The ReleaseTEAM Blog: Here's what you need to know...
Staffing Your DevOps Project or Team on a Budget
One of the many complexities involved with adopting a DevOps strategy is finding the right development operations resources. As the philosophy merges the intricacies of the build, test, stage, release, and monitoring tasks by using powerful automations in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), experienced resources are hard to find. If your agency or organization faces budgetary constraints (as most do), then this becomes more difficult as dedicated resources don’t come cheap either.
For most organizations, deciding when to source a DevOps engineer is the primary concern. Usually, team leads will divvy up related tasks at the start of the project among the existing developers and IT operations departments. As the product and processes evolve to where operational requirements take up too much time, the company will look to find a dedicated individual. While this makes sense when under budgetary pressure, agencies will soon discover that it’s not a sustainable approach.
The Challenges with In-House DevOps Implementations
To implement a DevOps strategy correctly within any agency or public entity requires a steep learning curve. Often by assigning DevOps related tasks to traditional software engineers, the project will run into unexpected snags and encounter issues that an experienced DevOps consultancy would have easily avoided.
The primary benefit that comes from experience is knowing which tools best solve the problems faced during the DevOps lifecycle. If software engineers are manually provisioning infrastructure and updating configurations, the team will soon discover that variations and errors will creep into the system. The additional stress that comes from the constant context switching will also lead to an unhappy workforce, and the entity can expect an increase in staff turnover.
The Cost of Getting DevOps Right from the Start
DevOps provides massive ROI to organizations simply as it continuously eliminates repetitive tasks from the Application Lifecycle Model (ALM). When the number of hours spent on manually doing things starts decreasing exponentially, is when you know that your DevOps strategy is succeeding. This is exactly how organizations should approach the funding problem when justifying the cost of the additional resources.
A Puppet Report from The State of DevOps in 2016 found that high-performing organizations deployed 200 times more than their peers, and the average cost per downtime was $2.75M less than lower-performing entities (companies that deployed only seven times per year). With these kinds of ROI, finding money in the budget for an expert DevOps resource should be a priority.
The Zero to DevOps Hero Hiring Approach
For entities with zero expertise, the best approach is to bring in a DevOps consultancy that has years of experience. The consultant will assess the systems, processes, tools, and resources to build a roadmap for going forward. Once the roadmap is developed, the consultancy can augment the staff in order to build the solutions. As the embedded engineers work with the employees daily, in-house resources will gain both exposure and have access to expert advice on every element of the new tools and processes deployed.
For organizations that opt instead to hire a dedicated resource, the initial costs will be much greater. An experienced DevOps resource’s salary is roughly $100,000 per year, with recruitment fees not included. For public entities with static budgets, it could easily prevent any new initiative from gaining ground. Estimations from the Puppet Report show that the timeframe with a dedicated in-house resource to provide adequate ROI to the organization is nine months. That’s a long time before any actual value becomes evident within the agency.
ReleaseTEAM’s DevOps Staffing Solutions
ReleaseTEAM can provide staffing options for every stage in the DevOps adoption project. That includes the initial implementation, daily operations, emergency support as well as tool upgrades or migrations. With services that include staff augmentation, mentoring, or training the trainer, ReleaseTEAM will find a cost-effective solution for your DevOps implementation project.