Breakthroughs in technology infrastructure space through the cloud is only the starting point of a massive shift, it is needless to say there will be a wide array of services & related competencies needed to make the shift. To embrace the change and leverage technological & cultural advancement, it is important to reshape IT services for the modern ecosystem. DevOps evangelists, start-ups and communities have crafted a path, but we need to look at setting the strategic direction, planning for next-generation operating models, and setting out for a multi-dimensional transformational journey.
In this blog we would like to dig deeper into the next-generation operating models, keeping in view the talent shortage, shortening the lifespan of DevOps tools and growing demand for new competencies. While exploring the new operating models, the goal is to make it simple, yet impactful for organizations to get around, experiment and explore new possibilities and avoid the hassle of looking out for a talent pool every time there is a new capability, tool or competence needed.
Looking ahead – Adding more people, more competencies or more certifications is unlikely to solve the competence gap in an already stretched demand-supply ecosystem. With more and more companies and industry segments moving into cloud computing and modern technology areas, the crisis will be deepened. To build a sustainable operating model, we must look at new opportunities for service providers, and outsourcing companies.
Exploring a new context for IT Service providers and an exciting operating model for the organization to look at, introducing innovative ways to engage with IT service providers, in the new context. Today, DevOps as a service might be at its inception stages and it has great promise. We have a number of options based on organization preference. Instead of using a service offering for one big transformation, or onboarding once in a year or once in a multi-year, why not have it as an option for a month or even a day? Let’s explore this further.
What is fueling the interest in DevOps as a Service
Many companies have embarked on the journey of next-generation IT services, and while we witness some commonalities in their journey and challenges which are fueling the need for DevOps as a Service model, especially
- Cost structure and the existing economics, we can’t keep adding up the fixed cost to products so the notion of having the right-sized team inhouse for building DevOps capability to support everything we do is highly unlikely to be achieved
- An array of competence and skill set are needed and the ever-increasing lead-time to onboard the required talent under one roof.
- It’s no longer about a non-Core function which was IT services, baked at the side with a bunch of in-house resources or outsourced for cost efficiency purposes. DevOps is needed and if not done right will impact revenue.
- Multiple independent and siloed initiatives inhouse, provides speed and focus to improve the existing setup but fails to organize themselves effectively for long-term sustainable impact
- Risk, the marketplace for DevOps tools is an attractive proposition but it brings challenges. Without focused control measurement, it is highly likely we would either create reliability issues or burnout /overhead within SRE & DevOps teams
Changing context, new opportunity for IT service providers
Traditionally the IT service providers have operated with M-Models and U-Models, it’s time for them to rethink that approach, long-term outsourcing contracts are less likely to happen. How do we onboard to a DevOps as a Service model then? What value creation is expected?
- Infinite bandwidth and Zero-latency – When we connect the demand and supply value chain in a T-Model approach like Uber, we create possibilities of the abundance of talent through optimal use. DevOps Engineers and SREs interact with potential clients through a digital platform.
- General Purpose Pipelines & Services – Some of the needs are fundamental, general-purpose, and reusable. These services provide horizontal support. Not every company should struggle to hire talent, there must be a better way to get this.
- Small and Medium Business Services – “Think small first” approach to technology onboarding and related services. The big companies have an unfair advantage and access to the talent pool, unfortunately, this poses a challenge to the survival of small/medium businesses
- High-performance Community collaboration hubs – Most will need a pulsating environment by, with, and for entrepreneurs. DevOps as a service with a community around it creates a possible futuristic approach.
Reshaping our operating Model to embrace DevOps as a Service
To ensure we move the needle in the right direction and shape up the operating model to embrace DevOps as a service, we need to be prepared to address some of the associated challenges, primarily cost structure & portfolio streamlining for such a service. Existing IT services companies could correlate the portfolios with the business need of different segments, some ideas to build upon this perspective are as follows
- DevOps as a service portfolio for small & medium enterprises may consist of special purpose DevOps services, express services, and expansion/modernization services. The monetization of such services should be proportionated to the number of users typically not hurting the margins for small businesses, a licensing model for such services could be experimented with based on several consumers rather than complex service contracts.
- DevOps as a service portfolio for mature enterprises may consist of an ‘innovator’, a ‘Centre of expertise’, and an ‘engine for change’. An outcome-based pricing model for such services based on “Enterprise Zones” or “Business Unit Zone”, from first generation to next generation and mapping the optimized outcome of each of the zones tangibly to cut the ‘long tail’ of under-performing business zones
- DevOps as a service portfolio for reliability & security may consist of a distinct emphasis on critical infrastructure for the regulated segment. Risk and reward sharing model. Strict SLAs and high focus on predicting, detecting and recovering.
- DevOps as a service portfolio for the Community may consist of free or subsidized offerings for community ventures. To broaden the services for the greater good.
Metrics & Service Levels for transforming IT service models
The choices of DevOps as a service portfolio are wide and at inception stages. Imagining the future of such service would mean we keep ourselves accountable to the business objective in the long term. Organizations will need to adapt to the changing demands, aspirations, and expectations of end users & our customers, with some key service level indicators in mind, outlined as follows
- Modularity, sharing, and reuse
- Responding in real-time to user demand
- Next–Generation Experience
- Reduced Risk
Shift towards a large proportion of DevOps as Service contracts to enhance the mobility of talent and make it accessible to all, might be the greater good in making. Radically dismantle the 9 to 5 model and create an ecosystem of user & customer-based services. We will explore more dimensions of DevOps as a Service in our next blog and stay tuned for an update from us, we always look for feedback – complete the survey and win to collaborate with our leadership team on the next blog