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Puppet's 2024 report highlights security benefits of platform engineering
Wed, 27th Mar 2024

The recently published 2024 State of DevOps Report by Puppet reveals that platform engineering significantly strengthens security, according to a survey of approximately 500 DevOps professionals. This study documents the increasing maturity of platform engineering, with 43% of respondents confirming that their organisation has maintained a platform team for at least 3-5 years.

The Puppet annual State of DevOps Report, in circulation since 2012, has been an integral source of information on trends that shape DevOps' success. The 2024 report shifts focus towards platform engineering and explores how it enhances efficiency, accelerates operations, and solidifies security in DevOps. The survey reflects responses from individuals working with or on a platform team.

The report confirms that security serves as a foundational element in platform engineering, delivering extensive benefits for organisations prioritising security. Approximately 43% of respondents assert a dedicated security and compliance team in their platform, underlying the value of proactively managing security. Most participants acknowledge that the platform team has pushed their company towards improved compliance. Further, over half (51%) indicate that the enforcement of software and tool versions for security updates falls within the remit of the platform teams.

Standardised automation was identified as a key driving force in unleashing DevOps' full potential. Organisations, on average, reported three internal self-service platforms, showcasing growth and maturity since the previous year's report. The top three solving use cases associated with platform engineering were 'automation', 'productivity', and 'standardised processes'. 66% of respondents agreed that automating workflows and processes is within the operational scope of their burgeoning platform engineering teams.

The success of a platform team is strongly linked to supporting developers in their work. A majority of respondents indicate that a product manager is crucial to the platform team's success. The benefits delivered to developers by the platform team included 'increased productivity', 'improved quality of software', and 'decreased lead time for deployment'. Furthermore, two-thirds of the respondents agreed that the platform team is critical and will continue to receive investment.

Kapil Tandon, VP of Product Management at Puppet, comments on the evolving platform team's role, "With the expanded scope of platform engineering, we're seeing security become a critical component of platforms from the start." He goes on to add that, as the number of self-service platforms increases, most functions have transitioned onto their own platform, especially the security function. "Platform engineering continues to enhance DevOps, and we are now seeing the impact on security and productivity."

The report's data was gathered from IT practitioners and leaders working with or part of their company's platform teams, as well as from a similarly composed control group. The survey ran online from August to September 2023, drawing responses from NorAm (38%), EMEA (27%), APAC (22%), and Other regions (13%).