Transitioning to a DevOps process allows your organization to transform its workflow for the better and can have a great impact on morale, your bottom line and customer satisfaction. But it’s not something to be done lightly or without research. It’s a great idea to bring in help with your DevOps transition. You supply the experts on your company and reach out to experts for DevOps. An experienced hand can help you realize and implement all the benefits of DevOps. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a DevOps firm to partner with:
1. Vendor Communication
A DevOps process transition can’t be completed without good communication. While doing your due diligence in interviewing prospective partners, pay attention to how well they communicate with you, with each other and with any other vendors or employees with whom they have contact. Even if a company has all the right tools, methods and philosophies, your transition will fail without good communication.
Does the DevOps firm respond in a timely manner? Do they listen to your questions and concerns and respond clearly? If you’re having trouble understanding each other now, it’s likely not to get any better under stress and complications. When checking on references for the firm, make sure to ask about their communication style.
2. Tech Skills and Experience
You want to make sure any company you consider has the technical skills, tools and experience you will need for a smooth DevOps transition. Ask how many DevOps transitions they’ve completed. Talk to their employees, not just their sales person, about what their skills and strengths are. In addition to having experience with Agile and DevOps, they should have experience in your industry and the area of your company you plan to start with, such as accounting, sales etc.
One red flag is when a company appears to have one expert in relevant fields. If “John” is a company superstar and everyone else are just supporting players, what will happen to your transition if “John” were to find a new job? One of the benefits of outsourcing is getting the variety of skill and talent another company can offer. The qualifications you’re looking for should be a core competency of the company.
3. Firm Location
Maybe they don’t have to be local, but you need to consider the time zone of any firm you partner with for a DevOps transition. Your business may also be more comfortable with a local firm. If you have members who are hesitant about moving to a DevOps philosophy, it might help to have someone who can physically come to your location. If that’s not necessary and the company is in a different time zone, make sure you discuss meeting and work times before signing on with them. While your firm should ideally meet your schedule’s needs, things do come up. What’s more, asking your possibly already skeptical team to adjust their schedules for the transition will not help you with buy-in.
4. Firm Size
This can be very important. A partner that is too small won’t be able to properly cater to your company’s needs. You may be stuck waiting for responses or work to be done which can put your whole project on hold. But a firm that is too large may not see your organization as important enough in their overall customer base. You will not get top tier talent or attention if you’re too small for them. Your employees may encounter what feels like arrogance and neglect. Look for that “Goldilocks” firm—one that’s just right for your needs. Make sure to get an idea of their customer base and employee numbers. You want to find the perfect balance in size to match your needs.
Phil is Aspirant's Technology Director with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.