Why Self-service is Key to Cloud Adoption

25 May 2021 by Jon Shanks

With the ever-increasing number of cloud services, (AWS is edging towards a record 300) and the wider industry innovation showing no signs of slowing down, it’s critically important that businesses recognise the value of innovative cloud technologies quickly to improve on their own user experience and features. 

Although these cloud services can help businesses, they’re also becoming increasingly more complex to understand, along with the technologies that enable them to be automated, resulting in a deficit of domain knowledge and expertise across the industry.

Enable product teams to move fast

With cloud vendors providing the cloud technology abstractions (APIs) it’s now possible to organise these appropriately in a way that developers can consume them without expert domain knowledge. 

This is done by providing self-service capabilities back to the development teams, so they can:

1. Consume cloud services autonomously

2. Test features and new functionality against innovative cloud solutions

3. Increase the business’s competitive advantage

4. Get to market quicker, without compromising on security or best practices. 

Self-service development is a new paradigm that’s being recognised by businesses that are becoming increasingly more application-centric, moving away from infrastructure-centric thinking and human resource-focused outcomes.

Adopt self-service development

Self-service development is a way to provide commodity configuration and automation that brings together all the security and best practices for a specific cloud service to a developer. This means development teams can consume specific cloud services simply and securely without cloud expertise or specialist cloud domain knowledge being within the team.  

Currently, cloud is an increasingly complex landscape that’s heavily reliant on human resources (DevOps) who have taken the plethora of cloud certifications to broker the ask of the developer into the cloud, using specialist DevOps tools such Terraform or the native cloud technologies like AWS Cloudformation, Google Deployment Manager or Azure Resource Manager (ARM) that require experienced skills to implement these technologies in a repeatable way. 

Although these skills are important, they have to scale to meet the demand of the development teams, which in turn means the business has to scale the DevOps resource footprint as well as engineering around the DevOps toolchain to make it meet the operational requirements of the business. 

By having technologies that are highly focused on Developer self-service, businesses can scale development without the need for scaling the DevOps skill set. 

This means that DevOps resource footprint can stay lean and can be used to focus on the technologies that sit around these, such as Continuous Integration systems, observability products and good monitoring solutions. 

The business impact of doing cloud right

The State of DevOps report found that by adopting cloud best practices, organisations were 2.6 times more likely to be able to accurately estimate the cost to operate software. They are also twice as likely to be able to easily identify their most operationally expensive applications, and nearly two times as likely to stay under their software operation budget.

By improving the software delivery and operational performance businesses had improved on:

  • Mean lead times for change, (the time taken to implement, test and deliver some functionality to the end user)
  • Deployment frequency, (the frequency of software releases occurring)
  • Change failure rate (the number of failures occurred through changes)
  • Mean time to recovery, (the amount of time taken to recover a service from failure)

These DORA metrics, defined by the DevOps Research and Assessments team indicate how well companies are doing in relation to their software delivery. 

Developer self-service is a way to enable lines of businesses to improve on these metrics and focus on the business logic and the development practices that sit around it, that drive positive business change.

Are you thinking ahead?

Whether you’re a Chief Technology Officer, Head of Software Engineering or Head of DevOps, the business requires you to be ahead of the curve, to reduce operational cost, improve operational efficiency, increase the velocity of the development teams and the business applications that can be shipped. 

Get ahead of the game by bringing a new way of working into the business by promoting developer self-service.

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About the author

Picture of Jon Shanks

Jon Shanks

CEO

Jon is our executive lead, driving Appvia forward to make operations’ and developers’ lives easier.

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