Speed is everything in the modern business world – and DevOps is quickly emerging as the elixir that enables IT organizations across every industry to operate at higher speeds with excellent outcomes, greater agility, and fewer headaches. But unfortunately, building quality teams has proven to be the hardest part of adopting a DevOps culture in the U.S. – as spiking demand and a national IT talent shortage make hiring experienced resources a challenge.
Outsourcing DevOps to a reputable nearshore provider can deliver the deep experience, skilled resources, and cultural alignment that enterprises need to achieve peak performance in today’s competitive markets. In this first installment of our two-part series on nearshoring DevOps, we will explain why outsourcing tumbles the biggest barrier to successful DevOps implementations.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where we will show why nearshore DevOps solutions offer the biggest benefits for U.S. enterprises.
What is DevOps?
At its core, DevOps is a set of best practices that improves IT productivity and delivers higher-quality software through a continuous delivery system. It’s based on the philosophy that removing traditional barriers between specialists involved at different stages of a software development cycle will catch issues earlier and speed time to market.
DevOps replaces traditional development, operations, and Quality Assurance (QA) silos with cross-functional teams. It relies on Lean principles and Agile methodology to create a single, nimble system that streamlines operations, speeds the development of new software, improves data security, and better aligns with business goals.
Cloud-centric service management empowers developers to respond to business needs in near real-time. Manual processes are automated whenever possible to speed deployments and improve metrics reporting.
Getting new features out faster as markets evolve – and being early to market – delivers a clear competitive advantage. Forrester Research reports that 50% of IT organizations are actively implementing or expanding DevOps services, and another 36% aim to adopt them in the future.
While many IT Departments struggle to find the resources to implement DevOps effectively. Partnering with a quality nearshore DevOps provider delivers the tools, talent, and expertise organizations need to instantly reimagine their development cycles and quickly bring new ideas to life.
Scarce DevOps resources drive need for new talent pools
Despite the growing interest in embracing a DevOps culture, qualified DevOps resources are notoriously scarce in the U.S. Nearly 60% of enterprises say hiring DevOps talent poses a significant challenge, according to the 2020 Upskilling Enterprise DevOps report.
DevOps roles require advanced skillsets – it takes at least five years of experience spread across development and operations to become a successful DevOps engineer, Fortune magazine reports. In an IT market already suffering a severe labor shortage, Indeed ranks DevOps engineers among the top three hardest IT jobs to fill in North America.
Sky-high turnover is another concern, with 48% of organizations saying they struggle to retain DevOps resources, states the Upskilling report. Companies that do manage to hire pay top dollar: Fortune states it’s not unusual for experienced DevOps engineers to command salaries of $200,000 or more.
The IT outsourcing market was already at a five-year high before COVID-19 – driven largely by the need to sharpen IT’s focus on innovation by offloading low-value work. But the pandemic also accelerated the need for enterprises to leverage highly skilled outsourcers to fill the widening IT skills gap and optimize IT with best practices like DevOps that boost modernization and speed growth. Nearly half of businesses report plans to outsource more than insource IT functions over the next 18 months.
The pandemic proved that remote work can deliver exceptional results built on a foundation of automation and orchestration, DevOps is perfect for outsourcing – rendering side-by-side collaboration unnecessary and offering greater visibility into remote work.
This forced experiment with a remote work model also helped erode the skepticism some companies held about the ability of outsourced teams to work successfully from different locations. In a survey of 800 employers by HR consulting firm Mercer, 94% reported productivity levels remained the same or higher than before the pandemic – despite shifting to a remote workforce.
Further urgency was created for companies to adopt technology like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams that improve communication and collaboration from a distance. In fact, EY found that remote work delivered a renewed boost to cooperation and cohesion – and instilled the flexibility to deal with unexpected events in the future.
In the wake of COVID-19, Gartner reports that 74% of companies plan to permanently shift at least some operations to a remote model. Attitudes about hiring are fundamentally changing as employers realize physically working side-by-side isn’t necessary for high performance opening up new pools of talent for scarce resources like DevOps.
Service model matters when outsourcing DevOps
When implemented properly, outsourcing DevOps can give organizations instant access to highly skilled resources with the tools and experience to hit the ground running – while also avoiding the headache and expense of building an in-house team. Exceptional DevOps providers function as a seamless extension of your IT Department, offering three options for supporting continuous delivery, testing, and integration:
- Full DevOps support, aka DevOps as a Service (DaaS). The outsourcer assumes full ownership of building automation across the environment, working side-by-side with developers and managing the day-to-day. This model maximizes the benefit of the provider’s expertise and cost savings.
- Outsourcing operations management (SREOPS) while in-house teams focus on higher-value work like maturing the DevOps practice and automation.
- Outsourcing automation to a provider with the skillsets and experience to achieve fast results.
Exceptional DevOps partner can help organizations compete in today’s fast-paced markets
Gartner predicts that 75% of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to IT skills gaps this year. Exceptional nearshore DevOps providers give U.S. enterprises access to a new high-tech talent pool – allowing them to maintain and mature their practice without the pain points of carrying in-house teams. Outsourcing also provides the flexibility to scale resources up and down as needed, delivering additional cost savings.
The advanced skillsets required to provide exceptional DevOps support means the location of the partner you choose can also make or break your project. Western organizations initially attracted to the cheap costs of offshore models like India and the Philippines are rethinking their outsourcing strategy as they realize significant risks often accompany the low price.
Stay tuned for the second installment in our two-part series, where we reveal the reasons nearshore DevOps makes the most sense for U.S. organizations.