further burdening developers and serving as a distraction from coding and creating new innovation. Organizations invest in platform engineering to address multiple needs. Aligned with the focus on developer productivity, three of the top five use cases for platform engineering are management of development / test / production environments (22%), CI/CD pipeline management (21%), and developer Platform as a Service (18%).

Platform engineering objectives and success measures

Virtually all of the platform engineering objectives rated most important relate to DevEx and improving productivity for developers. The three most highly-ranked objectives are self-service for developers (29%), easy adoption (25%), and meeting developer needs (20%). The measures of success for platform engineering teams rank developer productivity in first place (23%), followed by internal KPI attainment (19%), cost control (16%), and reigning in tool sprawl (13%).

Finally, the survey shows that platform engineering’s home within an organization varies, but it is most commonly placed within cloud engineering (30%) and infrastructure groups (25%), though development (20%), shared services (13%), and operations (13%) are also viable options.

“Far from replacing DevOps, platform engineering has gained its own focus and set of engineering disciplines that are complementary to DevOps,” said Sacha Labourey, chief strategy officer, CloudBees. “The survey data shows that platform engineering is being widely adopted and is seen by many organizations as a key element in efforts to maximize efficiencies for software development. Our recently announced DevSecOps platform was architected to help companies take advantage of the opportunities offered by platform engineering and enable them to bring their DevOps practices to the next level.” 

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