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The ins and outs of DevOps outsourcing
Learn how to make the most out of a DevOps outsourcing initiative.
Most companies aim to deliver software quickly, but only a small fraction of them actually succeed in doing so. Google reports that while 86% of organizations acknowledge the importance of rapidly producing digital products and services, only 10% can actually deploy software at a pace quick enough for the modern market.
DevOps, which applies automation, agile and lean practices across the software supply chain, is vital for organizations as it is a reliable means to accelerate time to value, improve customer experience, and enhance innovation capabilities. In recent years, it’s moved from being a rare and sophisticated IT capability of a chosen few to a critical business process that every company needs.Figure 1. Breakdown of software development methodologies practiced worldwide
Per Altassian, 99% of firms implementing meaningful DevOps-related changes to their processes say they see substantial positive effects on their business. And overall, 70% of organizations are already either using the methodology to some degree or planning to apply it in the near future.
That being said, half of the organizations that have launched DevOps initiatives have encountered adoption challenges, including the lack of in-house skills, difficulty in shifting from the long-established engineering culture and processes, and the absence of expertise to carry out a profound transformation.
Outsourcing is one of the most common solutions for them to address these issues. It gives firms the necessary skills and simplifies their transition into user-centered DevOps organizations. According to the State of DevOps report, a properly executed DevOps outsourcing strategy can enable companies to recover from errors 24 times faster and spend 22% less time on unplanned maintenance, among other numerous benefits. In this post, we will discuss the advantages of DevOps outsourcing and explain how it works in detail.
DevOps outsourcing benefits
Instant access to DevOps experts
For companies not specialized in cloud software development, finding highly skilled DevOps professionals can be daunting. By partnering with organizations that have expert teams already assembled, they get instant access to a wide range of talent, from code release managers to automation architects to security engineers to software testers. This approach saves time and resources on searching for and screening qualified professionals, which enables companies to expedite and enhance their DevOps projects, both small and substantial.
Fast DevOps implementation
At any point in the DevOps journey, companies may encounter specific and unexpected challenges that demand particular skills in order to deal with them properly. In such cases, it may be impractical to train any existing experts to master new tools and practices or to recruit new staff, given the lengthy time needed for this and the uncertainty in terms of potential results. However, by leveraging the services of a DevOps outsourcing company, organizations can ‘rent’ qualified experts with a proven track record for the duration required to address their business problems. This flexible approach thus helps them optimize resources and enhance operational agility without risk.
For companies seeking to enhance their DevOps capabilities, a significant obstacle often lies in achieving a seamless experience across their entire toolbox. This often entails integrating, synchronizing, and configuring tools that weren’t initially intended to be used in tandem. However, external DevOps experts, who are trained to bridge gaps between various systems and establish smooth integration and dataflows across disparate toolsets, can achieve this much easier. This has vast implications for streamlining companies’ existing workflows, as it increases efficiency, boosts overall performance, and positively affects the bottom line.
Outsoursed DevOps is cheaper. DevOps vendors typically offer teams with a diverse range of comprehensive skill sets at a considerably cheaper rate than individually hired experts. Moreover, these organizations likely boast well-established communication channels, efficient procedures, a broad pool of mentoring resources, and strong team dynamics. When the partnership is deep, these benefits always spill over to the employer organization and they contribute significantly to elevating the expertise of their internal staff, and this results in better business outcomes.
Reduced R&D costs
Regular refinement, updating, and enhancement of DevOps tooling and practices are critical to maximizing their value. However, adopting new platforms and methodologies can be challenging for organizations lacking the necessary expertise and agility. Hired DevOps teams have a distinct advantage in this regard as they gain training from working with businesses across various domains. These DevOps specialists actively research the development and implementation of DevOps for businesses of differing sizes, technological capabilities, and operational areas. This accumulated knowledge can then be applied to your project without you having to pay extra for R&D. Utilizing tested technologies from other vendors can significantly reduce project risks while improving the execution quality.
Acceleration of change
Experienced DevOps vendors offer more than just toolchain development, pipeline improvement, and digital integration. They can also assist organizations in creating cohesive strategies that expedite the cultural shift in their organization, which is required to blend the traditionally separate developer and operations processes.
Choosing the right DevOps service provider
As we’ve previously established, outsourcing DevOps is often motivated by companies lacking skills and capabilities, or just not seeing the financial feasibility of handling the DevOps-related infrastructure and security challenges on their own.
The first step in adopting DevOps must be the assessment of the areas where a strong business case exists and makes the most sense. It is crucial to properly evaluate the level of readiness in your organization prior to adopting any elements of DevOps. Therefore, it’s wise to hire a vendor with provable experience in infrastructure auditing and the ability to translate technical metrics into business outcomes and vice versa.
Other key considerations include a profound knowledge of the latest DevOps tools and platforms, as well as the specific software required for your project. However, the vendor must also be capable of delivering with your existing DevOps tools when adopting new platforms is not a cost-effective option. For this reason, you should pick a vendor with both niche specialists for particular tools and functions, and so-called DevOps generalists who can coordinate the joint use of CI/CD tools, as well as set up and establish smooth processes across the entire infrastructure.
As an example, here are some of the platforms we, at Avenga, frequently work with:Finally, it is crucial to partner with a DevOps outsourcing vendor that has a strong DevOps culture. Without it, you can’t trust the vendor to handhold your organization through the necessary changes and provide expert advice on managing the modification process efficiently.
Tips on squeezing the most out of your cooperation with a DevOps vendor
To start, it’s important to ensure that the vendor understands your business processes and expectations. This will allow them to identify any bottlenecks and constraints, such as a lack of competencies in specific relevant areas or any legacy systems unsuitable for containerization. They should also review your current software development life cycle (SDLC) and IT infrastructure to determine the best DevOps implementation approach.
Once they’ve proposed solutions, have them draft a comprehensive adoption roadmap that outlines the best continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) and containerization methods, list the necessary tools, and explain how the solutions will be configured and integrated with configuration management and infrastructure as code (IaaC) software.
In addition to that, we suggest you get an in-depth description of the automation approach they offer and their solution for incorporating automated testing into the CI/CD pipeline.
After the execution of the plan, get your technical partner to provide mentoring to your in-house practitioners to ensure they can maintain the operability of the infrastructure, as well as describe change management procedures and ensure proper load distribution in your IT environment.
While DevOps is immensely popular and sought after, implementing it often proves challenging, largely due to how difficult it is for businesses to find experts with comprehensive subject-matter knowledge at reasonable rates. Those looking for assistance in a DevOps initiative, substantial or minor, often address the lack of internal skillsets by hiring offshore and nearshore DevOps teams. The benefits of this approach include the speed at which the necessary expertise can be obtained, the flexibility of existing pricing models, and the chance to tap into already-formed DevOps culture and processes, which can then be replicated and customized to an employer’s advantage.
If you’d like to learn about DevOps outsourcing and how it can help you achieve high-impact business outcomes, contact our experts right now for a comprehensive consultation.
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