Traditionally, software development and operations have always been as isolated modules among software teams. Software developers used to write codes, whereas system administrators were responsible for integrating and deploying it.
However, due to limited communication, these two teams worked in silos and were often seen working separately despite being a part of the same project. Yet, that wasn’t a problem since software teams then used the Waterfall approach for their projects.
Nevertheless, since the arrival of Agile Methodology, a continuous workflow has become the formal way of developing software. Software teams need to be ready for short developing sprints and frequent releases that occur every two weeks, even every day, in some cases. Because of this, software teams need to adopt a new approach and assign new team roles.
DevOps is one of the ideal ways to address these problems and achieve continuous delivery and continuous integration of software. However, due to the complexity of DevOps projects, building a DevOps team from scratch is an uphill task and can affect software quality. In this article, we will explain why DevOps outsourcing is a viable way of developing software in the era of continuous delivery.
Table of Contents
- What Is DevOps and How It Works?
- When Do You Need to Use DevOps?
- What Kind of Projects Is DevOps Best for?
- Why Do You Need to Choose DevOps Outsourcing?
- How to Start DevOps Outsourcing?
- DevOps at PFLB
What Is DevOps and How It Works?
What is DevOps
DevOps is a portmanteau of two separate terms, namely Development and Operation’s Collaboration. The main idea behind DevOps is to combine Process, People, and Working Product. By combining these three components, teams can ensure continuous integration and continuous delivery of software and add value to end-users.
In short, DevOps helps to accelerate the delivery of application and software services at high velocity. As a result, companies can learn and adopt the market without wasting any time. At the same time, it minimizes risk by receiving feedback through end-users and stakeholders, as well as through continuous testing.
It is a relatively new discipline, Atlassian terms DevOps as “agile applied beyond the software team.” The techniques help businesses to release products fast without depreciating quality in any way.
How DevOps Works?
To understand how DevOps works, we must understand that it a practice where operations and development engineers work together throughout the entire project lifecycle. Therefore, these engineers have to work together, starting from design and development to product releases, as well as support.
In a DevOps approach, the team of engineers starts from design and development, then works to testing automation. Following that, the team shifts to continuous integration and continuous delivery while working collectively to achieve the desired goal.
To be a part of the DevOps team, team members must have both development and operations skills while also being proficient in various tools related to CI-CD and Monitoring. All these things are necessary so team members can work on emerging problems, fix issues and bugs, and respond to customer needs quickly.
When Do You Need to Use DevOps?
In traditional organizations, managers have different measures to evaluate the success of development and operations teams. While the quality and number of delivered updates are important for software developers, operations teams are more concerned about maintaining the health of the solution.
Because of the clash in priorities and interests, these teams are mostly separate deemed as part of two different data silos. However, in reality, organizations want their solutions to deliver new features and maintain stability simultaneously. Ideally, this is where the DevOps comes into play.
In DevOps environments, teams have the opportunity to share code bases, leverage continuous integration, and make most of the automatic deploys. Such measures expose problems in the early stages of the development process. This kind of approach is impossible in software development approaches where the operations team gets their hands on the code at the end of the coding process.
Benefits of Using DevOps
DevOps brings a plethora of tangible benefits for organizations. Unsurprisingly, Puppet, in its State of DevOps Report, discovered that high-performing DevOps companies can enjoy as much as 24 x faster recovery times, 3x times lower change failures, as well as 200x times frequent deploys.
Even if your organization is not pumping 200x times frequent deploy, your business can benefit from the following three primary types of benefits related to DevOps.
Since the main purpose of DevOps is to increase collaboration between operation and development teams, it helps teams ensure directly shorter development cycles time. Shorter development cycles automatically translate into frequent code releases in production.
Usually, traditional software development takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to transition a create a product from requirements to release. On the other hand, DevOps reduces the same cycle to daily-release build cycles.
This kind of continuous development and deployment gives businesses a considerable competitive advantage over others, providing greater time to market. However, DevOps heavily relies on the agile methodology to make this possible.
By enhancing collaboration, breaking larger codebases into more manageable chunks, and promoting iterative development and modular programming, DevOps streamlines both development and operations significantly.
DevOps can have a serious impact on company culture. Since the methodology promotes ongoing communication and collaboration, departments such as development and operations are no longer siloed to different teams.
Lastly, DevOps can also bring several business benefits to organizations. The main goal of DevOps is to provide end-users with an excellent experience, as well as high-quality software. That kind of mindset plays a central role in making organizations more efficient and agile.
Due to the focus on quality, DevOps helps businesses create a more meaningful relationship with their clients. Businesses relying on DevOps not only deliver high-quality applications, but they do it in an accelerated manner.
At the same time, the DevOps model is also adaptive to change, owing to its dependence on Agile and lean principles. With the help of DevOps, organizations can gain a competitive advantage by being more adaptable to changing market demands. The DevOps approach allows room for fast innovation, making it easier to achieve business goals efficiently.
What Kind of Projects Is DevOps Best for?
