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Managed DevOps services or in-house DevOps: Which is best?

A successful DevOps adoption requires significant time and resources. That is why organizations use managed DevOps services to streamline the process -- but is it still DevOps?

The adoption of DevOps by organizations signals the growing dominance of applications, microservices and CI/CD within current IT environments. A successful DevOps initiative improves company culture and process management, paving the way for more efficient resource distribution and better products.

However, adoption requires significant IT assessment, development analysis and implementation strategies. To face deployment challenges, companies must decide whether to use their internal IT resources and build DevOps from within or outsource to a DevOps-as-a-service (DaaS) platform. To make this decision, let's explore the benefits of managed DevOps services and consider whether a subscription approach is comparable to a custom, in-house DevOps approach.

The benefits of DevOps

DevOps offers a methodology to link processes, IT teams and technologies to provide continuous delivery of IT services. Whether it's software engineering, system administration or quality assurance, DevOps ensures close communication between programming and operational teams to accelerate software deployment and improve product delivery.

Launching a customized DevOps approach requires dedicated time, well-planned deployment strategies and financing. Typically, an in-house DevOps engineer manages the CI/CD pipeline, applies automation to remove bottlenecks, addresses migration and legacy issues, interacts with operations and documents everything for future reference. Along with dynamic Agile development cycles and continuous monitoring, companies can track their code with version control and manage configurations systematically.

Developers and operations must commit equally to create a collaborative environment in which Agile development can flourish.

The goal is to establish a reciprocal IT culture that uses CI/CD to streamline execution, eliminate rework, monitor productivity and optimize resource distribution. To ensure success, developers and operations must commit equally to create a collaborative environment in which Agile development can flourish.

Slow Waterfall processes and workforce resistance to change can hamper DevOps adoptions. A report from Mabl found that only 11% of organizations that have undertaken DevOps have achieved fully automated pipelines.

Why companies choose a DaaS approach

Along with the ability to monitor and log development processes, track code and document changes, companies have the potential to scale on multiple tiers and undertake automation wherever needed. These prerequisites suggest why some organizations choose a managed DevOps platform approach.

Vendors address the specific needs of their customers and offer readiness assessments, configuration options and process management, along with mobile accessible tools, infrastructure as code and 24/7 monitoring.

In-house administrators gain mentoring and guidance from specialists and engineers who not only share knowledge and practice, but also provide clear documentation for future automation. As a result, organizations can implement a full DevOps ecosystem quickly and employ pre-tested, integrated tools and cloud-based components.

Another critical advantage of managed DevOps services is greater visibility across cloud environments to gain a contextual understanding of all development-related events and processes. A unified platform with centralized communication enables the management of all DevOps processes and workloads under the same framework. Platform adoption frees up IT groups to focus more on application performance and product support.

Finally, a cloud-based approach offers the efficiency levels required to expand DevOps teams as needed, as well as development processes. However, while cloud delivery remains a critical differentiator, it also exposes security vulnerabilities. Both overpermissive access policies and inadvertent data leaks pose critical dangers. For example, the massive data leak in 2017 by Tata, the multinational conglomerate, illustrates a DevOps deficiency, along with smaller data breaches that don't make headline news.

But is it DevOps?

The question remains as to whether cloud-delivered and managed DevOps services represent a true DevOps approach to software delivery -- the answer is yes.

Whether considering a managed DevOps platform or establishing an in-house, custom DevOps approach, the same prerequisites apply. Along with a basic understanding of key DevOps principles, organizations need familiarity with systems integration, process workflows and software development tools. For managed DevOps adoptions, organizations can't create a production environment that doesn't already have DevOps fundamentals in place.

Agile capabilities and a collaborative IT culture represent key building blocks. A trusted DevOps service provider can shorten the process of team training and enable companies to benefit quickly from a DevOps approach. Once a platform is integrated, it's up to IT leaders to build awareness of the CI/CD potential and to build a culture that uses managed DevOps tools, reduces rework and increases productivity.

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