17 Oct 2022

Market forces are demanding faster software development. DevOps is how companies of all sizes are able to keep up without sacrificing quality — but finding the right talent is still a challenge that needs to be resolved first by understanding what DevOps is and how it works.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a practice and organizational scheme that combines two formerly separate aspects of software product development: the actual development or writing of the code (Dev) and the associated IT operations (Ops) which includes testing, deployment, and updates. The benefit of a DevOps framework, over other software development practices is that it’s optimized for the extremely fast life cycle associated with many modern digital products and services. 

A fully realized DevOps program can appreciably shorten the time it takes to develop software while still maintaining high quality output. On a granular level, that means the actual time between when a change to a codebase is submitted to when it is accepted for production is decreased fast enough to enable continual improvement.

Agile, another popular software development approach, was the foundation on which DevOps originated and the two methodologies share a great deal of overlap. They both involve breaking down large problems into smaller batches and are bottom-up practices where flexibility and regular input from the engineers on the front lines is critical. Projects with a strictly defined scope that don’t require accelerated development or continual updates are better suited to more linear frameworks, such as a waterfall model where each phase of development is dependent on deliverables from a preceding phase.

DevOps Principles

  • Short Feedback Loops: Input from engineers and end users is integrated back into the development process on a regular basis.

  • Parallel Development: Development and operations engineers work in unison, collaborating throughout the product’s lifecycle.

  • Breaking Silos: Barriers to information sharing between discrete departments working on the product are systematically removed.

  • Continuous Improvement and Adaptation: Automation, user feedback, and accelerated development are leveraged to create products that are dynamic and add new functionality and UX (User Experience) enhancements over time.

  • Sprints: The use of multiple, short cycles of development, typically on platforms optimized for speed, experimentation, and modularity (such as containers).

Should I Outsource DevOps?

Naturally, every organization wants to produce high quality products that are aligned with customer and market needs and expectations for quality and functionality. DevOps can help make that happen but the skills associated with it are in extremely high demand right now. Those skills have to cover the entire software lifecycle from initial designs to development through to release and support. Even globe-spanning enterprises are struggling to hire enough experienced engineers right now, and the costs of building a new team from scratch can be out of reach for small and medium sized businesses (SMB). 

Given these challenges, building a DevOps team from scratch, even for well resourced companies, is a complex undertaking — and that’s also why outsourcing DevOps, either for a single project or on an ongoing DaaS (DevOps as a Service) basis, is a smart decision for many organizations. Properly implemented, DevOps can lead to a deployment frequency that is a hundred times faster than traditional development frameworks with quicker recovery times and fewer change failures.

With support from an outsourced DevOps team, even SMBs can transform what was once a months-long process to create a new software product into a daily release cycle, which gets them to market faster than competitors and ensures they are always developing features that are a good fit for their target audience.

Projects Suited to DevOps

  • - Fast-paced with an open scope at the outset

  • - Requiring continual updates 

  • - Likely to see a major change in the future

  • - Delivered as a service

Going without DevOps can mean losing ground to more nimble competitors. Choosing to build a DevOps team entirely in house means losing time to make that transition and taking ownership of all the costs and responsibilities associated with it, such as rolling out new workplaces and devices, onboarding new employees, dealing with turnover of skilled team members, and implementing cultural changes within the organization that foster parallel, collaborative development. 

Outsourced teams allow companies to access all the benefits of DevOps far faster than they can on their own because of the wealth of experience and expertise they bring and their familiarity with integrating quickly with a diverse array of partners. They also enable scalability that in-house teams can’t match. When the scope of a single project grows or shrinks, most companies can’t simply hire and fire their own people in response, but they can easily scale up and down their outsourcing commitment.

Summing Up

DevOps helps software makers produce higher quality products with the shortest time-to-market possible by breaking down traditional barriers between development and operations with new lines of communication and collaboration. It’s also creating opportunities for organizations to solicit feedback from end users which informs iterative and continual improvement of the product.

Outsourced DevOps, in particular, is a smart approach to scalably and efficiently responding to a fast changing, dynamic marketplace that expects top quality software products that change and grow in real time.

Getting DevOps Right with Unosquare

Unosquare has Subject Matter Expertise in DevOps and a Center of Excellence that can help you build or improve your practice. If you need help with creating a mature DevOps practice, we can help. Here at Unosquare, we have over 2,000 completed projects and over 600 engineers. We also have more than 120 distributed teams.

Our company knows what it takes to meet and exceed project needs. Want to learn more about what Unosquare can do for your company? Check out our blog to get more information on what we do and our expertise