Adidas Developer Portal – Case Study

July 04, 2023

Adidas Transformation Journey: Establishing a Robust Internal Developer Platform

For any company that deals with technology, the real deal lies in swiftly accessing and employing its resources to solve real-time problems and deliver cutting-edge solutions. One such transformative journey of redefining the accessibility and usability of software tools was undertaken by the global sportswear giant, Adidas, who took it upon themselves to build their own Internal Developer Platform.

Adidas Developer Portal

Identifying the Bottleneck: The Initial Challenge

Adidas, much like any tech-forward company, equipped its teams with an array of sophisticated software tools. However, the tech teams faced a significant hurdle in their routine operations. The procurement of a developer Virtual Machine (VM), a fundamental asset in a tech-based project lifecycle, was far from efficient.

The process to acquire a VM was mired in a bureaucratic web, involving a sequence of steps including submitting a request form, providing a detailed purpose, defining the title of the project, identifying responsibility, and communicating with the internal cost center. The outcome? A significant waiting period ranging from 30 minutes to a staggering week-long delay before the VM was ready for use.

Such a drawn-out procedure was proving counter-productive, slowing down the process, curbing spontaneity, and impeding the fast-paced development work that the company needed to stay competitive.

A Developer-Centric Solution

Recognizing the gravity of the problem, Adidas decided to overhaul its approach. Instead of focusing on top-down bureaucratic procedures, they chose to view the issue through the lens of the developers who grappled with these challenges daily. The objective was clear – to devise ways that could significantly shorten the time taken to kickstart a project and efficiently integrate it into the Adidas infrastructure.

The breakthrough was realized in the form of a combination of advanced methodologies and tools: containerization, agile development, continuous delivery, and the induction of a cloud-native platform encompassing Kubernetes and Prometheus. By adopting these cutting-edge technologies, Adidas was able to create an efficient, streamlined Internal Developer Platform designed to improve speed, operability, and observability.

In 2017, Adidas joined hands with Giant Swarm, a prominent consulting firm specializing in Kubernetes management. (You can read their interview with our CEO here) This strategic collaboration assisted Adidas in installing, configuring, and managing all Kubernetes clusters across their AWS and on-premise platforms. The decision underscored the belief that Adidas’s competitive edge did not lie in managing a Kubernetes cluster, but rather in equipping their engineers to build top-of-the-line, speedy, resilient, and high-functioning e-commerce stores.

Feeling the Impact: Remarkable Outcomes

The transformation brought about by the integration of the new Internal Developer Platform was swift and striking. Just six months into the project, the entire Adidas e-commerce site transitioned to Kubernetes. The site’s load time was slashed by half, and the frequency of releases skyrocketed from once every 4-6 weeks to a staggering 3-4 times daily.

Moreover, Adidas began managing 40% of its most critical systems on its cloud-native platform. It handled an impressive array of 4,000 pods, 200 nodes, and 80,000 builds per month, marking a monumental shift in the company’s technological landscape.

Embracing the Change

The revamped Internal Developer Platform didn’t just transform the technological framework but also marked a cultural shift within the company. The developers, an integral part of Adidas’s 300-strong engineering division, welcomed the new system with open arms.

As part of the onboarding process, each team member spent a full week gaining hands-on experience with the platform, which contributed to its widespread acceptance and use. The hands-on approach gave the developers a sense of familiarity, control, and confidence while dealing with the new platform

Conclusion

While the transformation Adidas underwent is commendable, it is essential to recognize that such a comprehensive, resource-intensive shift might be too overwhelming for most companies. The approach adopted by Adidas, although effective, required significant investments of time, effort, and resources. It also necessitated an organization-wide commitment to changing existing systems and cultural mindsets. For many businesses, the lengthy overhaul could be a challenging prospect, especially for those seeking ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions that deliver immediate results with minimal disruption to existing workflows.

This is where Nappitive becomes a game-changer. Nappitive offers an accessible, user-friendly platform that empowers organizations with immediate access to key tools and technologies without the need for a complex, company-wide transformation. The solution offered by Nappitive is designed to bridge the gap between the existing setup and the desired future state, allowing companies to streamline their processes without the associated teething pains of a complete overhaul. This agile and adaptable approach is exactly what companies need to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape. Try Napptive, for free now!

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