Internal developer platforms (IDPs) have become increasingly relevant in modern business. They unify the internal tools, services, and workflows that companies use to improve developer productivity and experience.
According to a Forrester Opportunity Snapshot, implementing an IDP can improve time-to-market and increase developer productivity and customer satisfaction. As businesses aim to maximize return on investment (ROI), IDPs are proving to be a strategic investment.
But how can you implement an IDP and see similar ROI growth? Let’s find out.
The Importance of Internal Developer Platforms (IDPs)
Investing in internal developer platforms makes sound business sense for companies that rely on software as a critical differentiator.
IDPs combine all the systems developers use into a unified experience. They provide engineers with the infrastructure and enablement layer to build products and services more efficiently.
This infrastructure generally includes centralized code repositories, shared libraries and frameworks, automated testing and delivery pipelines, and self-service tools.
Engineers focus on more high-value, innovative work by removing repetitive tasks and friction points in the development process. IDPs also foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and best practices adoption across engineering teams. All of this ultimately translates to faster delivery of high-quality software.
What Role Do IDPs Play in Maximizing ROI
IDPs are not just cost centers. Instead, they should be viewed as strategic investments that can maximize ROI in several ways:
- Accelerating time-to-market for new products and features
- Enabling faster iteration and experimentation
- Reducing costs by eliminating redundancy and duplication
- Increasing developer productivity and efficiency
- Improving developer experience leads to better talent retention
- Providing data insights to make informed product decisions
- Serving as catalysts for more comprehensive digital transformation initiatives
IDPs essentially act as force multipliers for engineering teams by optimizing the software development lifecycle. The cost savings and increased output enabled by IDPs have ripple effects that ultimately result in higher revenues, lower costs, and maximized ROI.
What Business Metrics Do IDPs Impact
Several vital business metrics see measurable improvements from implementing internal developer platforms. The areas most impacted include:
1. Revenue Growth
One of the most direct results of effective IDPs is increased revenue. IDPs directly accelerate the creation of revenue-generating products and features by providing developers with an agile platform to quickly build and release high-quality software tailored to users' needs.
Rather than getting bogged down by infrastructure complexities, developers can focus on innovation to solve customers' pain points. IDPs also foster innovation by freeing developers from mundane maintenance tasks.
According to the Snapshot Survey, 85% of survey respondents agreed that investing in internal developer platforms and improving DevEx can help drive revenue growth for their firms.
2. Reduced Time-to-Market
By centralizing the tooling, frameworks, and processes involved in application development, IDPs significantly reduce the time it takes to conceptualize, build, test, and launch new products or features.
IDPs minimize duplicate work across teams and allow the reuse of code, APIs, and services to accelerate release cycles. Companies can take an idea from conception to launch much faster.
This reduction in time-to-market provides greater flexibility to respond to emerging trends, customer demands, and competitive pressure. Teams can iterate rapidly, testing concepts and validating ideas before bringing finished products to market.
The same survey also found that 77% of companies attributed measurable improvements in time-to-market to their usage of internal developer platforms.
3. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
The combination of faster release cycles and higher-quality software also enhances customer satisfaction. IDPs empower developers to address issues quickly and consistently deliver upgrades and new features based on direct customer feedback.
With these rapid responses to customer needs, companies can nurture greater brand loyalty among users and build lasting relationships. IDPs help ensure customers have access to the latest innovations delivered reliably.
Satisfied customers provide word-of-mouth referrals, use products more frequently, and are open to exploring additional services. Maintaining high customer satisfaction is vital for sustained revenue growth.
4. Cost Savings
Looking specifically at the financial impact, IDPs can reduce the time to market, offering significant cost savings:
Lower Time-to-Market Results in Lower Costs
Each day or week shaved off the development lifecycle translates directly to tangible cost savings from:
- Less developer time allocated to a project from start to finish
- Improved developer productivity by allowing them time to focus on important tasks
- Faster realization of revenue potential once the new product comes to market
Improved Market Lead
Beyond payroll savings, faster time-to-market unlocks significant financial upside:
- Faster product development can give your business a first-mover advantage allows for capturing more market share
- An extended period of exclusive offering before competitors launch similar products in the market
- Extended period of customer feedback and validation to inform ongoing product iterations
- Higher returns on R&D investments when technology reaches users faster
- Revenues begin flowing in sooner from new products and features
Together, these financial benefits maximize ROI from technology investments. IDPs are accelerators for both cost savings and identifying new revenue streams.
5. Better Developer Experience and Talent Retention
IDPs streamline developer workflows, giving them more time to focus on creative work instead of the daily grunt. This helps improve both developer experience and, with that, good talent continues to stay with the company.
Improving Developer Experience (DevEx)
Developer Experience (DevEx) refers to engineering teams' satisfaction, productivity, and effectiveness. Several factors contribute to DevEx:
- Tooling - Quality of coding, testing, debugging, and collaboration tools.
- Process - Effectiveness of systems for project and code management.
- Culture - Work environment, leadership, and psychological safety.
- Productivity - Ability to progress and see results on meaningful work.
- Support - Resources for help, knowledge sharing, and mentoring.
IDPs directly enhance DevEx by providing unified, high-quality tooling, streamlining workflows, and enabling productivity through automation.
