Start-ups and small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face plenty of challenges, but several of those hurdles can be eased by adopting a DevOps platform. A DevOps platform can help not only address the issue at hand but the benefits can spread across the company, helping it grow in a competitive and unpredictable market.
The United States alone is home to 32.5 million small businesses, making up 99.9 percent of all companies in the country, according to a 2021 report from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. And all of these companies have a tough road to travel – so tough that 20 percent of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By the end of the fifth year, about 50 percent are shuttered.
Stressed with common problems like worker overload, finding time for collaboration, and meeting customer and market needs, smaller businesses are under a lot of pressure. With SMBs and small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing such significant challenges, it only makes sense to streamline software development, speed up deployments, automate repetitive tasks and foster collaboration. Taking all those steps can greatly improve an SMB’s odds of success.
Here’s how a DevOps platform can help take on some major SMB frustrations:
Ease worker fatigue and improve work/life balance
SMBs, by definition, have fewer employees than their larger, more-established competitors. That means there are fewer people to take on all the tasks that need to be done. And that’s no different for the software development team, which could very well be a team of one. With everyone in an SMB having to wear so many hats and take on so many different jobs, it can be exhausting. That’s not only hard on productivity, it’s hard on employees’ work/life balance, and therefore not good for the business or the workforce.
A DevOps platform offers an environment that fosters communication, collaboration and automation, which help ease the burdens on the IT staff. This will help get work done more efficiently and faster, leaving employees with more time for other projects.
How can you find new customers when you’re not a household name? You do it by keeping the buyers you have and pulling in more by satisfying, and even delighting, your customer base. Satisfied consumers stick around, buy more, and give free word-of-mouth marketing.
A DevOps platform helps SMBs create customer satisfaction by automating the customer feedback process and accelerating software development and deployment.
Increase communication and collaboration
Workers in start-ups and small businesses often take on a multitude of projects, and try to chip away at their burgeoning workflows. Meetings – within a department or cross-functional – may be either low priority or tough to arrange. A “heads’ down” attitude is understandable, but means different demographics and perspectives often won’t come together to better innovate and create more well-rounded products for a wider range of consumers.
A DevOps platform promotes collaboration by eliminating barriers not just between IT workers but within an entire company. And that leads to more innovative features and products, improves productivity, and keeps employees happier and more engaged. Collaborative workers also are continuously learning from each other.
Adapt to the market with speed and agility
Every market can be unpredictable. New competitors appear. Customer expectations shift. Supply chain problems affect production. SMBs need to be able to change on a dime, to meet or get ahead of new demands and even new competitors.
A DevOps platform can keep a business of any size agile by enabling a tech team to scale development and deployment to quickly and efficiently turning ideas into new features or new products.
Multiply a small business’ tech muscle
Since small businesses, by definition, have fewer people, they obviously have smaller IT departments. They may even have a department of one. That can make it difficult to design, develop and deploy new software, not to mention come up with new and better ways to serve and communicate with customers and the supply chain. When project planning is a joint, cross-functional effort it’s possible to do more with less. And having fewer DevOps tools involved - even having everyone use the same tool - can make a big difference.
A DevOps platform, with automated options for everything from testing to monitoring and doing GitOps with GitLab, can lessen the hands-on workload, giving IT people more time for other, more creative, projects.
“Here are 5 ways a DevOps platform can help solve SMB technical frustrations” – Sharon Gaudin
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