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How platform engineering enables DevOps at scale
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How platform engineering enables DevOps at scale
27th February, 2024
5 min read
How platform engineering enables DevOps at scale
27th February, 2024
5 min read

Platform engineering accelerates the delivery of applications and the pace at which they produce business value.

As DevOps has evolved so has the complexity of modern application development. Now developers have a plethora of new tools to manage while they maintain infrastructure, coding, and prioritizing ops tasks alongside feature development.
While DevOps turbocharged productivity and efficiency for organizations and provided developers with the freedom to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of the application, at the same time it increased the cognitive load required to manage and operate these processes at scale. Increased cognitive load negatively impacts developer productivity and effectiveness, and also leads to stress, burnout, and reduced job satisfaction.
Recently, platform engineering has gathered momentum as the potential next step for DevOps. It serves as a logical extension of a mature DevOps practice that’s designed to work alongside existing DevOps concepts while reducing cognitive load. Platform engineering consolidates standard features and services into a structured platform, optimizing throughput and enabling organizations to scale further.
This blog will investigate how platform engineering fits into the DevOps space and how it can solve many of the core issues we see in DevOps.

What is platform engineering?

Platform engineering is the practice of designing and building various platforms including IDPs, toolchains, and workflows that enable self-service capabilities for software engineering organizations. For example, it reduces the need for developers to manage multiple cloud platforms (thereby decreasing cognitive load) and means DevOps teams can focus on their most important goal: shipping software and features.
In a recent report, Gartner defines platform engineering through three main pillars:
  • Improve developer experience by building internal developer platforms to reduce cognitive load, developer toil, and repetitive manual work.
  • Platforms don’t enforce a specific toolset or approach. It is about making it easy for developers to build and deliver software while not abstracting away useful and differentiated capabilities of the underlying core services.
  • Platform engineering teams treat platforms as a product (used by developers) and design the platform to be consumed in a self-service way.

Why does platform engineering matter?

Adopting platform engineering in your organization can drive you faster towards your business goals, especially in the fast-evolving age of AI. Gartner includes platform engineering in its strategic technology trends for 2024, a list of 10 trends that will factor into business and technology decisions over the next three years. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that, by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will have platform teams building IDPs.

Platform engineering vs. DevOps – what’s the difference?

The main difference is DevOps is a broad philosophy or approach that defines the ways development and operations teams collaborate. Platform engineering is a specific implementation tactic and the creation of a centralized platform with defined sets of tools and workflows.
DevOps teams are historically in charge of finding and maintaining tools and workflows that promote collaboration and break down silos. That extra responsibility – known as cognitive load – increases the demand on your teams. And that’s where platform engineering comes in. It provides DevOps teams with a central platform of tooling and workflows. That way, developers don't need to build and maintain a whole set of tools and workflows. They can just use the tools they’re given because they know they were chosen with their needs in mind.
Platform engineers work closely with DevOps teams to build the specific IDPs DevOps need. For that reason, platform engineering is often implemented after a DevOps initiative has already been put in place.

Final word

Platform engineering is something every organization with DevOps teams should consider. Consolidating core operations processes into an IDP drastically reduces the inherent cognitive load required by DevOps practitioners. Turning common DevOps processes into a set of self-service APIs also reduces project lead time, so developers can provide real business value swiftly.

How can help? addresses the entire development process with a series of tools and practices, including platform engineering. Our platform provides the tools and workflow to make the development and operations teams’ jobs of shipping software easier.
If you are ready to start scaling up your DevOps practices, can help.

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