- Platform teams are the future of DevOps, Christopher Condo, principal analyst at Forrester, said during last week’s Technology and Innovation North America conference.
- The platform approach mimics a traditional product team. It’s a multidisciplinary group with members like automation and cloud-native experts whose goal is to provide internal end-users with an integrated software delivery platform that incorporates automation, tool spending and product planning. These members are held accountable for business outcomes, too.
- “Once you start treating your internal users as customers, and you realize you’re accountable for providing a great software development platform experience, you start taking them into consideration,” Condo said.
As businesses modernize and grow, technology needs become more complex. Without structure, DevOps teams can run into issues that delay transformations.
Only 35% of developer teams are keeping pace with business needs, according to Forrester research.
“It’s very hard to have one engineer do the planning, do the development, do the release and then do the operations,” Condo said. “That just doesn’t fly in a very complicated enterprise. Maybe in a small startup that works, maybe in a medium-sized company it’s okay to do that, but in most enterprises, this model does not hold up.”
For CIOs, this change impacts teams across the business by emphasizing a common purpose while creating partnerships. It can also yield tangible benefits. More than three-quarters of high-performing organizations say they’re adopting platform teams, according to Forrester research.
Similar to product teams, platform teams need to have SLAs, which can gauge all aspects of software delivery, such as delivering business value, speed and reliability to keep teams accountable and increase visibility.
Platform teams don’t completely erase traditional DevOps roles, but they can help standardize tech capabilities for all employees.
“When you think about product-lead DevOps and you think about how DevOps was originally formulated, it was all about collaboration and treating software as a product from the beginning,” Condo said. “So when you think about serving each phase of DevOps, what you’re doing is you’re giving a home to all the automation experts for your DevOps platform teams.”
The change allows the team to integrate planning, CI/CD, release operations, monitoring and telemetry into one cohesive platform, according to Condo.