When you start to talk about the concept of DevOps, you’re likely to get a lot of different definitions thrown at you. How do you know which one is right? Some people talk about DevOps as the process of building, evolving, and operating rapidly-changing systems. Others discuss it as a joint effort to build an ‘agile infrastructure’ and ‘agile operations.’ In the ‘agile’ scenario, it’s about leveraging the value of collaboration between development and operations personnel throughout all stages of the development lifecycle when creating any ‘service’ or solution.
However, you define DevOps; chances are, you’ve thought about outsourcing. Why? In a word – it’s challenging! Setting up the right process to get operations and development engineers to work together effectively is no easy task. It requires finding ways to get both parties to agree on a common goal and participate and collaborate throughout the entire service lifecycle – from design through the development process to production support. What are the best ways to move forward working with a DevOps outsourcing partner? What steps should you take, and what missteps should you avoid? Let’s dive into the ins and outs.
- Map out your vision – If you think about it, there’s often tension between development and operations teams because one group is responsible for releasing new features and updates. In contrast, the operations team is 100% responsible for maintaining the system’s stability and functionality. A DevOps consultant can help bridge the gap between the two groups. Instead of ‘throwing the finished code overall the wall’ once it’s written, the combination of a shared code base and continuous integration will pay off big time. The right partner can add value by providing expertise on both sides of the aisle. They should recommend continuous integration, test-driven techniques, and automated deployment to expose any problems – in the code, infrastructure, or configuration – early in the process. Even if you’re relying on external testing, organizations should keep senior testers in-house to manage the group’s efforts.
- Hire the best – When deciding to hire a DevOps expert, it’s best to start by looking at the state of your delivery processes. What’s the current relationship between development, operations, and other business teams? Are there recent noteworthy wins? What about the failures that you need to dissect? Keep in mind that farming out the planning phase of your project can lead to severe risks unless there is considerable oversight from internal managers. Plus, internal project leaders need to be accountable for the project’s overall success.
- Give and take: code and build together – The code and development phase of DevOps generally happens in tandem, with coding taking the lead. On top of a standard toolkit for the internal and external software development teams, it’s essential to organize a standard set of plugins to enforce consistent code-styling and avoid security problems. When working with off-site or out-of-region developers, keep in mind complex logistics can sometimes complicate communication and collaboration efforts for the building phase. Considering DevOps as-a-service (DaaS) is another excellent way for your internal teams to learn different toolsets.
- Monitor the build – Once at this phase, public cloud providers or MSPs (Managed Service Providers) are smart options for running the application. Each group can provide oversight and guarantees for delivery built into service-level agreements. Monitoring application up-time and stability is also responsibility organizations can share with DevOps specialists. These groups can take full ownership of monitoring responsibilities or configure customized monitoring and reporting tools to have in-house teams take over.
Stamp out inefficiencies with a more-unified DevOps model
If you think about it, the typical IT environment is chocked full of inefficiencies. For instance, one half of the team is waiting on code, while the other is continually testing, maintaining, and repairing issues over and over. A skilled DevOps team can introduce a more effective model that includes automated deployments and standardized production environments. Taking these steps can support more efficient and predictable deployments that free up IT teams to complete higher-value projects. Do you have thoughts about farming out your DevOps responsibilities? Or are you looking for the right partner to build more sustainable development and operations model? Call or email us at Outsourcive! We’re here for you!