Most companies want to be able to innovate and grow quickly. But the ability to do so depends on the organization’s ability to balance developer autonomy with platform manageability and security. It’s not an easy task, but one that requires careful planning ahead of time. Here are principles every company should follow on their cloud journey:
The cloud is how companies innovate, scale and grow.
The cloud is how companies innovate, scale and grow. As a result, it’s important to balance developer autonomy with manageability of the platform. By allowing developers the freedom to create and innovate, you can get more out of your investment in technology. However, without proper controls and security measures in place, there are risks associated with this approach as well.
The cloud allows for continuous innovation through agile development practices—the ability for teams to rapidly develop new features or products that allow them to move faster than ever before. As a result of this rapid innovation cycle, developers need access to tools that allow them to keep up with changes across multiple programming languages (like Python, Terraform, Cloud Providers Native Languages) while ensuring compliance with industry standards like ISO, GXP, PCI-DSS or NIST regulations
The shift to the cloud can be overwhelming and confusing, especially as many organizations find themselves with a multi-cloud environment, which can lead to it’s own set of challenges.
The fact is that as businesses go through their cloud journey, they need to consider three dimensions: developer autonomy (how much developers are trusted), platform manageability (what controls are in place) and security (what guardrails, regulations and security needs to be in place to balance.)
The goal is not just about balancing these factors but getting them in alignment with each other so that you get all three dimensions working together for you – instead of against you!
But the complexity of your hybrid or multi-cloud model isn’t the defining factor in your cloud success. It’s your underlying processes and practices that are more important.
Cloud is a journey that is not a one-way street. It’s about agility, but you need to balance agility with visibility and control. Developer autonomy, platform manageability and security are all important keys to successfully navigating this journey.
In addition, you need to understand the drivers of your cloud journey so that you can plan for it. A good starting point is looking at how legacy applications fit into this model and how they can be modernized.
You also need to consider the impact of cloud on your operations as well as how to manage costs. What are the right KPIs and metrics for monitoring your cloud? How do you handle security and data protection in a multi-cloud environment?
It’s important to have a holistic view of your cloud estate and be able to track usage, costs and performance. You also need to know what applications are running in which environments so that you can manage them accordingly.
Look for ways to strike a balance between autonomy and centralization, enabling developers to move faster while keeping things secure.
Developer autonomy is important—if your developers can’t experiment and try new things, they won’t be able to deliver anything groundbreaking. However, you also need to control the environment in order to enforce security policies, protect sensitive data and avoid unexpected charges.
The cloud is a great way to find that balance between autonomy and centralization. With the right approach for your needs, you’ll be able to give your developers the freedom they need while controlling access and costs.
One key question businesses need to ask themselves is how they define and manage ownership.
The first step to defining ownership is to create a set of goals and KPIs that can be used to measure success. For example, if your organization wants to increase developer productivity, you might set a goal of a 10% improvement over the previous year. The second step is to determine how you’ll measure progress against those goals by creating metrics that will allow you to track your progress towards them.
This same process can be applied at every level of management: from individual developers through teams and all the way up to organizational leaders. By creating an environment where everyone understands what they’re contributing towards these shared goals and how they’ll be measured, it becomes much easier for everyone involved in building out technology solutions using public cloud platforms like AWS or Azure (or any other provider) – from executive leadership down through individual developers – work together toward common objectives while also maintaining autonomy over their day-to-day responsibilities within their respective roles
This help organizations align their efforts around a common purpose and ensure that everyone knows how they’re contributing towards the organization’s goals.
The third step is to communicate these goals and metrics in a way that everyone can understand. This is where shared ownership comes into play: by communicating these goals as widely as possible, you’ll ensure that everyone knows what they’re working towards with their day-to-day responsibilities and how this contributes to the larger objectives.
The fourth step is to ensure that everyone has access to clear and consistent information about how their work contributes towards those goals. This can mean providing feedback loops so that people know how they’re doing relative to the metrics being tracked, or simply providing regular updates on progress.
Three principles every company should follow on their cloud journey.
- Confirm that you are prepared for developer autonomy by having in place strong security and guidelines for developers to continuously strive for operational excellence.
- Create a plan for multi-cloud that incorporates your long-term strategy.
- Establish a culture of continuous innovation and learning.
1 – Confirm that you are prepared for developer autonomy by having in place strong security and guidelines for developers to continuously strive for operational excellence
The rise of the developer has changed the way organizations manage their software and infrastructure. In order to succeed in this new world, developers must be given autonomy so they can use the tools and technologies that best fit their needs. This is a big shift from how most companies managed their digital estate, where maintenance and management were top-down processes typically split between developers and dedicated operational teams, security teams, network teams, identity teams often siloed.
