An Internal Development Platform: What it is, and how it helps your devs and boosts your business

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 5 minutes
May 1, 2024

Think about it.

Chefs need a restaurant with all the right equipment, tools, and knowledge on how to execute amazing dishes.

Orchestras need the right instruments, conductor, and stage to perform the best music.

And in the world of software development, your developers need the best toolkits and environment for their software projects.

That environment is called an IDP, or Internal Development Platform.

What’s so special about an IDP, I hear you ask? The short answer is that there’s a good reason why IDPs have become a mainstay of software development organizations.

They not only streamline the software development process by providing a standardized toolchain and environment, but this in turn also helps reduce the time needed for setup, deployment, and onboarding; automate workflows; and enhance developer productivity and experience.

Sounds good?

Let’s take a deeper look into what an IDP can do for you and your dev team.

Why do developers need an IDP?

Let’s make one thing clear — you don’t need to have an IDP.

Just like you don’t need to use a smartphone, or online banking, or a microwave. While these things do make it much easier to navigate through life — sometimes literally, in the case of the smartphone — it’s true that they’re not absolutely essential.

But while Internal Development Platforms (IDPs) are not a requirement, development organizations suffer greatly from deploying developer tools ad hoc for every single person who needs the new tools.

As you can imagine, this costs a mountain of additional time and money — not ideal.

And don’t even get us started on when these organizations grow and want to add new team members, as the problem then snowballs, causing an avalanche of extra work for everyone before productivity crashes to a halt as everyone gets snowed under.

So instead, it’s best to consider what benefits an IDP can bring to your dev team, long before any avalanche alarms start ringing.

Here are just some of the ways an IDP can help you:

Boosting developer productivity

Try not to weep when you think about all that time you and your team have spent fiddling with tools and trying to wrestle different plug-ins into submission.

Now, think of spending that same amount of time working on actual code and proper troubleshooting instead. Isn’t that better?

These developer platforms are a one-way ticket to avoiding huge amounts of time being spent on deployment and onboarding — which are usually a massive train “STOP” signal for your developers’ productivity.

(We have a few more nuggets of wisdom on how to accelerate your development team and boost their productivity — these will come in handy for you too.)

Following the set standards

Nothing throws the proverbial wrench in the works quite like a standard you forgot about. Or worse, something you thought was already accounted for in your processes — but it wasn’t.

A lot of the time, unless the standards are easy to follow or be met, they won’t be.

As IDP platforms are automated, they make it easy to follow standards. No more need to worry about specific tools working or integrating. They’re already vetted, installed, and configured — saving you a major headache later down the line.

Eliminating developer busywork

No one will thank you more for cutting down extra dev work than devs themselves!

With IDPs giving your developers exactly what tools they need, they can simply get to work, confident in the knowledge each tool is already pre-configured to how they need it.

(And dodge any productivity-killing multitasking and task-switching in the process.)

Making Ops’ lives easier

Much like developers, Ops don’t like to sweat the small stuff. The plug-and-play, works-straight-out-of-the-box nature of IDPs means Ops can do less work on the front end of deployment and onboarding, saving them valuable time and effort.

Aligning the entire team

Imagine the chaos if even one instrument was playing a different tune to the rest of the orchestra. Same goes for software development tools.

By making sure everyone is working on the same tools and platform, teams will spend less time worrying about how things connect, or how to untangle wires between this tool and that tool.

Complying with governance and regulations

Rather than screeching the brakes on a project due to red tape and regulations, IT teams can breathe easy knowing that the tools they are using are already compliant.

Allowing teams to focus on building software, not toolchains

Another bonus of IDPs is they allow seamless integration into existing toolchains.

Once that task has been taken off developer teams’ plates, they are freed from the constraints of getting the settings just right. Instead, they can focus all their concentration on creativity, delivering great apps and executing flawless work.

Giving developers autonomy

Instead of developers having to knock on Ops’ or IT’s doors every time they need a change, IDPs empower them with a wonderful gift: autonomy. This means devs gain the ability to work independently with the IDP’s fully self-service deployment.

What business metrics do IDPs improve?

Revenue growth

More time spent on software development by your devs ultimately means more productivity and more resulting revenue for the organization. Simple.

Time to market

By removing more obstacles for your dev team, you can improve dev productivity and rapidly accelerate your software builds to finish projects in record time.

Customer satisfaction

Faster project turnaround times mean happier clients who are more likely to come back to use your speedy services again another day.

Market lead

It’s all about innovating to stay ahead of your competition. And if you have an IDP at your fingertips before your competitors do, you can gain higher profits, greater bargaining power with suppliers, and the ability to influence future industry trends.

IDPs: Faster builds, better developer experience

Today, IDPs are the real game-changers for streamlined software development, automating workflows, reducing setup time, and enhancing dev productivity to boot. Ultimately, this provides dev organizations with a boost to their revenue, accelerated time to market, and improved customer satisfaction.

But what’s most important to note is that embracing IDPs isn’t just about improving efficiency — it’s about gaining a competitive edge and the ability to reshape the future of the industry.

And I’m willing to bet that you’d rather have the edge over your competitors.

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 5 minutes minutes May 1, 2024
May 1, 2024

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