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Is DevOps the new outsourcing practice?

DevOps or outsourcing

DevOps or outsourcing

The erstwhile software revolution when it happened, brought in so much clarity and standards to how a software product must be produced, delivered and maintained. And, as these ideas and strategies grow stronger, standards are formed. But, like everything else, a shakedown happens once a while and something totally new gets created. This is the junction where enterprises and software houses are toying with such a movement. A movement called DO- DevOps.
For starters, DevOps (DO) has taken the market by storm, as these numbers show from a recent survey:

  1. 63% of respondents in a survey have adopted DO compared to 50% in 2011, that’s a 26% increase in DO adoption rate
  2. Increased agility and reliability across the software lifecycle
  3. Delivery routines increase with laser sharp precision – the throughput is more massive yet highly tuned
  4. Demand for DO keeps increasing across job postings

Today developers use CI – continuous integration/monitoring processes that helps them release builds fast and efficiently. So they need production environments that spring up and close down at the touch of a button or click because experiences are instantaneous and real-time. Running DevOps is the in-thing today in the software industry because it facilitates better application development and response, and is cheaper than other methods. Getting on the DevOps bandwagon means that you have a super-efficient, dedicated pipeline that spews out code and updates on a frequent basis. This pipeline is not limited to your enterprise but extends to third parties who you partner with as well, and that’s where the limitations start.

The most critical thing about DO is not just adapting to a standard, but ensuring collaboration and co-ordination between teams and processes happens all the time and knowing why it is done. The elements of change would revolve around People, Process and Technology.

People because this deals with a lot of culture/communication/demographic changes. A simple way to fix this at the onset is to have a common business objective trickling down to clear vision and mission across the board. This opportunity also gives you the time to pick the right resources for the job.

Process because it helps you to apply lean thinking to creating solutions, and as the methodology itself is lean and nimble, you get instantaneous feedback all the time. So you begin to see value in each of your interactions as they happen.

Technology because implementing commonly used tools and toolsets boosts productivity, learning curves are minimal and on boarding is fast. Moreover, today’s demanding software environments need production boxes to be spun up and down as fast as possible- moving to a situation where you have IAS (Infrastructure as Code) or Software defined environments.

Enterprises going the DevOps way need to coax and convince service providers they work with of the success of this model as they may not really want to switch over. They’d still be happy with traditional outsourcing.  The next bit with DevOps is that many large organizations have rigid process flows for software development and that has to be followed religiously. This mode of operation impacts a DevOps style as DO is nimble, agile and fast. Large organizations may simply not be able to adapt to the needs of a DevOps environment. There are also cultural, regional learning and unlearning to be done at many levels to enable a competent and nimble team – all of which may be difficult to implement over a large enterprise.

Barring these few niggles and issues, it’s almost like adopting DO means that the software industry is on steroids. And going by the way things are, it wouldn’t be surprising if DO becomes the new outsourcing. Currently all factors lead to it, and if these standards can be embraced and adopted at a global level, they pave the way for great software to be made and enjoyed. And, at the same time making that process a win-win for everyone.

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