The page below is intended to align GitLab's sales and marketing efforts with a single source of truth for our go-to-market efforts around the benefits of a single DevOps Platform.
|Product Marketing||Technical Marketing|
|Cormac Foster||William Galindez Arias|
NOTE: If you are looking for messaging guidelines regarding The DevOps Platform, please visit The DevOps Platform Message House.
This value play will provide an overview of the DevOps Platform solution and the pain points it addresses, outline key quenstions you can ask to assess the customer's needs and identify relevant aspects of the solution, and offer paths to other discussions of GitLab's value.
The DevOps Platform is more than just a collection of features and capabilities necessary to deliver software. It is a consciously-designed holistic solution, built to provide everything an organization needs to manage the ongoing DevOps lifecycle.
While a key technical differentiator of The DevOps Platform is its single-application design, the value of that distinction is that GitLab becomes a true platform on which customers can build business success.
A good example of a similar phenomenon is Salesforce. Salesforce didn't simply replace point solutions for sales and marketing automation. It created a new category of business possibilities by providing a cloud-based unified platform for extracting, transforming, and utilizing customer insights. Likewise, GitLab has created a new category of solution that not only allows businesses to remove the unprofitable work of maintaining a toolchain, but also enables them to operate more effectively and collaboratively, across an expanded range of personas and use cases, by providing insights and efficiencies that no custom-built solution can match.
There are two primary user personas:
Devon - the DevOps Engineer Devon assists multiple different teams with varied needs. A single DevOps platform provides a consistent and efficient development experience, eliminating the burden of supporting unique, team-specific implementations.
Delaney - the Development Team Lead Delaney is responsible for communication and collaboration throughout the entire product lifecycle, and requires end-to-end visibility into work items and status to accurately estimate capacity, plan features, and coordinate with all parties. A single DevOps platform provides those services natively, allowing Delaney to access necessary information as needed, without dependencies.
End-to-end DevOps requirements typically involve executive involvement - VP of DevOps, VP of Engineering, VP of Innovation and above.
The two primary buyer personas are:
Both buyer personas are also secondary user personas. While their day-to-day tasks may not revolve around the DevOps lifecycle, the collaboration and broad visibility the DevOps Platform provides will offer benefit to all adjacent roles. For example, a Product Management executive may not have historically engaged with developers, but the DevOps Platform's ability to provide a value stream view of the product roadmap's execution may encourage the executive to engage more, help discover and remove blockers, and otherwise become more collaboratve.
The suggested discovery questions below are meant to help you uncover opportunities when speaking with prospects or customers who are not currently using GitLab or are only using GitLab as a point solution, and not experiencing the full value of an end-to-end platform.
Don’t try to use them all—just those most relevant to your customer that will help you identify the value they need to see. Please contribute additional questions!
I don't need "all that" – I have very specific / limited needs
This objection is most common with organizations just starting their DevOps journey. They have a specialized need (frequently, Continuous Integration, as that is the most common starting point after Source Code Management), and the market is full of specialized tools speaking to their current challenge.
The desire to avoid "boiling the ocean" is natural. The solution is to educate the organization about what DevOps can be, when embraced fully. Take a step back and ask what the organization would like to chage about software development and delivery on a business level. Do they want to be more responsive to market shifts? Do they want to increase product quality? Do they want to remain compliant while increasing velocity? With those business goals in mind, work them through the value of an end-to-end, fully automated solution, then examine the individual steps (for example, adding security scans to CI jobs, or aggregating and normalizing log data from multiple tools for audit reporting) it would take to get there.
Once the organization understands the end goal it wants to achieve and the compelxity necessary to fully realize that goal, the benefits of a platform become obvious. GitLab provides an end-to-end solution in a single application, allowing customers to activate new functionality as they are ready to broaden their DevOps footprint–without having to cobble together tool after tool.
I don't want to rip-and-replace my existing tools
As an all-in-one solution, it's easy to see how someone might assume GitLab requires customers to go "all in." While any customers do just that, most others adopt GitLab gradually. Many spin up new projects and teams on GitLab, while leaving others as is until they reach the end of their lifecycle. Others may migrate a portion of their existing projects to GitLab (for example, SCM and CI), while leaving other aspects of their projects to existing tools (for example, they might leave issues in Jira or continue to use a different security scanner).
GitLab fully supports coexistence with other tools. Since the DevOps Platform provides an end-to-end solution out of the box and our unified data store provides increasing value and visibility with broader usage, most customers eventually see the benefit of moving to a full-GitLab implementation eventually, but there is no need to adopt the entire platform if not desired.
