Technology has changed the way consumers interact with products. It has also modified the way we deliver value, with a focus on immersive and engaging products. But how can you ensure innovation, disruption, and digital transformation in today’s fast-moving world? DevOps practices, Lean thinking, and IT outsourcing teams are a few of the tools that can be used to push your company forward in a high-tech business environment.
Living up to your customers’ expectations is a grueling process when you lack the tools to tackle technical challenges, the speed to outpace competitors, and the time to plan out your business strategy. Implementing DevOps practices will provide you with all of this and more.
In order to seize market opportunities, you need to start from the inside out and build an internal culture of collaboration centered on Lean thinking and an Agile mindset that focuses on continuous improvement. It is also necessary to back all of this theory up with a solid IT system that supports your business processes. This is what DevOps practices will help you achieve and IT outsourcing can quickly provide you with IT talent when time is crucial.
“It’s not just about development and operations collaborating, it’s getting every silo, every part of the business, of the enterprise and the organization collaborating to meet business goals.” Patrick Debois (Interview published by BMC)
If you want to scale up your business you should first learn about DevOps and how it will influence your company. You should also ask where you will get your extra manpower and where it will come from (either from internal recruitment or IT Outsourcing) and whether or not this extra manpower will be able to implement DevOps practices.
Defining DevOps practices
DevOps is a set of practices and a culture, both of which encourage teams and business owners to strive for continuity at every stage of their product’s journey. It puts automation at the core of ITOps to fuel business-focused development, deployment and IT infrastructure management.
DevOps practices are based on Agile and Lean principles and apply throughout the entire product development lifecycle. These practices are applicable when coming up with your initial idea, throughout development and release, to product improvement and adaptation. DevOps combines people, processes and technology to support robust product development and minimize time to market and time to value.
The foundation of DevOps is based on collaboration. Specifically the collaboration between business owners and the development, operations and quality assurance teams. All of these groups need to work together as a tight unit if you want to deliver value-added technology in a continuous and consistent manner. It takes a lot of different resources to quickly and accurately identify customers’ needs while remaining flexible enough to make rapid adjustments.
“An organization that has figured out that it will be learning and will need to continuously be improving collaboration between people with different skills in order to improve their quality, whether they call it DevOps or not, is probably one that has truly adopted DevOps.” Kris Buytaert (Interview published by Linux.org)
How will your business benefit from implementing DevOps practices?
DevOps is all about automation and end-to-end collaboration. It eliminates communication barriers and enables employees to identify needed changes earlier and to react to these needs much faster. This collaboration will help you produce a better product development roadmap and will give you significant advantages:
Product-centric added value
Resource optimization in terms of costs, time spent, and people involved
Streamlined development processes that reduce technical debt through improved waste management
Faster alignment to the latest tech trends by implementing Infrastructure as Code and automating update / upgrade tasks
Proactive continuous monitoring performed automatically, which ensures faster reaction to technical challenges and more reliable software
Customer-centric added value
Improved delivery capabilities that allow you to deliver more often and reduce the time it takes for an idea to enter into production
Enhanced customer experience through quick feedback-gathering mechanisms
More opportunities to innovate by automatically testing your product in its early stages of development and collecting market responses to tailor it accordingly
“Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.” Bill Gates
A study conducted by the SANS Institute concludes that DevOps-enabled processes outperform traditional development methods in many respects:
200x more deployments, with cycle times reduced from 9-12 months to 1 day
24x faster recovery in case of infrastructure failure, also DevOps teams fail 1/3 as often
29% more time spent on new work and 22% less time on unplanned work
Learn more about DevOps and Continuous Monitoring
Why consider IT outsourcing?
IT Outsourcing is a solution that companies of any size use when they feel overwhelmed by technology advances or financial challenges. However, IT Outsourcing does not need to be considered a last resort, but rather a high-value strategy that you should consider at the very beginning of your project.
Outsourcing gives you a proven competitive edge in terms of time-to-market, costs and technical skills. It also opens up an array of services to support or complement your product development. By outsourcing your project you will be able to:
Set up an efficient kick-off process that will get your project up and running in 2 weeks or less
Access in-demand profiles such as DevOps Engineers or others that your team is lacking
Bypass a lengthy recruitment process, with outsourcing it is possible to ramp up a team in just 2 weeks
Reduce IT-related costs by up to 40% depending on the location you choose and the specifics of your project
Reinforce your product vision and branding with growth hacking strategies: for example, some IT service providers can supply strategic design, digital marketing, content writing and other related services
Learn more about why IT outsourcing is a perfect solution for developing an MVP
DevOps outsourcing: destination South America
When searching for outsourced DevOps experts you need to ensure that they are in a location that will be easy to communicate with. Consequently, this makes nearshore locations the best solution. For companies based in Europe, countries like Romania, Poland, Bulgaria or Moldova are good options that give significant advantages in terms of costs, software quality and tech skill availability.
