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What would you do if your attempts to hire DevOps staff were unsuccessful? It’d make sense to outsource to a DevOps-as-a-Service provider. In this blog post you’ll learn about what to expect when working with outside DevOps specialists, including 3 advantages and 3 things they can’t do.
DevOps adoption is difficult to pull off. There are many reasons for it, including cultural, technical, financial and HR ones, too. Many organizations face these problems, the demand for DevOps staff is increasing and tools are being made to support and enable adoption. Before we detail these problems and advantages, let’s examine what problems DevOps solves within an organization.
DevOps breaks down walls between development and operation. These two practices present two naturally conflicting approaches. Development is an engine of change, while operation appreciates stability. These are roots of further problems DevOps is solving.
Different KPIs – One of the most useful metrics of development’s efficiency is the number of (deployments)[https://blog.dyrectorio.com/2022-01-01-software-deployment/]. While development is looking to raise this number, operation’s KPI might be the amount of downtime. The more often devs deploy, the chance of breaking the app, and therefore downtime occurring increases.
Lack of collaboration – Imagine Ocean’s Eleven with the same casino heist plot, except Danny Ocean has his teammates work independently, not knowing who does what to succeed. Without DevOps, development and operation exist next to each other, while working on the same product. The app creates dependency between the departments, even though they don’t have much of an idea about what the other is doing. It makes perfect sense to improve the connection between them from sole existence to coexistence.
Bottomline is, (DevOps)[https://blog.dyrectorio.com/2021-11-03-devops-differ/] creates a common ground between developers and operation to provide high quality software, fast by keeping operational priorities in mind while developing the product.
One of the most significant obstacles of DevOps adoption is the fact that it’s not a product you can buy. It’s a cultural shift that requires conscious efforts to be successful, otherwise it won’t help your teams. Besides the cultural adjustments there are technical requirements that need to be fulfilled.
People – Cultural adjustments mean having the right people to do the job. This requirement is complex because organizations need staff that’s both culturally fit and have the needed technical knowledge. If either of these requirements isn’t fulfilled, they’re likely not the staff you want to include in your DevOps endeavours. Organizations are trying to solve this by hiring but the demand is far vaster than the supply of experienced engineers. The high level of demand leads to high salary many companies can’t afford.
Technology – DevOps teams utilize cloud technology that might require too much effort – and money – to adjust to. Legacy environments can’t serve DevOps’ needs. They’re prone to threats, downtime and are far from the required flexibility to keep the software stable. Even if the company have the budget to move their operations to the cloud, it might be difficult to sort out what they really need from certain providers and tools.
Business – A distinctive difference between traditional IT and DevOps is that the latter focuses on minor but frequent changes of the application instead of large and occasional ones. This enables continuous value delivery to the users. But this approach might not align with many organizations’ current business goals. In order to get the most out of the initial DevOps experiment, companies need to tailor their business to this trait.
If you’re looking to extend your team with DevOps staff, you might know about the concept of (CI/CD pipelines)[https://blog.dyrectorio.com/2022-01-02-cicd/], containerization and so on. These are tools and practices of DevOps that enable continuous value delivery to the users of a maintainable application.
Implementing these to your already existing workflows can be near impossible without interrupting production, especially if your staff don’t have the experience to handle these adjustments. That and the challenges with DevOps adoption listed above are why businesses offering DevOps-as-a-Service solutions are emerging.
These are companies that have the staff with a high level of technical knowledge to help you adopt DevOps. They build the pipelines, integrate release management tools to them, migrate your software to scalable cloud environments to handle requests successfully among many other things. This is how DevOps-as-a-Services creates a lasting impact on your organization. Here are some defined advantages.
Faster pace of work – They do DevOps adoption for you a lot faster because they do it all the time. As mentioned, DevOps-as-a-Service teams already have the knowledge to make things work for your organization. The things that’d cost you lots of time and money to do alone is their expertise, they do it every day. They migrate applications to Kubernetes clusters, they integrate CI/CD pipelines and automate as many tasks as possible to reduce costs and time spent on deployments and bugfixes.
Best processes and practices – They’re not only faster but DevOps-as-a-Service teams already know how to serve certain business requirements. They analyse the needs and design the technical solutions. They’ll identify unnecessary steps in your workflows and simplify the processes so your team can become more efficient.
Saving time and money – Hiring DevOps specialists is much more expensive compared to outsourcing to a DevOps-as-a-Service team. The process of hiring from gathering applications and evaluating the candidates can be time consuming. After that, you still need to dig deep in your pockets to sign them otherwise another company will outbid you. DevOps-as-a-Service teams have the people you want to work with. And they can begin to work with you much faster than hired DevOps specialists for less money.
Similar to (project management frameworks)[https://blog.dyrectorio.com/2021-12-01-pm/], DevOps as a system is robust only so long as the teammates maintain it. Cultural change must come from within, and it takes time and effort you can’t shortcut. There’s no end to DevOps adoption because it’s an infinite process of iterating and applying the system to solve business problems with software.
DevOps can’t warp time for you – DevOps isn’t the destination, it’s the journey – any DevOps Coelho would tell you that. Even if you outsource DevOps, specialists can’t speed up the cultural adjustments to happen in your organization. It’s going to take time to get everyone on board to use DevOps tools to their advantages. The road might be rocky at first but in the long-term, everyone will benefit from it.
DevOps won’t make your staff better teammates – DevOps-as-a-Service teams will make sure your organization has all the technical requirements to make the cultural change. They’re unable to make people work better as a team. What the tools and processes can do for you, however, is to boost their efficiency and automate communication between them. DevOps-as-a-Service providers help you take the first step, but your teammates need to take the next one.
DevOps-as-a-Service companies can’t care instead of you – Any team of specialists will take your needs seriously, but it won’t mean anything without your organization’s active participation and proactivity. In order to be able to make the necessary technical changes, you’ll have to take part in the processes by providing sufficient information, decision makers and technical stakeholders on time when needed.
DevOps adoption is a lengthy, difficult process if you’re trying to do it alone. DevOps-as-a-Service teams provide specialists nearly on-demand to build the necessary tools and workflows to give your organization the long-term advantages of more frequent value delivery to the users of a stable and secure application. All of this would be impossible without tools and enablers of collaboration, which is the main reason why Danny Ocean, and his team broke the bank in Vegas, as well. But to pull that off, you’ll need to encourage internal adjustments of your organization, otherwise nobody else will do it for you.
This blogpost was written by the team of dyrector.io. dyrector.io is an open-source continuous delivery & deployment platform with version management.
Find the project on GitHub.