What do platform teams do and what should they do?

What do platform teams do and what should they do?

Enabling modern software development and true DevOps demands that development teams rely on infrastructure to deploy their containerized apps. In some organizations, this is handled by individual development teams, but more and more organizations are setting up platform teams to establish a platform consisting of a basic cloud-native stack built around Kubernetes.

Enabling modern software development and true DevOps demands that development teams rely on infrastructure to deploy their containerized apps. In some organizations, this is handled by individual development teams, but more and more organizations are setting up platform teams to establish a platform consisting of a basic cloud-native stack built around Kubernetes.

Development teams can then deploy, run, upgrade, decommission, secure, and monitor for mission-critical aspects of their business. For example, if we look at our customer adidas, the platform team doesn’t run the shop, rather, they build and run the platform that enables the deployment and scaling of the shop.

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Building the platform from scratch

Many platform teams believe their primary goal is to build the cloud-native stack and don’t realize this is like reinventing the wheel. While understanding of the entire stack helps in quickly identifying and resolving issues that impact uptime, the goal should be to attach the customer-specific part of the platform to standardized APIs without lock-in.

In many cases, the teams don’t actually have the resources to cover every aspect of ‘the platform’ while still delivering on what would really give their software development teams a competitive edge. It’s also important to remember that ‘the platform’ as we see it is a moving target, and not too long ago included mainframes in on-premises data centers.

Making a difference

Platform teams are uniquely positioned to accelerate the cloud-native journey and drive transformation by providing development teams with repetitive services. Development teams can easily and cost-effectively consume these services thus saving time, energy, and budget that project teams would have had to invest otherwise. As a result, project teams can accelerate their development, delivery, and innovation cycles for their digital products.

Where platform teams provide real value:

The platform team builds and enforces processes to ensure that security is consistent.

Working together with the security department, the platform team establishes governance rules and guidelines and makes sure that security concerns are addressed. It’s not just about implementing security, it’s about actively managing security in the right way.

kubernetes platform cloud-native giant-swarm

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