But if you are based in the US these locations represent offshore alternatives. For companies in the United States that are trying to find a nearshore location for their DevOps outsourcing project the best option is to look towards South America. Many South American countries are making efforts to increase their competitiveness and attractiveness of their services.
One such example is Uruguay, a country that has occupied the first position in the Latin Technology Index for several years in a row. Uruguay has been rated the 1st software exporter in Latin America and is one of the most advanced development centers in the region.
Source: Uruguay Smart Services
Uruguay is considered an IT hot spot in South America with a dynamic tech industry and strong academic environment to support it. The country’s low cost and high value creates a welcoming business environment for both tech giants and innovative startups.
Uruguay is in the GMT-3 time zone which makes it highly accessible to the East Coast of the US. It is only 1 hour ahead of New York and Boston. It is also easy to collaborate with teams in Uruguay if you are based in the UK or other West European countries as the time zone difference allows for about 4 common working hours.
Although Uruguay doesn’t stand out as an optimal location for huge 500-1000 people projects, the available talent pool is highly diverse. There are enough resources to build small and mid-sized teams in just a few weeks and it is easy to find in demand profiles such as DevOps Engineers.
Furthermore, the country has one of the fastest Internet connections in the western hemisphere and is the best in South America.
Uruguay fosters a stable political and economic environment, ranking first among all the Latin American countries in the Democracy Index and Low Corruption Index. The country also occupies the 2nd position in the Global Peace Index and has the second highest GDP per capita in South America.
Learn more about outsourcing to South America
Case study: DevOps for Continuous IT Monitoring
At Pentalog, one of our engagements as DevOps practitioners is to provide 24/7 system availability which we achieve through automation. This allows us to take a Continuous Monitoring approach to IT infrastructure management that our clients have been particularly satisfied with. Our teams of DevOps Engineers in Uruguay, Romania and Vietnam have joined forces to supervise production and development environments by utilizing time zone differences to our clients’ advantage, allowing them to cover a broader range of working hours.
Increase in IT system resilience
The story of one of our clients, a digital imaging specialist, speaks for itself: When this client began their project they had 2 people working in night shifts, striving to fill a time gap that was essential to their ITOps without managing to make any major improvement in terms of system availability. After choosing to outsource their DevOps practices they have significantly increased their resilience capacity and have managed to ensure 24h Continuous Monitoring of their IT system without forcing people work overtime or on night shifts. They gained time and saved money and they are now able to act proactively rather than reactively to ITOps challenges.
24/7 IT system supervision
Another client of ours, a provider of SaaS solutions for the retail industry, had a similar experience. Their primary need was 24h supervision for their IT system. How did they achieve it? By extending their ITOps with teams working in different time zones: Vietnam and Uruguay. Choosing 2 complementary destinations for their DevOps outsourcing needs resulted in more flexibility and wider coverage. It resulted in a more reliable IT system that could be restored faster and much easier. Although it wasn’t their primary objective, their collaboration with Uruguay and Vietnam also meant competitive prices and significant cost reductions for their ITOps.
IT infrastructure tune up
Another major intervention of Pentalog’s DevOps teams focused on tuning up the IT infrastructure of a provider of education solutions for healthcare professionals. Their platform was running on an outdated platform deployed on individual physical servers for each platform component (web, database etc). This significantly lowered its availability and created significant security risks. Their infrastructure was neither fault-tolerant nor scalable.
Our solution was to transfer their existing IT infrastructure on AWS as well as to ensure complete platform virtualization and module clustering in order to increase platform availability. We paired up our migration services with a 24/7 monitoring service by involving three of our DevOps teams in Romania, Vietnam and Uruguay. Their new platform is now more dynamic and significantly more scalable and has successfully adapted to handling an increased number of visitors. Maintenance tasks such as upgrades or specific deployments became easier to perform with minimum downtime and a minimal impact on platform continuity.
Development assistance and emergency monitoring
Another client of ours, an e-commerce business in the wine industry, chose our DevOps services for two specific interventions: DevOps assistance for developers via a team in Romania and 24/7 emergency monitoring through the collaboration with three of our teams in Romania, Vietnam and Uruguay. By applying DevOps, multiple platform actions have been automated. This has led our client to optimize their server architecture and hosting costs, as well as their overall infrastructure management costs. It has also allowed them to react promptly in critical situations.
What about your story? Does your Dev team still handle a lot of manual work to deliver quality software? Is your company in need of a more reliable IT infrastructure to support your growth strategy? Are you a forward-thinker looking for ways to scale up your business?
To fuel your growth, one thing is sure: “The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don’t react to it decades later. You can’t fight innovation.” Ryan Kavanaugh
Contact us today to learn more about growth hacking with DevOps practices and IT outsourcing to South America.
If you enjoyed this article, read more about the author, Aymeric LIBEAU.