Who stands to gain from Kubernetes within a business?

Kubernetes is increasingly becoming a vital aspect of the cloud computing technology space. Thanks to its robust architecture and proven maturity, nearly 60% of respondents from a recent survey were running Kubernetes in production. 

Kubernetes is such a hit because it’s been built to run applications more efficiently, give developers fast and easier access to IT infrastructure, and defines a standard operational architecture. What this means for businesses is less chaos in their data centers and more time to focus on introducing agility to their businesses.

Indeed, in a recent report, 95% of respondents reported clear benefits from adopting Kubernetes, with the main improvements being resource utilization (56%) and shortened software development cycles (53%). 

Kubernetes is an ideal solution for all stages of the software supply chain, from software development and testing, all the way to rolling out to production.

Moving toward application development

As the numbers show, Kubernetes is moving focus and time spent away from infrastructure and towards application development. This approach allows developers to benefit the most from an increased focus on applications. 

Instead of waiting weeks or months for the simple infrastructure they need, let alone complex clouds to run their applications in, Kubernetes self-service functionality means they can now get those environments quickly. 

Kubernetes is a cloud agnostic platform, meaning companies can benefit from multiple cloud providers if needed, and can grow rapidly without having to re-specify and re-architect infrastructure for each new project.

Years of over-budget, over-schedule, and under-featured software shows that the variability in the ways to architect and run software adds extra expense, time, and risk to the software development process. 

Developers are under increasing pressure to constantly roll out new applications and new features to evolve the business from a static strategy to a more agile one that explores and experiments with new business models. Historically, problems with strategy stem from the long feedback cycles required to tell people if a strategy worked.

Standardizing on Kubernetes

By standardizing on Kubernetes, as the survey shows, developers can focus on better ways of using software, such as shorter release cycles and incremental changes to the application. This is because Kubernetes removes a number of smaller operations processes, while providing practices and configuration services. Developers spend less time on unseen plumbing that has little direct effect on the business. 

This means that businesses can more quickly sense and respond to changes in customer behavior and market shifts allowing them to adapt their technology offering to fit market change. For developers, this means removing all of that waste so that they can focus on the actual software, not the hassle of managing it and hearing excuses about why it’s not been done yet.

This is where the connection to realizing your business strategy comes in. As the development life cycle speeds up, applications evolve more frequently. Because developers can deploy software more frequently, they gather real feedback on how people are using their software. 

This validated stream of data analytics allows developers to constantly learn and adapt to market demand: they produce better software. This means developers can deploy and test software to explore new business opportunities, making your business agile by experimenting with the best ways to profit from those ideas, and then continually evolve accordingly.

Supporting development and deployment

In contrast, a competitor business not using Kubernetes will likely have a harder time evolving their software quickly, and their software supply chain will remain a bottleneck for business growth and innovation. While the business is thinking of new ways to retain and bring in new revenue, IT will be worried about ticket closer KPIs. 

Owing to the way Kubernetes has changed how development and deployment is supported, teams can also scale much faster than those businesses not using Kubernetes, where resources and innovations can be allocated in a much timelier fashion, boosting efficiencies. 

One of the things that has also contributed to Kubernetes’ success, is that it delivers clear benefits for multiple stakeholders. Some technologies benefit operations teams while others benefit development teams. Not many benefit both.

It’s critical that any Kubernetes strategy simplifies enterprise adoption, allowing for greater integration with existing infrastructure and processes, and operating in conjunction with existing services and tools. Once the approach to Kubernetes has been optimized, you can take advantage of the new flexibility and working methods. 

Companies adopting Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies should realign structures and company culture to achieve the best results. Transformation is all about changing and, as my therapist likes to tell me, you can’t change if you don’t change your behavior. Behavior in bureaucracy is driven by organization structure, so that’s where you start.

Deploying Kubernetes

When it comes to deploying Kubernetes within a business, the organisation and team benefits are clear to see. Kubernetes can dramatically reduce the amount of time developers spend on projects and rolling out new services. This frees them up to deliver business outcomes with applications that can provide a market leading edge over competitors not using a Kubernetes based approach.

The need to work more efficiently and under different conditions has reminded us that it’s always a good time to optimize your software supply chain. In a time where working from home is the new normal, and businesses are working overtime to keep their IT functioning while still delivering to customers and internal audiences, Kubernetes can offer a much needed lifeline to a number of beneficiaries within a business.

  • Michael Coté, Staff Technologist, VMware.

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