Developers typically are technology junkies. By nature, they love to explore the latest, greatest tools and try out new capabilities. As a result, organizations end up having hundreds, if not thousands, of developers out doing their own thing – downloading open-source and freeware tools and intermingling them into processes along with technology provided by the organization – to innovate and drive new ways to solve customer problems.
This can cause issues including:
- Benefits of a particular tool being limited to only the few who know how to use it
- Developers losing valuable ‘office’ time learning how to use the new tools
- Lack of standardization in security, compliance, and governance standards and procedures
- Limited sharing of best practices across teams – that would accelerate innovation systemically
While devs explore new tools in pursuit of finding ways to be faster, better, and more innovative, the reality is that the opposite often occurs instead.
Challenges of rogue tool adoption
One of our prospects described their developer community as “6,000 different snowflakes”, each with perceived unique needs and siloed from one another. This is not collaborative. This is not efficient. If 6,000 different people are using Terraform, chances are they could be using it 6,000 different ways – and some of those WILL be better than others, but they’ll never know because they aren’t sharing what works best.
Furthermore, no one learns technology through osmosis; there is a learning curve during which they are not providing value because they’re learning. Each person is constrained by their individual level of proficiency and their ability to use the tool. How much productive time is lost in learning new tools every week, month, or year?
How do you enable devs to use whatever tools they want while still complying with governance? How do you get them to build security into their applications and processes? How do you get them to follow procedures outlined for everyone’s best interests (efficiency & risk)? How do ensure a majority use IT-sanctioned and approved resources?
THE ANSWER: AUTOMATION
Ways to improve the situation
Reduce the learning curve by automating steps. For instance, build a Terraform plan with the required infrastructure calls already built in. Do this for Ansible plans, Chef recipes, any tool! Doing so also reduces the skill and learning curve required. Devs don’t have to know the underlying platform, they simply execute on the infrastructure options provided. Allowing devs to choose the right tool for the job is good enough, but it’s better to ensure everyone can use them in a standardized, secure, and optimized way.
Latest estimates show that devs are spending anywhere from 19-26% of their time building and maintaining their own environments so they can do their jobs! How much faster could you propel your business forward if developers got back 8 hours or more per week to innovate versus having to learn tools or provision resources? Building automation, security and compliance into a workload is ideal and ensures devs use approved and protected workloads consistently across varying platforms and clouds. Automation allows you to build it all in for them to make it a “one-click” order. By doing so, you can abstract away complexities like networking, storage, environmental constraints, security footprint, power management, and more.
The challenge is real and complex, but the answer is straightforward. Organizations must accept that Devs will continue to explore and use the latest tools (especially open source). But to be productive, responsible, and efficient, companies need to ensure that automated guardrails exist to remove complexity, ensure optimization, and eliminate risks. If you’re looking for the easiest and most comprehensive way to accomplish that in your organization, CloudBolt is here to help!