The increasing trend of outsourcing DevOps is breaking the concept of traditional IT models. Every business is interested in decreasing the expenses on workers and technologies. At the same time, they face a complicated decision-making process, choosing whether to deploy one or another application, what Cloud to move to, and others.
As a starting point, DevOps software engineering, which stands for the combination of software development and software operations, aims at speeding software product or service creation and its updates. The main benefits of having DevOps for your business are reliability and increased efficiencies.
DevOps uses a set of tools, also known as DevOps toolchains, to help with the development, delivery, and management of software applications. Moreover, they are responsible for seven initiatives that are as follows: planning, creating, verifying, packaging, releasing, configuring, and monitoring.
The DevOps development process, which is source code control, build and test automation, release automation, and deploy to staging and production, remains the same for in-house and outsource teams. Here businesses are to decide whether to hire outsourced DevOps or hire in-house experts.
Obviously, every business is unlikely to afford in-house DevOps to work only on their projects and be a part of a team. Therefore, more and more are breaking the traditional view on collaboration and involving DevOps engineers on contract-based terms.
Based on the State of DevOps 2018 Report, outsourcing is a burgeoning trend that is spreading around the world.
Compared to 2018, the actual numbers are assumed to be higher today. Clearly, outsourcing is being chosen by a high number of businesses.
Facing a constant demand in software development and updates, companies focus on delivering their customers bugs-free and high-quality software in the shortest amount of time. Without any way-out, developers are constantly looking for better strategies, working on process optimization, and experimenting with new methods in order to make the development process smooth, fast, and safe. DevOps practices are frequently used for that.
DevOps outsourcing implies a company hiring another company to fulfill and be responsible for certain discussed tasks. This kind of contract is becoming common in the world. If you think that outsourcing is more suitable only for small businesses and start-ups, think again. Even such billion companies as Skype and GitHub have switched to this model.
The standard DevOps services that outsourcing companies can offer for your business are: cloud services, delivery pipeline, security and infrastructure audit, process optimization and automation, and others. Referring to DevOps as a Service (DaaS), they generally can include, such services as cloud services implementation, app infrastructure building, and automation. They can also be responsible for the DevOps infrastructure and tools transfer into the cloud. Therefore, a DevOps provider offers outsourcing cloud migration services for any software development domain.
Usually, DevOps services are dedicated to the provision of centralized deployment when cloud-based platform use increases, automation of the agile methodology, and continuous improvement of the product. As a result, DevOps projects require a wide availability of tools to make continuous integration possible while also managing testing, development, and deployment.
With an increasing trend of DevOps outsourcing, DevOps consulting is not being left behind. A DevOps consultant is an expert who is hired to handle a specific issue; meanwhile, a DevOps engineer is someone who is hired onsite or offsite to implement DevOps practices into business processes. Therefore, DevOps consulting aids DevOps engineers in making code work by guiding them.
For many growing businesses, referring to an IT outsourcing consultant is a natural solution. The reasons might be:
- Your issue is rare and unknown;
- You have limited training and recruiting resources;
- You are not well aware of the risks of a certain solution.
Hiring an in-house DevOps consultant may come with high expenses, and the best option here would be to an IT outsourcing consultant. Consultants possess specific expertise that allows them to provide companies with expert advice in a time and cost-efficient manner. You, as a business owner, can also rest assured that your business’s data will remain secure throughout the process because all the requirements and obligations of the deal should be specified in the contract.
For a better understanding of how you would prefer to structure and organize your IT department, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of in-house DevOps and outsourcing.
The pros of DevOps outsourcing are:
- technical expertise
When collaborating with a DevOps provider, you get access to endless expertise and the whole team of consultants, along with the engineers who do the job. To get this kind of expertise and quality control level, companies will have to hire an in-house DevOps team of a minimum of three engineers.
- necessary certifications
DevOps outsourcing companies are concerned about their engineers’ image and rather often help them get the necessary certificates to maintain the company’s prestige. So, the clients who outsource DevOps pay not for an hour of a particular engineer’s work. They pay for expertise, analysis, and work.
- extra competence
Due to the team approach that Devops providers are following, all the engineers get support from consultants, Cloud Architects, and CTOs that always suggest a specific project’s best solution.
In case you are not in need of building an in-house team, your company is likely to benefit more from DevOps outsourcing. Firstly, you will be able to choose with whom to work and for how long. You can even hire multiple outsourced DevOps services and set them different tasks or hire one outsourcing company that will deal with all the details.
Secondly, such cooperation may even result in lower costs than handing a full-time in-house team. Indeed, American, Canadian, and Western Europeans expect quite high salaries, but these are not the only specialists in the whole world. After monitoring the market, you may find a fully functional IT outsource team with the needed skillsets for your business at quite a reasonable price.
