DevOps is highly popular among enterprises that are ramping up innovation, optimization, and effectiveness. However, some businesses need help to achieve the anticipated DevOps-enabled business outcomes. So, the question is–what DevOps practices can help you achieve the highest performance? And one of the answers to this question is leveraging DevOps consulting services from a trusted vendor.
With the help of DevOps consulting services, you will be able to achieve sustainable business results, maximize the value of your tech investments, fuel innovation, and more. However, finding a reliable vendor can be complicated if you want to cover a specific consulting request.
In this article, you will discover the major difference between DevOps consultancy and DevOps engineering, how you can benefit from professional DevOps consulting, what are the main consulting stages, and see some real-life success stories. Let’s dive in.
What do you gain from DevOps consulting services?
A DevOps consultant sees the Cloud as a resource and a set of elements for making certain architectural decisions. Seasoned experts in any DevOps consulting service will advise you on tech decisions that will not limit your solution in the future. This, in turn, will provide your business with flexibility crucial in the world of ever-changing requirements. Here are some key benefits you can expect to gain from DevOps consulting with a reliable vendor by your side:
- Cost optimization. A DevOps consultant can choose the services best fit for your business and thus optimize the costs for Cloud-based Solutions;
- Faster time-to-market. With the experienced provider of consulting services, you will be able to begin your project quicker and progress through it faster.
What are the key responsibilities of your DevOps consulting partner?
The exact scope of consulting services in terms of DevOps varies based on need and how many internal resources a business has access to. For instance, a business with no DevOps expertise in place and no plans to hire full-time DevOps professionals after the consultation might opt for a continuous partnership. A business that sees DevOps as a major in-house function in the future, at the same time, might bring consultants in for an initial audit and architecture building. Then, they could gradually hand over responsibility to internal stakeholders as processes start to unroll.
Here are some DevOps consulting activities that your project might need:
- Initial consultation. Your provider of DevOps consulting needs to know your requests and desired DevOps consulting service outcomes. It is vital to estimate the scope of your project and decide on the level of involvement of your consulting partner before going to the next stages.
- Audit your existing solution. Typically, consultants carry out an audit of your existing situation before taking any action. This allows them to identify what’s currently working well and what they need to improve.
- Set clear goals and KPIs. It is essential to set tangible goals that you aim to achieve with DevOps transformation before you embark on this journey. During this stage, your team will help you define roles and responsibilities and share collaboration awareness between your teams. For instance, here are some examples of KPIs that are important for DevOps transformation.
- Set up project intake. During this stage, your DevOps consultant chooses the most optimal tools and development methods and gathers constant feedback from your teams to improve project intake proces
- Run and analyze pilot programs. Your provider of DevOps consulting services has to identify a process that can be used as a model for enterprise-level scaling. Also, they apply your DevOps tools and methodologies to the chosen process, and analyze the results and gather feedback.
After these stages, your DevOps transformation journey begins. It typically involves such activities as Cloud adoption, establishing CI/CD pipelines, infrastructure automation and orchestration, implementing best security practices, and others.
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DevOps consultant vs. DevOps engineer: what is the difference?
Typically, DevOps consultants join projects temporarily. They aim to resolve DevOps-related issues, advise other team members on how to optimally design solutions, or train them on how to use DevOps tools.
A DevOps expert, in turn, usually is more technical than strategic or advisory. For example, if you need to implement a specific tool to facilitate deployment, you should hire an engineer rather than a consultant.
Keep in mind that no matter what professional fits your business needs better, you should hire them from a trusted vendor with profound DevOps expertise and a proven track record of DevOps projects. For instance, here at N-iX, we have a team ready to kick your project off efficiently and promptly due to their consulting and technical expertise. Our Technology Office can help you align your business and IT strategies, assess your existing solutions and choose the right technologies to invest in.
In terms of consulting, N-iX Technology Office will make sure that you fit your IT landscape, deliver tangible business value in the long run, and build the product right – with scalability, usability, security, and performance in mind.
So, with the difference between DevOps consulting services and DevOps engineering in mind, let’s now take a look at the success stories of businesses that have already cooperated with these professionals.
Professional DevOps consulting: success stories
1. An energy technology company (under NDA)
Our client is a leading energy technology company determined to create a world with clean, affordable energy for everyone. In 2020, they became the UK's second-largest energy supplier after SSE retail business acquisition.
The company engaged the N-iX team in 2018 to work closely with their onsite team based in the UK. As our client is a growing multi-brand company, they wanted to make their internal systems and processes more efficient to better serve their growing customer base, as well as to improve the user experience and scalability of their products.
After a profound consulting stage, the N-iX team provided DevOps services to the client’s solution from scratch. We set up the CI/CD processes and worked with all of the client's in-house experts. Our team has built the following technical PoCs: Kubernetes usage, DevOps artifacts PoC, and dependency management.
Also, we have set up Terraform scripts and built the infrastructure for the basic services: we made basic adjustments to Networking, Kubernetes, security checks, compliance, backups, monitoring, and logging up. Our DevOps team delegated Terraform scripts to software developers so that they could deploy the infrastructure on their own. Additionally, we have automated the workflows with AWS by using Crossplane.
Together with N-iX, this client was able to:
- Accelerate insurance processes by implementing a new back-office platform from scratch: the new platform is fast, secure, and intuitive;
- Decrease the manual work of financial agents by automating payment collection;
- Increase transparency and accuracy of payment transfers by implementing reconciliation functionality to reduce human errors;
- Accelerated the time-to-market by introducing automation tests and the CI/CD pipeline;
- Save up to 70% of operational costs by integrating with Bottlerocket OS and Karpenter cluster autoscaler.
2. Austrian automotive leader (under NDA)
This client is a leading automotive technology company with over 70 years of experience developing and optimizing powertrain systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction, locomotive, aviation, marine, etc.
Our client engaged the N-iX team to be a part of its digital transformation phase as the company had a lot of manual processes, which they had to automate in-house. N-iX was chosen due to a complex vendor assessment from a long list of 50 nearshore and off-shore providers.
Our team’s task was not only to develop the platform’s prototype and prepare everything necessary for the project kick-off but to present a clear vision of the solution from the business perspective after a thorough audit and consulting. Therefore, we conducted two Product Discoveries — the Technical one focused on the product, and the Business Strategy one focused on its business value.
We took full responsibility for the product development — from the Product Discovery to the microservices architecture design, setting up the DevOps pipeline, and conducting a deep UX to ensure the design fits the end-user needs, as well as knowledge transfer after successful MVP delivery.
Together with N-iX, this client was able to:
- Define the solutions and services that bring more profit;
- Replace the two-week manual process of preparing the benchmarking reports for customers and enable internal application users to publish new benchmark reports, update pricing, and manage a customer’s access based on subscription purchase;
- Provide flexibility for clients (OEMs) to select benchmarks and payment options in their subscription accounts.
Why choose N-iX as your provider of top DevOps consulting services?
- With over 45 experts in DevOps consulting services, we have delivered 50+ DevOps implementation projects successfully;
- N-iX is compliant with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR data protection standards, so your data will be safe with us;
- We can help you with versatile Cloud-native solutions as we are a certified AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Microsoft gold certified partner, and Google Cloud Platform Partner;
- We boast strong expertise in a wide range of domains, including logistics and supply chain, manufacturing, fintech, healthcare, retail, agritech, telecom, and more.
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