You can't be best at everything / I don't want to compromise
By GitLab's own admission, some aspects of the DevOps Platform are more mature than others. Customers naturally want the best of everything, so the possibility of "missing out" is very much on their minds when considering solutions. In these cases, work with the customer to lay out their business needs and the tradeoffs they're making to integrate a given point solutions.
For example, if the customer is focused on a specific project planning solution, find out whether there are any specific must-have features that GitLab simply lacks. If that is truly the case, integrating that specific tool with the remainder of GitLab may be the best course of action as our functionality matures. On the other hand, if a solution is considered more mature for reasons that are irrelevant to the user or there is a different approach within GitLab that can meet the same business needs, the network effect of a DevOps Platform and the simplicity of maintaining it are more than enough reason to switch. In either case, the GitLab DevOps Platform can streamline and simplify the remainder of the customer's lifecycle.
We've built a system that's optimized for our business
More often than not, this objection reflects a desire to "not lose all the work we've put in" more than it does any unique business needs. With a DevOps Platform, businesses can focus their resources on differentiation that matters to the bottom line–the products and services organizations deliver to their customers. Work with customers to identify the costs (including staffing and opportunity costs) of building and maintaining their own toolchain (assets like the Forrester Total Economic Impact report can help start the conversation), then help them understand the customer value they could be generating if those resources were focused toward business goals instead of infrastructure.
I don't want to retrain
All change requires some amount of learning, but it's important to remember that training is never a "one and done," but an ongoing effort. All tools evolve, and a multi-tool toolchain with custom integrations will require ongoing training for each link in that chain. In contrast, the GitLab DevOps Platform has a single user interface, with a single, unified data store, and a single permissions model. Ramp time for GitLab is dramatically shorter than it would be for a bespoke toolchain, and ongoing training is also far simpler and faster. A common user experience also facilitates cross-functional collaboration and even career mobility within an organization.
The DevOps Platform is relevant to all market segments and industries, though different aspects of the DevOps Platform will resonate with each group. The Message House provides detailed information on segment messaging and positioning.
One common set of pain points solved by the DevOps Platform involves the inefficiency of DIY DevOps implementations. Custom toolchains are inefficient, diminishing the potential of workers who interact with it. This typically manifests in two ways.
The greater cost of operational inefficiencies is business agility.
|A Complete DevOps Platform delivered as a single Application||A single application eliminates complex integrations, data chokepoints, and toolchain maintenance, resulting in greater productivity.||DevOps Platform with GitLab|
|End-to-End Visibility||GitLab's common data model enables enables end-to-end visibility and traceability throughout the DevOps lifecycle, correlating and aggregating data automatically.||Deliver More Value and Fewer Headaches with an End-to-End DevOps Platform|
|Your software, deployed your way||GitLab is infrastructure agnostic (supporting GCP, AWS, Azure, OpenShift, VMware, On Prem, Bare Metal, and more), offering a consistent workflow experience - irrespective of the environment.||Install GitLab: Supported Platforms|
The DevOps Platform is more than a collection of features and capabilties—it provides synergistic business benefits by comboning those functions seamlessly and transparently. Still, the toolchain it replaces is comprised of necessary features that will be required by expected by customers.
