With over 100 million developers and 370 million repositories, GitHub is the world’s most popular platform for source code management and a driving force behind today’s open-source revolution.
Its popularity among enterprises is particularly astounding. 90% of the Fortune 100 manage their software on GitHub, and that number is only increasing.
As an official partner, Modus Create frequently receives requests for implementing GitHub solutions at enterprises — from GitHub Actions to GHAS. One particular trend that’s picked up steam in recent months is GitHub cloud migration.
Enterprises are increasingly moving their repositories to the GitHub cloud from SVN tools, other Git solutions, and even GitHub’s on-prem version. But why? As is often the case with major trends, both seasonal and evergreen factors are at play.
GitHub Cloud’s centralized user management
A major reason behind enterprises moving to the GitHub cloud is to get more control over their user accounts. Once you have a GitHub Enterprise Cloud (GHEC) and Enterprise Managed Users (EMU) account, you can integrate it with Azure Active Directory or Okta. This lets you control usernames, profile data, team membership, and repository access for user accounts from your IdP.
Centralizing user management on the cloud helps enterprises from a security/compliance perspective, as it prevents users from creating public repositories or using their own GitHub accounts. Although this isn’t viable if you want to have a lot of open-source projects and a community of contributors, it’s less of a concern for highly regulated customers such as banks and pharma companies. Enterprises that run open-source projects often have a separate GHEC account (and budget) to support them.
Note: GHEC + EMU supports a variety of IdPs (source: github.com)
One current limitation with GHEC is that EMUs only support Azure AD and Okta. So you’ll have to switch if you’re using another identity provider or wait for GitHub to include more options.
Cybersecurity on the cloud
Cybersecurity is now engrained in every part of product development and digital initiatives, even the user experience. Users increasingly demand and expect data protection, causing global enterprises to beef up their security postures.
59% of organizations surveyed for Modus Create’s research report on Investing in Digital Transformation and Product Development plan to improve their cybersecurity posture in the coming year, making it the most popular digital initiative for the second year in a row.
Launched in 2019, GitHub Advanced Security (GHAS) is a set of security tooling by GitHub to help developers identify and remediate cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their code. Migrating to the GitHub Enterprise Cloud helps enterprises take advantage of GHAS as it provides starter workflows for security features such as code scanning, so developers don’t need to start from scratch.
Static Application Security Testing (SAST) helps identify and analyze potential security vulnerabilities in an application’s source code, binary code, or software architecture before the application is executed or deployed. Enabling it directly in GitHub is incredibly easy. It reduces the overhead of running either commercial tooling, such as SonarQube and Veracode, or wiring in open-source tooling, such as Horusec. GHAS also supports dependency checking for CVEs and EOL packages (Dependabot) and has a comprehensive secrets scanning mechanism baked in.
Availability of GitHub Advanced Security features for public and private repositories (source: github.com)
Since GHAS handles everything from tagging issues by severity to recommending fixes, it can help teams quickly triage and clean up issues. You also bolt it onto the existing license costs, so you don’t have to deal with another vendor.
“Thanks to Dependabot, we were able to act very quickly to mitigate the Log4j vulnerability because we could easily see which repos were affected.” — Sherin Mirza, DevOps Transformation Lead at Shell
How GitHub Cloud elevates the developer experience
Want to know any organization’s digital maturity? Look at the quality of its developer experience.
Agile companies invest heavily in automating the SDLC to make their developers more productive. Today, a senior developer can work remotely in almost every industry across the globe. This makes great developer experience a prerequisite for attracting and retaining great talent.
Moving to GitHub Enterprise Cloud helps enterprises utilize several GitHub solutions designed to optimize developer experience. For example, GitHub Actions is enabled by default on GHEC, allowing developers to automate the build, test, and deployment pipeline. With GitHub Actions, you can create workflows that build and test every pull request to your repository or deploy merged pull requests to production.
GitHub Actions lets you trigger workflows when an event occurs in your repository (source: github.com)
GitHub Codespaces is another interesting feature that lets you set up a fully configured dev environment in the cloud. It is gaining currency among enterprises that want to eliminate the horrible lag and latency from using VDIs. With Codespaces, enterprises can bundle up a secure development environment, deploy it on GitHub, and share it with their globally distributed teams. Developers are also increasingly using GitHub Copilot as an AI pair programmer to aid in speeding up the engineering process. Using GHEC enables enterprises to integrate these features more seamlessly into their workflows.
“One of the big benefits of using GitHub for CI/CD and security automation is that we don’t have to build, deploy, or maintain additional tools because they’re built-in to GitHub.” — Ryuzu Yamamoto, Senior Software Engineer at Mercari
GitHub Enterprise Cloud’s network effect
GitHub’s ecosystem is much larger than its competitors like Gitlab and Bitbucket, and therefore, it benefits significantly from network effects. The more people use GitHub, the more valuable its ecosystem becomes.
Almost every programmer has a GitHub account, which makes it easier for enterprises to migrate to the GitHub Enterprise Cloud. For example, when Ford was searching for an SCM solution, GitHub’s strong following among new and experienced developers was a key factor behind their decision to adopt GHEC. Today’s Ford has over 9,000 employees on the platform.
Another benefit of the sheer size of GitHub is the availability of a lot of custom automation via the marketplace. If you need a custom process in your GHEC, chances are you can find something very close to your needs.
Favorable market conditions for GitHub Cloud
In addition to the above factors, recent updates from competitors are also contributing to a spike in GitHub cloud adoption.
Firstly, Atlassian announced it would stop supporting its server products in February 2024. So, enterprises using the on-prem version of Bitbucket will have to choose between moving to its cloud version or another SCM solution. Many are choosing to migrate to GitHub Enterprise Cloud.
Secondly, GitHub’s biggest competitor GitLab, recently announced its first price increase in five years — from $19 to $29 per user per month. This is again causing several enterprises to consider alternatives.
Finally, many organizations are gravitating toward cloud-based solutions to focus on their core strengths instead of infrastructure maintenance. Etsy moved its mobile repositories from GitHub Enterprise Server to Enterprise Cloud to open up its infrastructure to integrations and spend less time managing hardware — and more time focusing on its customers.
Enterprise cloud skepticism is at an all-time low
The days when enterprises were skeptical of the cloud are behind us. Today, 95% of the Fortune 500 are running at least some of their operations on Azure. Additionally, our recent research revealed that 42% of large enterprises (with 10,000+ employees) plan to migrate their applications to the cloud in 2023.
Although there are still genuine reasons why companies might want to host their SCM on-prem, the list is getting shorter by the day. Features like Codespaces, centralized user management, and advanced security coupled with Microsoft’s backing have made the GitHub Enterprise Cloud a formidable option for enterprises.
Interested in moving to GitHub Enterprise Cloud?
Talk to Modus Create’s experts. As official partners to GitHub, we have helped several Global 2000 enterprises elevate their developer experience with GitHub.