Moreover, you are the one who will ultimately decide who to hire. If one vendor does not meet your needs and expectations, it will not be problematic to find another one. However, a pitfall here is that you may lose crucial time.
The cons of DevOps outsourcing are:
- security risks
- lack of business knowledge
- limited flexibility
Security risks come with any type of outsourcing. Trusting your business with another company can be challenging; that is why all the protocols and regulations have to be discussed prior in order to avoid misunderstandings.
Also, dealing with the wrong provider may limit your decisions regarding the whole development process. That part should also be controlled by you at the beginning of the collaboration. Nevertheless, most of the vendors that offer DevOps outsourcing services are driven by the possibility of a long-term collaboration and come with an established DevOps culture.
The pros of having an in-house team are:
- business knowledge
- settled communication and collaboration
- controlled expenses
Creating an in-house team implies a long collaboration that results in high-quality work and avoidance of potential mistakes. The longer a team works together on one project, the more knowledge they gain about your product or service. Consequently, the DevOps culture, in other words, understanding between developers and operations, is likely to be on a high level.
In addition, any medium or large enterprise can also optimize costs in its IT department. A company that already has a team of more than 100 IT specialists, and plans to keep increasing that number, will benefit more from having only an in-house team. Training and educating staff on site will improve and simplify controlling the infrastructure.
The cons of having an in-house team are:
- high expenses
- lack of expertise
- limited cultural environment
Even though your team will be complete IT tech pros, you still may encounter some knowledge limitations regarding your product or service; that is why you may need some DevOps outsourcing aid. Moreover, an in-house team will require a workplace and equipment which will result in extra costs.
Besides, the IT business is global. Every business has an aim to get their products or services on the international market. Working with experts who have proven experience and understand the standards and concepts of worldwide business is always an advantage.
There are some situations when businesses switch from in-house IT services to outsource IT support or decide to have both. If you want to cut down on your expenses, or you frequently face downtime issues related to either hardware or software, this is the right time for you to outsource your IT staff. If you, as a business owner, can afford to have both teams work for you, you can find benefits from this option as well. For example, it makes sense to keep a junior team in-house and senior outsource team. In this case, you are able to split the tasks between the two teams and let them work on different projects at the same time.
There are a few scenarios when you will benefit more if you choose outsourced DevOps. For example, you are a small company with a limited budget. In this way, you will surely not afford to hire your own full-time team, but you would rather be willing to sign a contract with an IT outsource team. DevOps outsourcing companies already have experienced and skilled teams that have been involved in many other projects before yours; that is why you can be sure that your project will be handled in the proper way.
Another case might be when you have limited access to candidates who really possess the right skills and qualifications for your business. You may not find professional staff in your city or country, especially when your business operates worldwide. Hence, it would make more sense to create an international team.
Furthermore, imagine that you are a company that launched an innovative application that turned out to be extremely successful. Your team, including sales and marketing, are doing a great job, and more and more people are downloading your app. Like any other customer, they are looking forward to some new features and updates. Your team needs to provide this on a constant basis so that your customers will not lose interest in your digital product. However, your developers and operations are not able to keep up with the pace.
You can hire an outsourcing team. At that moment, you will specify that you need to increase the quality of your application, improve operational efficiency, and customer experience. The DevOps outsourcing companies that offer DevOps as a Service can help your business improve scalability, performance, and business value.
Speaking of outsource vs in-house DevOps, keep in mind that while an in-house team works from 9 to 6, outsourcing companies offer 24/7 support because they have enough resources to deal with any occurred issues continuously. As a result, you get a fully staffed team that implements a code-deployment process independently, brings objectivity to the workflow, is more experienced in different scenarios, and finally, is more cost-effective.
Although you may not be aware of where to start just yet, here are some tips that will help you begin DevOps outsourcing without difficulty.
- Define the issues that your business struggles with and then look for the right vendor. As soon as you understand what your focus is, it will be easier to track and monitor the outsourcing vendor market.
- Assess the risks related to DevOps services, anything from expenses to security.
- Choose a DevOps outsourcing company with successfully completed projects and positive feedback.
- Investigate the tech expertise of DevOps outsourcing company.
- Agree on your terms, and anything like legal issues, architecture vision, or integration should be discussed before the work begins.
To wrap it up, each business owner should weigh all the pros and cons, taking into account circumstances and other individual factors, when choosing with whom to collaborate. If you are regularly faced with out-of-control expenses as well as failures in IT support, you should consider getting a piece of advice from IT outsourcing consultants. However, hiring outsourcing DevOps means that the company will be interested in satisfying all your needs so that you will keep coming for their services later again.
Also, DevOps outsourcing can help your business to get on a new level and start delivering even better products or services than you have done before. If you manage to establish good communication, then your collaboration will definitely be productive and worthwhile.