October 8, 2019
DevOps Best Practices for the Cloud
When you consider all of the challenges of building your own DevOps team, outsourcing DevOps like a managed service makes a lot of sense – especially for early-stage companies and entrepreneurs. As with marketing, graphic design or legal counsel, outsourcing gives you specialized skills without the financial and organizational costs of bringing these services in house.
With that said, Managed DevOps isn’t a good choice for every situation. In this blog, we explore the potential drawbacks, as well as five significant benefits of outsourcing DevOps.
Before you decide that Managed DevOps is the way forward for your company, consider whether any of these potential drawbacks apply to your situation:
If you hire your own team, you have 40+ hours of their time every week, and you get to decide how and when to use their skills. This probably isn’t an issue for early-stage companies and entrepreneurs, but larger companies may do better to build in-house DevOps teams.
If your company has 150 employees and is growing to 500 and beyond, you should start thinking about building DevOps in house. At that point, your infrastructure has grown to such a size that you’re going to need people to own various parts of it.
Generally speaking, hiring DevOps professionals allows you to integrate them more deeply into your own company culture. Compared to outsourced people, other team members might be more willing to collaborate with full-time DevOps employees.
This integration is a double-edged sword, however. If you don’t have a culture that resonates with DevOps and in which a junior person has a say in important decisions about moving a project forward, integrating DevOps professionals into your culture becomes a liability, not an asset. Before deciding to build your own team, you may also wish to consider strategies for integrating outsourced people into a consistent relationship.
For some companies, software architecture is an essential differentiator. If the mechanics of delivery are essential to your company’s business, it may make sense to take on the challenge of building a robust internal DevOps team.
If expertise in cloud architecture and delivery is only tangential to your business, however, you’re probably better off treating DevOps as a managed service and outsourcing it.
Unless you have a clear need for building an in-house DevOps team, your company stands to reap considerable benefits from an outsourcing approach. These benefits include:
If cloud software architecture isn’t part of your core business model, it’s difficult to attract the best DevOps engineers. A reputable Managed DevOps provider, however, has the right company culture and resources to attract – and retain – the top talent, since their entire mission is aligned with DevOps. Outsourcing with such a provider gives you better capabilities, while eliminating many of the headaches of building your own team.
With outsourced DevOps, you get a fully functional DevOps team with varied skill sets, at a fraction of the cost of finding and hiring even a single full-time employee. This team provides the DevOps and cloud infrastructure expertise you need, without having an in-house team that monopolizes your company’s time and resources.
The best DevOps engineers want to be part of a great team, playing off each other like a sports team or musicians in a killer band. If you hire a DevOps engineer on your own, that person doesn’t have peers to lean on when they get stuck. A Managed DevOps provider offers a deeper pool for peer-to-peer education and for mentoring, which builds strong team dynamics and makes individual engineers smarter and more effective.
If an outsourced vendor sends you a DevOps engineer who seems like a bad fit or lacks a certain critical skill, there’s no problem. You just ask the vendor to get you someone else. With a full-time employee, you don’t have that kind of flexibility. Finding an engineer who’s a better fit would mean spending even more time and money on termination, severance and legal issues, and starting the hiring process all over again.
DevOps engineers and Solutions Architects need to constantly experiment in order to keep your architecture robust and scalable, and to deliver technology and cost advantages to your business. They need to keep their chops up with ongoing learning and play.
With an in-house team, you’d end up paying for them to experiment on your product or conduct additional research and development (R&D). With outsourcing, you’re not paying for that time directly, which means you get the benefits of DevOps experimentation at a fraction of the cost.
When you outsource DevOps, the engineers are already getting on-the-job training in areas outside of what you’re doing by working with the vendor’s other clients. In other words, other clients are paying for the de facto R&D, which lowers your cost and risk when implementing new technology.
For many businesses, Managed DevOps provides the expertise you need, while eliminating the burden of hiring and maintaining an in-house team. As a result, you have more time and resources to focus on what matters most: building your business.