DevOps as a Service: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

January 21, 2020 | by Krittika Banerjee | Posted In DevOps

DevOps as a Service: The Good, Bad and Ugly

With cloud going mainstream, almost every aspect of business computing can be transformed into a service for enterprise consumption. DevOps as a Service essentially refers to the transfer of the infrastructure and tools used in build, test, and deployment processes to the cloud, effectively making DevOps itself a managed cloud service. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what such a move means for your organization by sorting out the good, the bad, and the ugly.

DevOps in the cloud: How the game is changing

DevOps is essentially about streamlining the entire software delivery lifecycle in order to speed productivity and efficiency. DevOps amalgamates so well with cloud technologies and services because the latter provides a centralized platform to automate the process of building, managing and provisioning through code, thereby enabling the creation of distinctly repeatable processes that eliminate potential human error and accelerate software delivery. It is no coincidence that research from DORA’s 2019 State of DevOps report indicates a clear link between cloud adoption and improved DevOps success. Cloud also ensures centralized governance and control for a robust DevOps process. Another advantage is that it facilitates easy tracking of resources while providing users the flexibility to make adjustments as needed. 

However, the benefits from leveraging DevOps in the cloud aren’t automatically derived. It calls for a well thought out strategy and plan to attain your objectives and avoid common pitfalls. A lot of businesses leverage the services of a reliable DevOps as a Service provider who can lend their expertise to your project from the beginning.

DevOps as a Service: The good

As in other cases, one of the key benefits of this approach is that you can work with a partner who is more experienced and skilled at DevOps, having worked on multiple projects across industries. You gain instant access to development best practices, so you don’t have to start from scratch. This provides you improved flexibility and saves your efforts and time through accelerated development frameworks, continuous monitoring, and testing. A dedicated third-party provider can also provide the mentorship to enable your internal team to master your new DevOps tools and systems and point out various potential problems and pitfalls, so you can avoid costly mistakes along the way.  

DevOps as a Service: The bad

DevOps is a broad and ambiguous concept. It is an aspect of how IT services are delivered rather than a stand-alone IT function; so engaging a third-party provider can become a tricky exercise. The first big question is, can an organization that hasn’t adopted DevOps internally leverage its strategic and tactical advantages simply by handing over DevOps infrastructure to an external partner? The answer is both yes and no. DevOps consists of a broad range of practices, some of which can add value in isolation. However, in such cases, the business benefits will be limited. In order for an organization to fully optimize DevOps, an internal culture shift is imperative. While tools and practices are essential for DevOps implementation, a successful transition starts with changing the core mindset of how traditional silos and bureaucratic hurdles are eliminated within your organization. 

Some experts also believe that there are various aspects that can’t be completely handed over to a third-party provider. For DevOps to succeed, there is a need for tight integration between disparate and complex entities. Your in-house teams still must handle the intricacies of integration and workflow orchestration. It’s also complex to manage security challenges, especially in regulated industries.  Using cloud services can result in unnecessary exposure in the the transport layer between the enterprise and its DevOps as a Service provider, which can lead to man-in-the-middle attacks and other spoofs.

DevOps as a Service: The ugly

What’s ugly about this model is the confusion and ambiguity that stems from ignorance around the concept. Too much is in the details and between the lines. 

It therefore becomes important to understand what specific problems you are trying to solve and then define your partner agreement in line with your end objectives. It needs to be a partnership where both sides are aligned on what they are trying to achieve. A partner agreement that is not clearly defined can derail a relationship that has all the right methods and tools in place for success. Conversely, if your end objectives are well defined, you can overcome any number of unforeseen issues along the way.

For organizations that want to enjoy the advantages of DevOps but haven’t yet, aligning with a qualified DevOps as a Service provider is certainly worth considering. By choosing the right managed services provider, you can ensure optimum use of your internal resources while taking all of the advantages of the cloud. Done naively, however, it could be the perfect recipe for disaster.

Talk to our DevOps experts today to find out how we can help you improve business agility through our services and solutions!