|Market Requirement||Description||Typical capability-enabling features||Value/ROI|
|1. Agile Planning||The solution supports the planning, initiating, monitoring, controlling, closing, and measuring the value created by Agile teams and projects.||Requirements, Epics, Features, Stories, Iterations, Backlogs, Roadmaps, Boards||Allows businesses to budget for, prioritize, deliver, and assess the success of innovation initiatives.|
|2. Source Code Management (Version Control & Collaboration)||Control and manage different versions of the application assets from code to configuration and from design to deployment.||Single sign-on, code ownership, change reviews and approvals, IP allowlist/denylist, activity stream, signed commits, branching and protected branches, diffing, merging, object storage, committer access rules, WebIDE, Geo and Geo HA, disaster recovery, project and file templates, design management, workflow automation, wiki, snippets, and see full list||Share and reuse code, prevent rework, and make reviews more efficient. Streamline reviews and collaboration around code changes. Ease compliance with approvals of code changes.|
|3. Continuous Integration||Automate and streamline build and test to improve quality and velocity.||Build automation, test automation, pipeline configuration management, visibility & collaboration, multi-platform and language support, pipeline security, and more (see full list)||CI makes software development easier, faster and less risky for development teams.|
|4. Security||Shift security left and make it relevant throughout the delivery lifecycle.||AST, DAST, IAST, license compliance, fuzz testing, load testing, real-time reporting||Test early to eliminate vulnerabilities at the source and reduce time and cost of remediation.|
|5. Continuous Delivery||Streamline and automate delivering and deploying code to different environments.||Progressive Delivery, Roll out scenarios, Feature Flags, Review Apps, Post Deployment Monitoring||Consistent and repeatable release processes, faster time to market and lower risk releases|
|6. Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance||Define, enforce and report on compliance policies and frameworks||Requirements Management, Policy Management, Audit Management||Reduce risk exposure, educate developers about compliance in real-time, provide evidence of compliance to third parties.|
|7. Incident Management||Organize multiple inputs into actionable workflows to allow the appropriate people to remedy anomalous conditions.||Manage on-call schedules, receive notifications for triggered alerts. Triage alerts and incidents. Inform stakeholders of status.||Increase customer satisfaction and application uptime by ensuring the simplest path to resolution.|
|8. Extensibility||Extend the system to work with business applications, external data sources, and legacy point solutions.||Webhooks, APIs||Customize DevOps platform to any workflow or business need, adopt end-to-end DevOps incrementally|
Generally, the more of the GitLab application in use, the greater the value of the Platform story, because there are more people in more roles contributing and accessing more data in one place. In addition to the benefits listed on the Why Premium page, there are a number of standout benefits in Premium vs. Free.
Ultimate supports the broadest possible range of personas, extending to Portfolio Managers with multi-level epics, and first-class support for Security and Compliance personas with role-specific dashboards and a host of other features. Ultimate offers free Guest User accounts, which can invite other stakeholders to participate in discussions at no cost.
In their Market Guide for DevOps Value Stream Delivery Platforms, Gartner's Strategic Planning Assumption was:
“By 2024, 60% of organizations will have switched from multiple point solutions to value stream delivery platforms to streamline application delivery, up from 20% in 2021.”
Market Guide for Value Stream Delivery Platforms, Manjunath Bhat, Thomas Murphy, Daniel Betts, Chris Saunderson, Hassan Ennaciri, Joachim Herschmann, 18 October 2021
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
GitLab believes this indicates that the market for a DevOps platform delivered as a single application will grow much faster than the DevOps market as a whole.
One tool for SCM+CI/CD was a big initial win. Now wrapping security scans into that tool as well has already increased our visibility into security vulnerabilities. The integrated Docker registry has also been very helpful for us. Issue/Product management features let everyone operate in the same space regardless of role.
Adam Dehnel, Product Architect, BI Worldwide
Development can move much faster when engineers can stay on one page and click buttons to release auditable changes to production and have easy rollbacks; everything is much more streamlined. Within one sprint, just 2 weeks, Glympse was able to implement security jobs across all of their repositories using GitLab’s CI templates and their pre-existing Docker-based deployment scripts.
Zaq Wiedmann, Lead Software Engineer, Glympse
GitLab has allowed us to dramatically increase the velocity of development in our Engineering Division. We believe GitLab’s dedication to helping enterprises rapidly and effectively bring software to market will help other companies achieve the same sort of efficiencies we have seen inside Goldman Sachs. We now see some teams running and merging 1000+ CI feature branch builds a day!
Andrew Knight, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Amongst the many competitors in the DevOps space, few provide the scope to call themselves a platform, and none have been architected fromt he ground up as a single application.
When viewed through the lens of "the most comprehensive suite of end-to-end functionality provided in a single solution," the nearest competitor is Microsoft's [Azure DevOps]. Microsoft continues to build toward the same vision with GitHub, as well.
For a list of analysts with a current understanding of GitLab's capabilities for this use case, please reach out to Analyst Relations via Slack (#analyst-relations) or by submitting an issue and selecting the "AR-Analyst-Validation" template.
GitLab offers a variety of pre-packaged and custom services for our customers and partners. The following are service offers specific to this solution. For additional services, see the full service catalog.
The message house provides a structure to describe and discuss value and differentiators for the value play.
Sometimes customers and prospects have unique requirements, often around using an preferred scanning tool to integrating with some other part of their tool chain. If you or your customer has a third party they'd like to see integrated into GitLab, send them to the partner integration page for instructions. While GitLab can be a single platform to meet all of their needs, often they need an on-ramp to help them transition or proof of the integration before purchasing GitLab. The resources below may help. NOTE: Please do not use these to put GitLab in the position where users expect us to support a 3rd-party product integration that we do not officially recognize.