In-house DevOps vs DevOps as a service
DevOps appeared 10+ years ago and has been growing in popularity since then. For many experts, DevOps might have different meanings. However, one way or another, everyone will admit that DevOps is all about shortening and simplifying software delivery processes to produce high-quality, customer-oriented products faster.
According to Atlassian’s research conducted among 500 developers and IT leaders, 99% of responders said DevOps had a positive impact on their organization, boosting product/service quality, time-to-market, and teams’ productivity. That is why many IT businesses are eager to implement DevOps in their teams and find themselves searching for an easy way to do so. Frankly speaking, they have only two options — they either grow their own in-house DevOps team by hiring DevOps engineers or reach out to professional DevOps outsourcing companies to provide DevOps -as-a-service for them. If you are still deciding which option is for you, this article will be of major assistance.
Insourcing DevOps? (There is no way) I can afford that!
According to Glassdoor – “DevOps Engineer” is among the top ten “Best Jobs in America in 2019” and it ranked sixth in terms of most wanted professionals. In LinkedIn’s 2018 poll of top recruited jobs, DevOps Engineer was number one! Do organizations want to hire DevOps engineers and grow their own DevOps teams? Of course, they do. What are the benefits of an in-house DevOps team? Your own DevOps team provides control over each phase of SDLC (software development lifecycle), your infrastructure is adjusted to your toolset and your team’s skillset. However, Atlassian’s research revealed that almost 85% of organizations faced various challenges when implementing DevOps related to the lack of skills of their employees, legacy infrastructure, or corp culture adjusting.
It takes lots of resources to build a custom infrastructure and support the in-house DevOps team. According to Ziprecruiter, at the moment, the salary of a beginner DevOps is about $87,000 a year. This means you pay a DevOps beginner about 7,300 US dollars a month (not including overheads and taxes), which is almost double the amount of the USA AVG salary. Of course, this is a very hard role. Not every ex-developer powered with excellent system administration skills can perform as a DevOps specialist. That’s why even if you are willing to pay such a salary, the hiring period is too long to bear, because if software engineer hiring time is 64 days, with DevOps, the process is much longer and harder. Not to mention the hiring/onboarding spendings and here we do not only mean recruiter’s salary but also time managers waste on testing/interviewing potential candidates and onboarding new members.
As a matter of fact, big businesses might need an in-house DevOps in 20% of cases while small businesses and startups don’t have such cases at all. At the same time, DevOps specialists can help upskill employees in the teams, automate and optimize plenty of crucial processes. Plus, not every company can afford time and energy-consuming hiring for DevOps. If this is your case, outsourcing is a solution. What’s more, you can save even more costs, if you search for DevOps professionals from countries with still emerging markets, like Ukraine or Belarus, where the rates of highly-skilled professionals are much lower.
Outsourcing DevOps? It should be done right!
A DevOps outsourcing team also has a number of benefits, such as allowing you to quickly deploy your products. Outsourcing DevOps team members are experienced in a variety of tasks and can handle a wide scope of unplanned situations.
You can save time/money on recruiting and onboarding new team members and therefore reduce the risk of staff turnover. At the same time, your employees are focused on the things that are more important to your business goals. In addition, if you are satisfied with the outcome of your cooperation, you prolong the partnership, if not, you can approach a new partner. So, basically, when dealing with DevOps-as-a-service companies you:
- Get a whole lot of IT services. DevOps outsourcing teams are experienced in all phases of SDLC and provide a full range of services, including consulting for startups, SMB, and global corporations.
- Get existing infrastructure improvement. DevOps service providers will design and implement cloud infrastructure at any scale, supporting products and workflows from various industries.
- Get a DevOps team as a service. As the product grows and new features have to be added, many companies find the need to access talents they cannot easily obtain. IT-outstaffing helps sort this out.
- Get management and beyond consulting. You can approach mature DevOps outsourcing companies to get consulting services. Service providers will help you refine the idea of your product.
However, some complex projects with very tight deadlines might be pretty expensive. Plus, you have to work out a communication process from scratch, which might be a kind of energy-consuming matter. At the same time, if you choose the right outsourcing company and properly prepare for the cooperation, you’ll get the best service and save resources.
DevOps-as-a-service company: where to find
What sources can I use to find the most fitting for my organization DevOps-as-a-service company? How can I get information about it? Apart from delving deeply into Google search, you can reach out to trustworthy websites that assemble ratings which basically is a collection of genuine feedback on a company’s work.
One of such independent services that receive honest reviews from unbiased reviewers is Clutch. co. Clutch is a self-sufficient platform that collects impartial customer reviews of every company that is listed on the site. They conduct in-depth interviews with customers and buyers about the quality of their interactions with each registered Clutch company. Based on the collected data, Clutch forms a fair rating of all firms.
One more source you can turn to is the GoodFirms research platform that helps software service seekers to decide on the best company. At the same time, GoodFirms helps IT service companies improve user acquisition statistics, market share, and brand awareness.
Plus, you can always get all the necessary information on specialized websites like Hackernoon, Medium, or Hacker News where professionals post their expert articles including their opinions on service companies they have encountered.
What if there is a balance between outsourcing and in-house DevOps?
There are times when IT leaders do not switch from in-house IT services to outsourcing IT support but use them both. If you can afford to have both teams working for you, you can also benefit from this option. For example, it makes sense to keep the junior team within the company, and the senior one outsourced. In this case, you can split tasks between two teams and let them work on different projects at the same time. One more option is to address some particular tasks to mature DevOps professionals, for example, they can upgrade your existing infrastructure, support your team with documentation that will notably accelerate your deployment speed, reduce costs and enhance the team’s performance. With infrastructure improved once, outsourcing team’s services are no longer needed. How often do businesses try to balance between in-house and outsourced teams? Very often. You can examine various cases here.
Once you decide you need a reliable DevOps service company to address some of your particular issues, here is what IT Svit DevOps team recommends to prepare before reaching out to DevOps-as-a-service partners:
- Define the processes you need to upgrade with DevOps-as-a-service. Set realistic goals and clear KPI’s. A great idea would be to match your particular goals with the DevOps service provider’s expertise.
- Inspect the tech expertise. DevOps outsourcing companies might have different specializations such as in single or multi-cloud solutions, cloud migration, or security infrastructure designing and implementation. Choose the one that covers your specific needs.
- Consider the tech stack DevOps service company has experience working with: AWS, Azure, GCP, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, CloudFormation, CDK, etc.
- Pay attention to the company’s portfolio, and choose a provider with a proven record of successful projects.
- Mediate a win-win contract that covers all crucial aspects of the forthcoming partnership.
- Be prepared for an audit of your existing environment from the DevOps team.
This Forbes article author compared DevOps implementation to “changing gears,” meaning that DevOps improvements are noticeable at each part of the engineering process, where engineers can focus entirely on the product, instead of covering routine assignments manually. The best DevOps engineers can streamline product development, smooth communication between distinct project teams, and save the company money. DevOps functions happen in the background, ensuring that all systems are constantly being monitored and are operational. Plus, in case of an issue, DevOps engineers operate as good problem-solvers. At the same time, hiring for DevOps is not a piece of cake. Many businesses cannot afford to waste months on hiring and onboarding periods. What’s more, it’s quite expensive to hire and support in-house DevOps engineers. With that, organizations address their issues to full-fledged DevOps professionals. We at IT Svit often power-up internal DevOps teams or become owners of DevOps processes for a client. So we’re happy to help in case you still have questions or decided to go with DevOps-as-a-service provider. Drop us a message.