The DevOps approach is driven by a handful of key principles. DevOps applications are primarily known for continuous delivery, automation, and quick adaptation to feedback. However, you will find it easier to remember through the CAMS acronym:
- Culture represented by human communication, technical processes, and tools
- Automation of processes
- Measurement of KPIs
- Sharing feedback, best practices, and knowledge
If you want to understand which projects would be best for DevOps, you need to see which projects fall within the strengths of this model. Understandably, projects that are fast-paced and are prone to changes in the future are more suited for this methodology.
These types of projects can make most of the key DevOps features such as QA automation, continuous delivery, frequent deployments, requirement validation through early feedback, as well as in-team collaboration.
However, the same features that make DevOps ideal for fast-paced projects, make it seem too rushed for projects requiring a measured approach. Regardless, it is the ideal choice for projects that don’t have defined scopes in the beginning, are prone to market changes, and require continuous delivery and integration.
Why Do You Need to Choose DevOps Outsourcing?
Intuitively, managers might feel that in-house DevOps teams can work more closely with each other and deliver projects seamlessly. However, there are many things that stop that from happening.
Firstly, if you hire an in-house DevOps team, you would have to set up a workplace for them and separately pay for their salary, equipment costs, and other staffing needs. Since this team will be working from scratch, it would need to build the infrastructure and set all processes entirely on their own.
At the same time, a DevOps team entangled in your internal workflow is prone to be distracted by internal tasks, which causes them to lose focus and reduces project efficiency.
Also, since this team is working in the same environment as the on-site team, they can be affected by the type of tasks and working conditions and approaches of the company, making it harder for them to fully adopt a DevOps approach.
Lastly, being a part of the development circle, it becomes extremely hard for the team to develop a detached view, something that ends up compromising quality.
On the other hand, outsourcing DevOps services from a reliable provider allow businesses to benefit from a ton of benefits. An experienced outsourced DevOps team has significant experience working with different types of projects, which makes them more able to handle various issues and unforeseen scenarios more effectively.
At the same time, since these experts have additional resources on their hands, it is easier for them to deploy iterations more quickly. In DevOps, businesses require professionals with a high level of skill set while also having the ability to handle various responsibilities on their own. Because of this, many in-house DevOps teams have a higher risk of turnover.
However, since outsourced services hire experienced candidates specialized in this role, it is easier for them to handle these challenges. For this reason, outsourced DevOps services have a lower risk of staff turnover and employee attrition.
Similarly, outsourced DevOps services have a significant advantage for companies that want to scale up (or scale down) DevOps services. Normally, companies have to pay for additional administrative costs if they want to scale their resources. Also, the presence of agreements ensures that the outsourced service will achieve the desired outcome.
In other words, relying on outsourced DevOps engineers is a perfect fit for software teams that lack the time and/or expertise to handle complex DevOps operations. Such companies need to understand that building DevOps application infrastructure from scratch requires significant time and effort.
Furthermore, the absence of relevant DevOps tools, coupled with (lack of) DevOps expertise and experience, makes DevOps outsourcing the ideal options. Doing so will free up your workforce and help your business to focus on tasks strategically important for your business.
How to Start DevOps Outsourcing?
The role of DevOps is critical for applications being made for a dynamic market. This is why it’s crucial for companies to start DevOps outsourcing more effectively. Here’s the procedure you can follow to delegate your development and operations tasks to a managed DevOps services provider:
Analysis and Recommendations
The outsourcing process starts with the analysis of the current state, quality, and vulnerabilities of DevOps implementation in the existing IT infrastructure of the customer. Upon analysis, the outsourced DevOps team makes a roadmap and plans for the required DevOps tools and processes.
Simultaneously, the analysis uncovers ways to automate deployment cycles across the delivery infrastructure. Moreover, the analysis also shows the number of resources required to meet client demands.
Signing a Contract
After a discussion with the client, an agreement is signed mutually between both parties. The agreement contains the scope of work and terms, as well as information on the roles and responsibilities of parties, communication plans, and support contracts.
After both parties are done with formal agreements, DevOps processes can begin. Many outsourced DevOps teams allocate an Account Manager to ensure better services and clear communication.
DevOps at PFLB
DevOps is an essential approach for companies who want to adopt agile and lean practices using continuous delivery of products and services while also matching the preferences and needs of end-users.
Outsourcing DevOps brings various benefits to organizations depending on the level of success. However, regardless of where it’s implemented, adopting DevOps practices has a considerable positive impact on development and operations teams. With the help of the right DevOps outsourced service provider, your organization can flourish from the principles of DevOps and ensure high-quality software, as well as greater user satisfaction.
PFLB is one of the pioneer software testing service providers in the industry. Since its inception, the company has been providing software testing services to over 500 companies across all domains, from finance and healthcare to retail and technology.
Nevertheless, the company’s sphere of expertise expands to DevOps outsourcing, as well. The combined expertise in DevOps and software testing makes it possible for PFLBs to close the loop on continuous delivery and integration.
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