What do companies like WhatsApp, Slack, Github, Groove, Opera, Google, Skype have in common?
Besides the fact that all of them are successful multi-million-dollar companies, they have used IT outsourcing services from remote workers or offshore partners at some point in time (or keep relying on third-party IT providers for certain tasks).
Outsourcing, in general, and DevOps outsourcing, in particular, is a powerful approach when used correctly. This article will help you clear up:
- Why you need DevOps
- DevOps outsourcing vs insourcing: differences to consider
- What to expect from DevOps-as-a-Service
- How cooperation starts
Two reasons — faster delivery and improved productivity.
Many companies which need to operate at higher speeds and with greater agility, implement DevOps as a competitive advantage.
DevOps methodology breaks down the barrier between development and operations teams. Thanks to a set of tools and best practices, it allows automating processes, implementing changes effectively and on time, speeding up the delivery process and making it more reliable.
According to State of DevOps Report, here is what a company which decided to implement DevOps may expect:
- Faster delivery velocity;
- Higher flexibility for development dealing with different applications, services or components;
- Fewer security issues;
- Lower change failure rate; and
- Better reporting of metrics that can be shared across the business thanks to automated systems.
As a result,
DevOps adoption provides a better product that does better business.
While some companies may benefit from hiring an in-house specialist, others consider it to be an unrealistic option, concerning time and money.
If you are ready to implement this approach, but still hesitate whether you need a remote DevOps team, let’s compare it to an in-house one.
First of all, whichever option you choose, each of them should involve accurate planning and qualified resources.
On both sides of the fence, there are some strong points and drawbacks.
Among the perks of an in-house DevOps team are:
- Complete control over each aspect of the product while developing.
- Adding specialists seems to be a controlled cost.
- A possibility to build a required infrastructure without a need to adjust to the partners’ toolset.
You should be ready to face that:
- An in-house DevOps requires workplace costs and other staffing needs.
- It takes more time to build an infrastructure and set up processes from scratch.
- The internal team is often distracted by the company internal tasks, thus losing focus and project efficiency.
- On-site experts are accustomed to the same type of tasks and working conditions, as a rule, has limited opportunity to perfect oneself in other directions.
- Sooner or later it becomes harder to take a detached view that may affect the quality of expert opinion.
Similar to in-house specialists, the option with outsourcing has a number of advantages.
A remote DevOps team:
- Has experience in working with various projects, thus able to handle different issues and unforeseen situations.
- Provides high speed of deploy without additional resources.
- Has a lower risk of staff turnover and employee attrition.
- Can scale up and down with no administrative costs of hiring more resources.
- Is interested in delivering high-quality services to make you come back for more.
- Is focused on achieving the specific result, backed by agreements.
At the same time, working with an outsourced DevOps team may involve certain risks, namely:
- Complicated deployments might cost more.
- The vendor may go out of business.
- A need to build communication process from scratch and develop working relationships.
Apart from this,
Ordering DevOps-as-a-Service from a reliable managed services provider is a perfect fit for software teams which don’t have time and/or expertise to manage a complicated application infrastructure, but need it ASAP. It frees up your best workforce to focus on what is strategically important for your business.
However, if you’re a fast-growing IT-product company with more than 150 employees, your business infrastructure is likely to be more complicated. In this case, it’s better to start building in-house DevOps engineers.
In case your company has no need in building an in-house DevOps team, here is what you can receive when opting for outsourcing.
The right DevOps partner can help your team to achieve a faster time to market and increased profitability.
First of all,
a DevOps engineer deals with implementing DevOps methodology and fitting it to the existing IT infrastructure and business requirements of the customer.
DevOps services are completely customizable for each client and project. Here is what DevOps services generally may include:
- Providing expert cloud services implementation and consulting;
- Automating development and production environments;
- Carrying out thought-out disaster recovery plans;
- Migrating your application infrastructure into the cloud, or performing a cloud-to-cloud migration;
- Dockerizing and building apps, etc.
It is just a small range of work the DevOps engineer can perform.
The customer and DevOps service provider should talk through the scope of work and agree on responsibilities on a case-by-case basis, as each project is unique and requires personalized services.
Here’s what you get from this cooperation by default:
#1 Immediate access to top talents
When it comes to DevOps, an experienced specialist will cost you an arm and a leg. For the record, an average annual salary of DevOps Engineer in the USA is around $115 K.
Companies providing DevOps outsourcing typically have a well-established recruitment process to provide you with the most experienced specialists.
Hiring a skilled DevOps team or DevOps consultant allows you to get the services from Day One and not to waste time on building and training the in-house team.
Moreover, you get access to a wide variety of DevOps skills that allows you to involve your less experienced engineers in more general tasks, and dedicate top-flight specialists to complicated infrastructures.
#2 Faster delivery of a better product
Outsourced DevOps engineers typically work in companies which breathe DevOps culture and collaboration approach. Such teams are streets ahead, more cross-functional and productive. An experienced and well-coordinated team is able to shorten the development cycle, speed up recovery from failures and delivery of the application to the market.
DevOps team provides you with constant monitoring, continuous testing and automation, that improves the quality of the production code and the end product.
#3 Reducing risks and IT expenses
Trial and error approach with an internal DevOps engineer usually leads to loss of time and money for a company.
A remote team of DevOps consultants, as a rule, takes financial risks for provided service on themselves. Plus, it’s engaged in a great number of different projects for companies in various industries. It allows them to constantly improve their experience and be informed on which tools and approaches work best for what projects.
The potential risks can be foreseen and most importantly, shared between you and the service provider.
At long last, the more projects a DevOps team has completed successfully, the more experience it has to provide each client with a better service.
And please, please, please, remember to do the homework and gradually introduce DevOps culture to internal teams.
Just getting a few benefits of DevOps service without adopting DevOps culture internally is pretty much like driving with the handbrake on.
Now, let’s move to what tasks a DevOps outsourcing provider performs and how to start a working relationship.
In MindK, DevOps-as-a-service is a part of each of the 130+ projects delivered. To prove that there’s nothing difficult in delegating your DevOps tasks to a managed services provider, here’s a sneak peek on the start of our collaborative process with clients:
Step 1: Analysis and recommendations
We analyze the current state, quality and pain points of DevOps implementation in a customer’s IT infrastructure.
Based on the analysis we draw a road map and recommend tools and processes to automate deployment cycles across the delivery infrastructure. The analysis also shows the number of resources needed to cover client demands: it may be either just one DevOps consultant for support or possibly a team of full-time DevOps engineers.
Step 2: Signing a contract
Together with the client, we agree upon the scope of work and terms, determine the responsibilities of the parties, work out the communication plan and confirm our arrangements with a support contract.
Step 3: Getting started
Our company allocates a DevOps engineer (or a team of engineers) with established DevOps stack to support the client’s project and solve all the issues as arranged in the contract.
We assist a development team 24x7x365 in ensuring a flawless integrated functioning of the delivery pipeline automation cycle and in adapting automated deployment cycle to changes.
The DevOps engineer contacts the developers and other members of the customer’s team whenever necessary.
In order to provide a better service, we assign an Account Manager from our side. Clients can contact this person when they need to discuss any issues, changes or improvements. Additionally, we provide monthly status reports and meetings dedicated to the planning of activities and work improving.
As you can see, outsourcing DevOps is an absolutely feasible task, as well as a momentous decision for your business growth.
Now when your expectations from DevOps-as-a-service are tied together into a comprehensive picture, will the DevOps approach provide a foundation for unprecedented efficiency and growth.