Hello everyone, I'm considering expanding access t...
# platform-leadership
g
Hello everyone, I'm considering expanding access to our Internal Developer Platform to include other divisions in our organization. If you've embarked on a similar initiative, I'd appreciate your insights and experiences 🙏 Key challenges we're anticipating include: 1. Implementing a financially neutral charge-back system to ensure our division isn't burdened financially. 2. Establishing robust multi-tenancy guardrails, moving beyond our current model of mutual trust. 3. Enhancing our approach to upgrade schedules, SLAs, and incident management to maintain a higher standard of professionalism. 4. Ensuring that this expansion doesn't adversely affect our primary users, who are central to our operations. I see potential long-term benefits in this move, such as additional resources for platform development, economies of scale advantages, and overall improvements in service quality. This expansion could also encourage a more customer-centric approach, as it requires us to actively engage and win over other divisions, ultimately leading to a superior product for everyone. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly valued.
b
Sounds exciting! There’s a lot to cover here, so I’ll try to keep it brief. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat in more depth - I have experience of doing this myself, as well as guiding other organisations through it. 1. A chargeback model is essential IMHO. I’d start by finding someone in your finance team to work out what is possible first, then think about what exactly you want to cover - e.g. capex / opex. 2. As you scale, you need to think of ways of removing your team from the equation - so less hand-holding for onboarding, limiting the amount of adhoc support you give, etc. You might also need to think about supporting more than one “golden path” - not every team is going to work in the same way. 3. Poor customer support is a sure way to kill your platform. If word gets around that it’s unstable or it was difficult to get help, then word will travel fast and it’s very difficult to undo … even if what people say about the platform is unfair or untrue. 4. I’d recommend you think about a phased rollout strategy, rather than throwing the barn doors open to everyone. Bonus points if you align that approach to segments of diffusion of innovation. I’ve got a new article coming out very soon (final edit) at https://newsletter.bryanross.me/ that talks about some of the challenges of growing the userbase of a platform and dives into the diffusion of innovation in more depth.
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^^ sorry, the above was from me … I had to change email addresses and it all got a bit messy!
b
@Grégory Vander Schueren in addition what you shared, I’d consider the following aspects: 1. How to approach the adoption of the platform. Is it entirely based on self-service? is platform mature and transition towards GA state? does it require some additional onboarding steps? who is going to handle engineering support, how you are going to scale, etc. 2. How are you going to deal with custom requirements, additional technology integrations, compliance&security stuff - it’s always a good idea to state current platform limitations explicitly so people accept it before onboarding. 3. Establishing robust multi-tenancy guardrails, moving beyond our current model of mutual trust. - IMHO this might be the biggest challenge here. Apart from the technical complexity in this approach, you have to think about seamless release management, limiting blast radius and noisy neighbour problems. I assume this is evolutionary approach in platform engineering, so the early exec sponsorship for this initiative might be helpful to move the needle.
g
@Bryan Ross Thanks for sharing the insights Bryan, you have a new reader subscribed to your newsletter đź‘Ť Agree with all that you wrote
Thanks @Bartek Antoniak as well đź‘Ś About point 2, it will be mostly a "take it as is or leave it" to get started. We envision creating new golden paths if needed however (cost should be relatively low) About 3, indeed challenging one. I am thinking this new use-case highlights current flaws of our platform that should be solved anyways for our existing customer base in the long run
b
Thanks @Grégory Vander Schueren! I’m always looking for suggestions on topics to write about, so if there’s any particular areas you’d like me to dig into, I’d be happy to write something up 👍