6 ways SMBs can leverage the power of a DevOps platform

Apr 12, 2022 · 4 min read · Leave a comment
Sharon Gaudin GitLab profile

A small or medium-sized business (SMB) or enterprise (SME) is likely working with a small staff but facing a big workload and even bigger expectations. Creating applications that will expand the customer base, keep up with a changing market, and take on competitors with deeper pockets can be daunting.

It’s possible to ease those burdens by choosing a single, end-to-end DevOps platform. Productivity will skyrocket and so will opportunities to grow the company.

Of course, DevOps offers significant technical benefits, like testing and building at scale with continuous integration and continuous delivery, a shorter lead time with automated deployment, and fewer production failures with earlier error detection. But a DevOps platform also offers myriad business benefits to help support and expand a start-up or SMB.

Here are six more ways a DevOps platform can help an SMB:

Improved customer satisfaction

Using a DevOps platform means iteration can happen faster. And that’s critical for SMBs that need to be able to quickly make changes to meet customer needs. DevOps also provides a way to better monitor users’ feedback and makes it easier to respond with more speed and agility. And it reduces Change Failure Rates, increasing application reliability and stability.

All of this means SMBs will be more able to give clients what they want and need, all while creating an engaging customer experience. Closer customer ties create trust and keep users loyal to products.

Better security

A DevOps platform embeds security to help seamlessly achieve a DevSecOps approach, a cornerstone of incorporating security scanning early in the software development lifecycle. By integrating testing and security reviews earlier in the process, and by using end-to-end automation, there are more opportunities to quickly and efficiently address any security issues. This reduces the time between designing new, higher-quality features and rolling them out into production. That's the beauty of a platform approach to DevOps – security isn't an afterthought. It’s part of the entire process.

DevOps not only speeds production but creates more secure applications. And, simply put, more secure software makes for a more trusted product offering… and for happier, more satisfied customers.

True collaboration and innovation

Collaboration is one of the basic tenets of DevOps. By fostering communication and innovation, DevOps not only encourages developers and IT to work together, it also supports collaboration throughout the entire company. This is one area where SMBs have a huge advantage: With fewer employees, who also might be less set in their ways, collaboration and innovation are inherently more inclusive in a small business. An SMB or start-up is never too small for DevOps. By inviting discussion and assistance from all team members, DevOps creates a culture built around learning from and relying on others’ expertise; it also brings more ideas to the table.

Happier employees and better retention

The greatest resource a company has is its people. This is even more true for small companies where the pain of employee dissatisfaction and departure is felt even more acutely. Managers also don’t want projects waylaid because the people driving them are leaving.

To stop that from happening, it’s critical the workplace keeps employees happy.

Retaining a tech team isn’t just about perks, like in-office meditation pods, cereal stations, and foosball tables. Companies also need to give developers the processes and tools they need to be efficient, add automation, and make it easier to find and fix security and compliance issues. A single, end-to-end DevOps platform offers a solution for all of those issues. In our 2021 Global DevSecOps Survey, more than 13% of respondents said DevOps makes developers happier or makes their team more attractive to potential new employees.

Improved decision-making

Small or medium-sized businesses may lack their larger competitors’ resources, but their agility helps them quickly turn a big idea into action that grows the customer base and profits. A DevOps platform has built-in processes and methods to help sustain an SMB’s agile advantage as it grows, so innovative ideas can scale more quickly and smoothly into products, and ultimately new lines of revenue. Automate more and with higher visibility to make fewer and better decisions.

Wear all the hats

It might be a cliche, but it’s also true: SMB employees have to wear all the hats. Code writing, customer service, trouble-shooting, accounts payable… SMB teams are masters at multitasking, but that’s not always the most productive way to be.

A DevOps platform makes it easier to reduce context-switching and work cross-functionally because everyone is using the same tool. Built-in automation reduces the number of tasks that need to be done manually and aids in collaboration.

At the end of the day, a complete DevOps platform isn’t a shiny toy, it’s a critical SMB tool. Adopting a platform can make an SMB even more nimble, efficient, and able to scale. DevOps readies an SMB to take on bigger competitors with deeper pockets. And that will enable the business to become what its founders and executives envision.

“SMBs wear all the hats and that can get in the way of faster software releases. Here are six ways a DevOps platform can help.” – Sharon Gaudin

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