Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face a litany of potentially crippling obstacles, but there’s a single step executives can take that will create multiple business benefits.
Migrating to an end-to-end DevOps platform for SMBs will not only greatly improve an SMB’s odds of survival, but it will increase their chance of actually thriving in an environment that sees half of all small businesses failing within their first five years. That’s right. All businesses face competition and obstacles, but SMBs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular, are looking at an uphill battle so steep that 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within just the first year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So why not grab onto any advantage available, especially one this beneficial?
Here’s how a full DevOps platform can help any SMB:
Multiply tech muscle
Large enterprises might have an IT department, or even a separate DevOps group, made up of dozens or hundreds of people. That’s not the case with SMBs and SMEs. A small business might just have one IT person. That leaves one – or two or five – people shouldering a whole lot of work. They’re left not only to handle issues with cybersecurity, email, and buggy laptops, but they also have to design, develop, and deploy new software and iterations. With a DevOps platform, a lot of repetitive tasks are automated, and security testing is built in from the get-go, freeing up a lot of time. With a DevOps platform, it’s possible to do more with fewer hands.
Engage the entire team
Fostering collaboration is a big part of a DevOps platform and it’s of particular benefit to SMBs. Yes, there are fewer employees in a smaller organization. That, though, doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. A DevOps platform fosters a collaborative environment, breaking down departmental silos and enabling everyone – from the head of the business to people in sales, marketing, and customer service – to work together on software planning and design. That means a wider swath of employees can pitch in on projects, naturally bringing more input and help to the table. And that makes software more inclusive and well-rounded. It also makes employees more engaged.
Stop wasting time and effort on a toolchain
SMBs, like their larger enterprise brethren, turn to DevOps to more efficiently and quickly develop and deploy software. But when they don’t go with a single, end-to-end DevOps platform, they end up creating a complicated tangle of tools, or a toolchain. And these toolchains force them to not only learn, but continually switch back and forth between multiple interfaces, passwords, and ways of working. Even worse, those taxing toolchains only grow in size and unwieldiness as the business grows. With fewer IT people onboard, the full burden of these toolchains falls solely on a limited number of people – or even worse, it might fall on just one person. Get rid of that chaotic environment, and the waste of time and effort it brings, by migrating to a single application.
Eliminate the expense of a toolchain
Since most SMBs have limited budgets, many often turn to DevOps tools that have what initially appear to be smaller price tags. However, by casting around for what might seem like a bargain, it creates an even greater mishmash of tools, which the company continually has to pay for. A 2020 Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact Study noted that moving to a single DevOps application improves development and delivery efficiency by more than 87%, cuts down on licensing costs, and increases savings. The expenses that come along with multiple licenses and continual maintenance are diminished with a single, end-to-end DevOps platform, driving the bottom line and delivering business value.
Improved security benefits for your business
SMBs have the perfect chance to build security into their code and processes from the very beginning. That’s a much better process than making security an afterthought, or completely pushing security aside when projects are bumping up against tight deadlines. That won’t happen with a single DevOps platform, which integrates security into the entire software delivery lifecycle – from planning through design, build, and monitoring. Every single step of the development process. A DevOps platform even automates security testing, ensuring it’s not forgotten and relieving IT professionals from some repetitive, hands-on tasks. When security is shifted left this way, if a vulnerability or compliance issue is introduced into the code, it’s identified almost immediately. And improved security doesn’t just benefit your software. It also benefits your customers, your brand reputation, and your overall business.
Most every business, regardless of size, is creating software to serve customers, connect with partners and suppliers, and find new revenue streams. But muddling together a string of tools that end up costing time, effort, and money just to maintain and use them isn’t the answer. If SMBs toss that complicated toolchain aside and replace it with one platform, they’ll expand their IT capabilities, reduce costs, and be better able to take on competitors with more experience and deeper pockets.
“Should a small business migrate to a DevOps platform? Absolutely! And here's how” – Sharon Gaudin
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