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Platform Engineering vs DevOps: Uniting Efficiency and Collaboration for Successful Software Development

Platform Engineering vs DevOps: Uniting Efficiency and Collaboration for Successful Software Development

In the world of software development and delivery, two methodologies have emerged as crucial components for enhancing efficiency and streamlining operations: Platform Engineering and DevOps. While both methodologies share a common goal of improving software development and delivery, they approach it from different angles and offer distinct sets of benefits to organizations. In this blog, we will delve into the realms of Platform Engineering and DevOps, exploring their unique characteristics, their roles in the software development lifecycle, and the value they bring when implemented together.

What is Platform Engineering?

Platform Engineering focuses on building and maintaining the underlying platform or infrastructure that supports software development. Working closely with development teams, platform engineers develop and manage tools, frameworks, and technologies that are required to build and deploy software applications, solve problems, reduce complexity, provide flexibility, increase the developer experience, and enhance productivity throughout the organization.

Let’s explore further:

  • Simplification and Optimization – As platform engineers work to optimize the delivery process, they simplify developer interaction, streamline processes and increase testing speed. To define their platform, platform engineers seek to discover the needs of developers.
  • Problem Solving – A goal for platform teams is to build solutions that solve shared challenges amongst different departments within an organization. To ensure they are implementing the right solution, platform engineers utilize developer feedback and KPIs.
  • Employing Best Practices – With their architectural design review expertise, platform teams help to educate the organization on best practices in relation to new projects.

Platform engineering is about providing a self-service platform engineers can use and is normally implemented following DevOps initiatives. It’s viewed as the following step of DevOps development. There is a critical need for any organization that has a DevOps team to consider the vitality of platform engineering. The aim of platform engineering should not be to replace it, but rather amplify it. Platform engineering automates tasks and deployment.

Because of platform engineering, developers can utilize their time more efficiently as they don’t have to focus on learning, developing, and maintaining infrastructure tools and processes. Platform engineering effectively helps to minimize decisions DevOps would need to make. The autonomy of developers enables platform engineers to focus on architectural challenges, further helping to improve existing infrastructure and strengthening new systems.

Platform engineers can be credited for the value they bring to the following:

  • Internal developer platform builds
  • Standardization and security of processes
  • Internal service level agreements
  • Metric monitoring

According to the 2023 State of Platform Engineering survey, 94% of respondents agree adopting platform engineering helps exploit the benefits of DevOps. The same survey also illuminated these benefits of platform engineering:

  • Improves system reliability – 60%
  • Improves work efficiency – 59%
  • Increased delivery speed – 58%
  • Improves workflow – 57%
  • Improves security – 55%
  • Reduces work duplication – 53%

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a culture, practice, and set of tools that aim to bridge the gap between development and operations teams. The DevOps application lifestyle is comprised of planning, development, delivery and operations. A DevOps culture is based on collaboration and high-performance amongst teams. It’s rooted around practicing visibility, accountability, agility, and continuous learning. By adopting this type of culture, organizations are better able to attain goals, hasten innovation, adapt to changing customer needs, and increase customer satisfaction.

DevOps aims to enable faster and more reliable software delivery by automating the software development and deployment process. DevOps Engineers work closely with development and operations teams to identify and resolve issues that may arise during the software development lifecycle. The team considers all engineering and technical problems associated with delivery.

DevOps bridged the gap that once existed between development and operations. Even though DevOps is a predecessor to platform engineering, there still is a need for cooperation between the DevOps and platform engineering teams. Switching to DevOps enables organizations to realize numerous business benefits.

DevOps responsibilities include:

  • Application and infrastructure planning, testing, and development
  • CI/CD pipeline maintenance and process optimization
  • Automation implementation
  • On-call responsibilities and incident management
  • IT Monitoring

Ideally, DevOps helps to drive business value, taking an idea to product development. The goals of DevOps include:

  • Creating cross-functional teams; disrupting team silos and increasing communication
  • Increasing reliability of products and services
  • Augmenting idea flow and execution creation of cross-functional teams
  • Decrease time from idea to market launch
  • Improve recovery time from breaches or failures

Platform Engineering and DevOps: Better Together

Platform engineering and DevOps exist to increase efficiency, streamlining software development and delivery. Platform engineering produces reusable tools and services for use across the organization. DevOps streamlines deployment, management, and monitoring. For both, efficiency is enhanced through automation. From a DevOps perspective, it eliminates manual work and speeds up deployment of updates to production. Platform engineering automates infrastructure deployment. When these initiatives are properly implemented, DevOps and platform engineering both bring individual value to existing organizations. Improved decision making, increased ROI, better security, greater speed, enhanced workflows, the ability to scale quickly, and overall healthier software are just some of the benefits organizations may realize when platform engineering and DevOps are used together.

Apexon is dedicated to helping customers develop a clear vision for their cloud investment and offers comprehensive DevOps services to support digital initiatives. DevOps has inherently changed how software dev and test teams interact to ensure the reliability and security of software. If you’re interested in learning further about the power of modern analytics and automation, check out Apexon’s Cloud Native Platform Engineering services, Apexon’s DevOps services, DevOps overview, or get in touch with us directly using the form below.

This blog was cowritten by Suvodip Chatterjee and Harshavardhan Parvatikar

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