The Ultimate Guide to Successful DevOps Outsourcing

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 15, 2024
Outsourcing DevOps can enhance efficiency, provide cost savings, and access specialized expertise. However, it requires careful partner selection and proactive management to navigate challenges effectively.
A focused female software developer works on code across multiple computer screens in a bright office setting.

Outsourcing your DevOps can save you money, give you access to expert skills, and help your main team stay focused. But, you need to choose the right partner and keep a close eye on the process.

Outsourcing DevOps brings cost savings, expertise, and efficiency. Choose a partner with technical skills, clear communication, and flexibility. 

Manage the relationship with defined outcomes, regular check-ins, and metrics tracking, while being prepared for communication and security challenges.

In short, DevOps outsourcing can be a game-changer if managed well. It’s all about finding the right partner and staying engaged in the process.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is all about bringing together the people who create software (developers) and the people who make sure it runs smoothly (operations). The main aim is to make these two groups work better together so that software can be delivered faster and with fewer problems.

DevOps is really about changing the culture – building trust, encouraging learning, and making sure everyone feels responsible for the software from start to finish.

A Brief History of DevOps

The concept of DevOps started to pick up around 2009, but its roots go back a bit earlier. Here’s a quick timeline:

  • Mid-2000s – Some companies start mixing system admins with software teams to get better teamwork.
  • 2007 – The first event that would lead to DevOps happens, starting a lot of conversations.
  • 2009 – The term “DevOps” is first used at an event in Belgium.
  • 2010 – A book called Continuous Delivery comes out, spreading the idea of updating software in a way that’s smooth and continuous.
  • 2013-2014 – A tool called Docker makes it easier to test and deliver software quickly.
  • 2016- Present – DevOps becomes a big deal for making sure software is secure, works well, and can be delivered fast. Now, lots of companies use it.

Over the years, what started as a new idea for a few tech companies has grown into a key approach for delivering software all over the world.

The Benefits of DevOps Outsourcing

Why Consider DevOps Outsourcing?

When you let another company handle your DevOps, there are some big pluses compared to trying to do it all in-house. 

Outsourcing DevOps offers cost savings by avoiding recruitment expenses, grants access to expert teams versed in the latest tools, enhances efficiency with streamlined processes and provides flexibility in team size adjustments.

Pros and Cons of DevOps Outsourcing
ProsCons
Saves money by skipping the cost of an in-house team.You don’t have as much direct control.
You get access to experts and the latest technology.Over time, it might end up costing more than having your own team.
Things get done faster, helping you get to market quicker.There might be some extra effort needed to communicate and coordinate.
You can easily change team size as needed.You might run into issues with different work cultures or time zones.
Lets your own team focus on what they do best.There’s a chance the work quality might not meet your standards.
Helps manage risks better.It might be hard to share what you know with them and learn from them.

Hiring outside DevOps engineers can give you access to top skills, save money, and make things more efficient. But, it’s also important to think about possible downsides like communication challenges and making sure the work quality is up to par. 

A good approach might be to have your own DevOps lead work closely with the outsourced team to fill in any skill gaps.

Selecting a DevOps Outsourcing Partner

Key Criteria for Evaluating DevOps Providers

When you’re checking out different companies to take care of your DevOps, here are some important things to look at:

Technical Expertise and Experience

How well do they understand the main parts of DevOps like CI/CD, infrastructure as code, and containerization? Do they have a good track record of setting up and managing DevOps for other businesses?

And, are they up to date with the latest tools and ways of doing things?

Communication and Collaboration

Do they have a clear plan for how they’ll talk to you and work with your team? Can they fit in well with how your business works?

Portfolio and Case Studies

Have they helped businesses like yours before? Can they show real results they’ve achieved, like making product releases faster or more reliable?

Service Offerings

What kinds of DevOps services do they offer? Can they adjust the size of their team based on what you need?

Looking at these areas will help you pick a company that can help you meet your DevOps goals and work well with your team.

Implementing a Successful DevOps Outsourcing Engagement

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Stages of the DevOps Workflow

The DevOps workflow is like a journey a project takes, with several important steps.

In software development, the process entails several stages: planning involves setting goals, listing tasks, and prioritizing them; coding sees developers writing and reviewing code; building integrates and verifies the code’s correctness; testing ensures functionality across various scenarios; releasing deploys changes to users; finally, monitoring maintains system health post-release.

For a smooth process, the company you hire to handle DevOps must work closely with your team at every step.

Managing an Outsourced DevOps Team

Working with a DevOps team from another company means you need to communicate well and keep things organized-

To ensure effective collaboration with outsourced DevOps teams: establish clear objectives, conduct daily standups for updates, review progress in sprint reviews, hold retrospectives for improvement, provide oversight aligned with goals, utilize project management tools for communication, and conduct thorough code reviews before deployment.

By keeping track of progress and maintaining open communication, your outsourced DevOps team can work effectively as part of your larger team.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Communication and Collaboration Strategies

Talking and working together well is key for any DevOps work you outsource.

For effective remote collaboration, you must conduct daily video meetings, centralize documents online, prioritize occasional in-person meetings for rapport-building and major planning, designate key contacts on both teams, utilize instant messaging for quick communication, and arrange visits to each other’s workplaces for better understanding.

Security and Compliance Considerations

When you give another company access to your DevOps, you need to be careful about keeping your information safe.

Ensure data protection: assess data sensitivity and apply appropriate safeguards, employ robust security measures such as VPNs and firewalls, establish clear data handling protocols, vet personnel accessing sensitive data, develop contingency plans for security breaches, adhere to industry-specific regulations, and conduct periodic audits to verify compliance and data safety measures.

Measuring Success

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DevOps Metrics and KPIs

To know if your outsourced DevOps is doing well, you should keep an eye on some specific numbers and goals, or what we call key performance indicators (KPIs). Here are a few things you might want to track:

Cycle Time

Evaluate how long it takes to go from starting work on a change to getting that change out to users and how often changes cause problems.

Seeing shorter times here means your DevOps team is making your workflow better.

Deployment Frequency

How many updates you can do in a day, week, or month, and how often you’re releasing new stuff?

If you’re doing updates more often, it means you’re able to make changes smoothly and safely.

Availability and Reliability

How often your services are up and running without problems and how fast you can fix things when they do go wrong?

If your services are mostly up and problems are fixed quickly, it means things are running well.

Security

How fast you can fix serious security problems and how many security gaps are found.

Quickly dealing with security issues is really important.

Cost Optimization

How much you’re spending on your systems over time and how much each update cost you.

Keeping costs in check while handling more work is a good sign.

You should talk about these KPIs in your regular team meetings to see if you need to make any changes. By keeping an eye on these numbers and comparing them to your goals, you can clearly see how well outsourcing your DevOps is working.

Conclusion

Outsourcing your DevOps work can help you out by giving you access to people who know a lot about it, making things run smoother, and even saving you some money. But, it’s not without its problems. You might find it hard to communicate, feel like you’re losing control over some things, and worry about the quality and safety of your work.

With the right partner and a good plan for working together, outsourcing DevOps can speed things up, make your systems more reliable, and help your team focus on what they’re best at. The trick is to make sure your team is ready to take charge of the results while getting the most out of your partner’s deep knowledge.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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