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Case Study

How Lema.ai Set The Foundation For Developer Experience and Accelerated Time-to-Market with Okteto

In the fast-paced landscape of AI, efficiency and agility are crucial. Companies like Lema.ai, specializing in Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM), understand the importance of rapidly iterating and delivering high-quality solutions to meet the quickly evolving market. In this case study we’ll explore how Lema leveraged Okteto as a foundation for its development workflow, achieving significant improvements in productivity, cost savings, and time-to-market.

Challenge: Providing production-like resources and environments for efficient AI development

In 2023, the founding team set out with a core focus on building a great developer experience from day one. From their past experiences, they knew that they wanted to solve three key challenge areas for Lema engineering:

Resource Constraints: Running LLM models on different hardware often gave different results. Furthermore, provisioning high GPU power instances for each developer’s environment was going to be extremely costly and not a scalable practice.

Context Switching: Developers dealt with the cognitive load of transitioning between development and production environments, troubleshooting environments and spending time on tasks unrelated to coding the application itself.

Infrastructure Management: While Kubernetes has advanced operations, it hasn’t made life easier for developers. Significant development time was lost in managing Kubernetes environments that often require manual configurations and ultimately drift from the production setup.

Solution: Okteto production-like environments and GPU efficiency

With DevX as their north star, Lema set out to find a solution to address these development productivity challenges. They adopted the Okteto platform as a foundation for their development process. With it, they unlocked:

Seamless Production-like Environments: Okteto enabled Lema to create development environments closely mirroring the production setup, including GPUs, and eliminating the need for multiple staging environments taking up costly resources.

Self-service automation: Each developer has ready access to their own ephemeral development environment, ensuring consistency and reliability in AI model development. Developers now have a playground to test and iterate quickly.

Efficient GPU Utilization: By integrating GPU resources with Okteto environments, Lema optimized resource utilization, allowing developers to share these valuable instances dynamically, increasing their productivity and minimizing their cost.

Results: Great DevX and reduced development costs

The adoption of Okteto has helped Lema design the developer experience they sought and ship faster value to their customers.

Testing Made Easy: Rapid iteration and testing of AI models directly in the development environment has streamlined the development lifecycle and increased velocity.

Cost Optimization: By efficiently incorporating GPUs in Okteto environments and allowing a single resource to be shared among developers, Lema minimized costs associated with GPU-intensive AI and LLM model development.

Accelerated Onboarding: New engineers could quickly onboard and start contributing within hours, thanks to the frictionless setup provided by Okteto.

Improved Developer Productivity: With a production-like environment always available, developers could focus more on coding and innovation, rather than infrastructure management.

Enhanced Collaboration: Preview environments facilitated seamless collaboration between developers and designers, accelerating the development cycle.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, Lema intends to further leverage Okteto's capabilities, with plans to eliminate staging environments entirely and conduct all testing within Okteto. This aligns with their vision of maximizing developer experience and accelerating time-to-market.


Lema’s success story with Okteto highlights the impact that achieving production-like environments can have on AI-driven startups. By leveraging Okteto, Lema not only optimized its development workflow but also achieved significant improvements in productivity, cost savings, and time-to-market. As AI continues to shape the future of various industries, tools like Okteto will play a crucial role in empowering companies to innovate, grow, and deliver exceptional value to their clients.