When it comes to systems development, today’s applied use of DevOps represents a number of enterprise challenges. At an esoteric level, many bumps in the road associate themselves with characteristics regarding the “human condition”, and its tendency to defend against cultural change as a matter of organizational “tradition.” In this event, and if one has the time, the dual management traits of patience and education usually achieve the most satisfying outcomes. However, when facing a commercial need to establish better ways to up-scale software platforms quickly, ensure end-to-end quality assurance, and sustain daily operations in real-time; the best course is to engage a devops consulting service to help the enterprise find its way. Consequently, then, if you are facing this challenge, here are five central criteria necessary to hire a top DevOps consulting company.
Extended DevOps Capabilities
Depending on the scale and characteristics of a particular enterprise’s needs, the ability to acknowledge and accept new technical innovations can become either a helpmate, or a hindrance, particularly when a devops effort is on the table. Given that today’s economic environment is fraught with risk-management minefields, it is best to ensure that any devops company is able to provide turn-key servicing including:
- Full-span enterprise feasibility studies
- The development of formal systems requirements
- Current and projected lifecycle analyses
- Workforce stability analyses
- Best practices policy development
- Comprehensive needs analyses
- Follow-on next-steps analyses
- Planning associated with necessary systems goals
- End-to-end systems design
- Enterprise-wide training programs
- Launch and implementation planning
- Active project management
- Post-implementation mentoring
- Retro-training as necessary
- Contracted, or demand-based, support as desired
The DevOps consulting discipline is quite discrete, and entirely driven by the specifics of a particular process methodology. Therefore, enterprise’s who engage devops companies expect professionals to harbor significant direct knowledge, supported by deep levels of practical experience.
Because the devops methodology calls for completely synchronized collaboration between IT development, quality assurance and operations, it is also expected that the best devops consultants will exhibit a fair degree of flexibility when it comes to direct mentoring, in order to quickly resolve any mis-understandings between the necessary trio of technical participants.
Again, the latter trait also applies in terms of practical experience, since simply being adept at delivering a set of methodologies as a scientific lexicon provides for only half of the business value, unless successful applications are proven over time.
As discussed earlier, efficient devops consulting services must offer a clear cultural sensitivity toward the client enterprise. This means that not only does the consulting firm must acknowledge the company’s particular operating culture; but it must be able divine various behavioral traits of the workforce as a whole, and if problematic, mitigate them accordingly.
This characteristic is best understood by the term “learning a company,” and while many consultants manage to get away with simply papering over the details of a particular enterprise culture, when it comes to devops specifically, no such weakness can be tolerated due to the collaborative nature of the methodology.
Therefore, the best devops firms spend more time learning “how and why” a company communicates within its own cultural framework rather than acting too quickly, or as the venerable might suggest “measure twice; cut once”; since in the end of the day, successful devops implementations are driven by people not systems.
Sensitivity to Client Response
As previously suggested, successful devops efforts call for an intellectual bias toward people, not systems. Consequently, successful employment of the methodology tends to require extended hand-holding, until an implementation is completely established on the straight and narrow.
Consequently, devops consulting is largely validated on the basis of quick response to a problem, or the lack thereof. Ultimately, then, premier consultants lean forward whenever possible, and if this means that an issue emerges at zero dark thirty; then so be it.
Regardless of today’s tendency toward utilizing an Angie’s List approach when canvassing for a reputable top devops consulting company, smart enterprise manager’s talk to friends, colleagues, and even competitor’s, in order to ensure that a selection decision is clearly understood, and proven as a matter of fact, not conjecture.
Although these five elements are not going provide for a complete understanding of how a devops consulting firm may, or may not, play into one’s own enterprise plans; they will allow for a starting point that is both well-considered and prudent.