Boosting Talent Retention
While hiring good talent is difficult enough, organizations must also work to retain their top performers. Companies lose invaluable institutional knowledge without strong retention and suffer high retraining costs.
IDPs boost retention by:
- Providing access to cutting-edge tech stacks that engage developers
- Enabling leadership opportunities in platform design and maintenance
- Fostering innovation, creativity, and collaboration without adding bloat to the workflows.
Developers stay challenged, sharpen skills, and advance their careers - all while driving business impact. The result is a virtuous cycle of top talent and technology accelerating each other.
6. Catalyst in Digital Transformation
On a broader level, internal developer platforms serve as a vital catalyst for digital transformation within companies. They empower organizations to optimize processes and customer experiences through software continually.
IDPs democratize software development across the enterprise. They allow any team to leverage shared services to build applications aligned to business objectives and customer needs.
- Organization-wide agility to respond to changing market dynamics
- Data-driven decision-making from connected systems
- Ecosystem thinking that breaks down silos
The outcome is a responsive organization wired for constant digital innovation, and the combination of these business metrics makes IDPs a clear ROI win for most businesses. But how can you get started with improving your ROI using IDPs? It’s simple.
How to Maximize the ROI of Internal Developer Platforms
With IDPs proving their ability to impact key business metrics positively, the focus shifts to how companies can implement platforms to maximize ROI.
- Get Executive Buy-In: The first step is to get executive buy-in. IDPs require upfront investment and organization-wide adoption, which can be resource-intensive. Make a data-backed business case showing the benefits and highlighting success stories from industry peers.
- Start Small, Then Scale: When introducing new ways of working, start with a pilot focused on a single product or team. Target projects likely to see quick wins so you can demonstrate the capabilities of the new approach. With evidence of improved outputs, it becomes easier to scale to more teams in phases.
- Involve Developers Early: Developers are both the users and beneficiaries of IDPs. Get their input when designing tools and workflows to ensure high adoption. Empower developers to contribute to the platform’s evolution over time.
- Prioritize Developer Productivity: Look for ways to save developers time on every task. Carefully evaluate existing tools and processes to identify pain points. Automate manual tasks where possible.
- Integrate Security Best Practices: Build security upfront, including access controls, secrets management, and compliance guardrails. This avoids playing catch-up later and reduces risk.
- Focus on Extensibility: The platform should adapt as needs evolve. Look for an extensible solution so your team does not waste time building the core and instead can build on top of the core with their services and tooling.
- Measure Results: Define metrics aligned to business goals, like reduced time-to-market or feature delivery rates. Track progress at regular intervals to quantify ROI and identify areas for improvement.
- Continuous Improvement: Treat the platform as a product requiring ongoing investment. Dedicate resources for upkeep, support, and new capabilities. Solicit user feedback and engage developers to be co-creators.
Internal developer platforms require thoughtful planning and care to maximize ROI. But once implemented successfully, they become invaluable infrastructure empowering innovation across the organization.
While the apparent option may seem to be building a custom IDP, you would spend a lot of resources reinventing the wheel.
Instead, buying an extensible IDP is a better long-term decision as it requires lesser maintenance without losing the extensibility you would get from an in-house IDP.
How Facets Helps Businesses to Maximize IDP ROI
Facets is an extensible internal developer platform designed to simplify platform engineering for complex cloud workloads. Instead of your teams adjusting to a new workflow, Facets fits right within your existing way of working and can be modified to suit your exact requirements.
Here's how Facets can help businesses achieve the IDP best practices and maximize ROI:
1. Extensible and Customizable
- Facets is built as an open framework that teams can extend by integrating new tools and services, which allows the platform to adapt as an organization's needs evolve.
- Development teams can build custom services and tooling on top of the core Facets platform, ensuring extensibility and providing you with an IDP that grows with the business.
2. Automates Repetitive Tasks
- Facets provides reusable infrastructure templates and automated environment provisioning, eliminating repetitive manual work for ops teams.
- Self-service capabilities like one-click deployment and built-in observability free up ops teams from mundane tasks so developers can focus on higher-value delivery.
3. Fosters Collaboration
- With Facets, dev and ops teams work from a unified interface and shared architecture catalog. This single source of truth facilitates better collaboration.
- Standardized workflows ensure all teams work consistently and speak a common language about services.
4. Enhances Security and Compliance
- Facets comes with security best practices like access controls and secrets management out of the box.
- Deep auditing provides transparency into who changed what and when, strengthening compliance.
5. Accelerates Time-to-Value
- Reusable templates help teams launch new environments 25x faster so products and features can be built and delivered more rapidly.
- This automation and improved collaboration translates to faster development cycles and time-to-market.
Gain the Competitive Edge and Maximize ROI with IDPs
Internal developer platforms have transitioned from "nice to have" to "need to have" in the race to build software better and faster than competitors. IDPs directly accelerate product development while optimizing engineering productivity and costs.
By providing the foundation for developers to focus on delivering business value vs. building infrastructure, IDPs boost ROI across critical metrics like time-to-market, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.
As software becomes increasingly central to competitive differentiation, investing in an extensible and scalable IDP is no longer an option.
Platforms like Facets offer turnkey solutions to help companies implement IDPs that evolve with the business. With the right platform, organizations can maximize ROI while navigating complex digital transformations with agility.