But with great power comes great responsibility—and with developer autonomy comes greater need for security and compliance measures to ensure your data remains safe at all times. It’s critical that you understand that developers are responsible for the quality of code they write, as well as how it impacts your entire company.
Developers need to be able to learn how to build secure software, while still being able to deliver real value using the latest technologies available today – no matter what language or framework they are using (e.g. React, Python). They also need an understanding of what makes up a secure stack so they can make informed decisions when building applications themselves or architecting systems around them (e.g., knowing which protocols are used).
2 – Embrace platform manageability through automation, standardization and patterns, leverage centralization where it makes sense, rather than trying to control every aspect of configuration management manually. This is especially important if you want to maintain enterprise scale while moving at the velocity of modern development methodologies.
To achieve platform manageability, leverage automation, standardization and patterns where it makes sense. Automation is key to managing platform manageability. Without automation, you are forced to manually manage configuration management for each application instance and service in a way that is not scalable or repeatable. Standardization is important for maintainability because it allows you to build reusable libraries of processes and services that can be used across your cloud infrastructure. Patterns allow you to create reusable templates for common scenarios such as multi-tenancy or connecting different systems together through APIs. Last but not least, centralization helps reduce complexity by removing the need for developers or operators to perform repetitive tasks manually and allows you to focus on developing new features instead of maintaining old ones
3 – Establish a culture of continuous innovation and learning. As technology changes rapidly, so must you. Don’t be afraid to take reasonable risks with your technology choices so that you can learn from your experiences as you go along your journey.
As you journey to the cloud, it’s important to think about how your developers will interact with the technology. Developers are an organization’s most valuable asset, and as such they need to be empowered, given freedom to experiment and learn from their experiences. They also need to understand the responsibility they shoulder in making decisions for your organization.
Developers are people too – they want autonomy but also want guidance on which direction is best for their products, careers and for the business overall. You can help establish a culture where developers have this autonomy while still ensuring that all decisions are made with long-term viability in mind.
What you gain in agility, you risk losing in visibility and control.
As the lines between traditional and cloud computing continue to blur, it’s important to understand how your organization can benefit from public cloud adoption—and what risks you may need to mitigate.
Developers’ autonomy and agility are key drivers for moving workloads into the cloud or building new products in the cloud. However, this freedom comes at a cost: developers need to have the flexibility to make decisions without always needing approval from IT or other stakeholders. They also want the ability to move quickly on projects because they know that speed equals innovation; however, they don’t want their decisions slowed down by red tape or bureaucracy. For example, if an application is running slowly on one server in a data center but runs fine when deployed in multiple data centers across geographies—should developers deploy multiple instances of the application? Or should they do capacity planning before going live with it? Does it matter if some users experience slowness while others do not? These questions call for answers based on business requirements rather than technical ones—so why shouldn’t developers be able see them through?
How do you balance the needs of developers with those of security?
As cloud computing has matured and become a critical part of the enterprise, developers have gained more autonomy. This move towards increased developer autonomy is a good thing because it empowers your organization to become more agile; however, with the increased freedom comes greater responsibility.
Developers need to be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of their products, projects and your business; however, some decisions may not always be in line with security best practices or compliance standards. Developers need to know how their actions will impact others on the platform and how those actions might affect operations in general.
If you want your developers’ control over their environments but also want them following security regulations—and not just writing (or modifying) code—you’ll need a governance structure that balances both worlds: one where everyone knows what’s going on at all times while still giving each team member room for creativity and innovation
How to balance developer autonomy with platform manageability and security?
We’ll need to balance developer autonomy with platform manageability and security, but how?
- Encourage a culture of responsibility. Developers who are given more control over their applications will be more likely to take ownership of the system as a whole. Give them the tools they need to monitor their own environment so that they can identify issues quickly before they get out of hand.
- Create an open dialogue between developers and business. Establish communication channels that allow both sides to communicate their needs and concerns effectively, whether it be through meetings or collaboration tools like Teams or Jira. Each side can learn from the other in this way:
The business can learn from the developers what tools and practices they need to be successful, and the developers can learn from the business what their needs are.
A good way to start is by creating a shared understanding of the goals, roles and responsibilities of both sides. This can be done through training sessions and workshops that outline what each side needs from the other. It’s important to recognize that the business are often more interested in learning about business or customer requirements than they are in technical details, so a balance between technical and non-technical topics is often best for this type of collaboration.
Be transparent. Open sharing of information is critical for effective communication.
This means that everyone involved should be aware of what is going on, including project status and risks. It also means sharing what you know with others who might not have access to the same information. Transparency helps both sides understand their roles and responsibilities better, which allows them to work together more effectively.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the question of how to balance developer autonomy with platform manageability and security. But there are some key questions every company should ask themselves as they embark on their cloud journey. If you’re looking for ways to create a balance between autonomy and centralization, these principles will serve as a guide.