Are IT service providers ready to grab the DevOps opportunity?

The advent of innovative technologies and organizations’ growing interest in DevOps certainly marks the beginning of a transformational era for IT outsourcing. It is a change that service providers need to embrace and get geared up for. If they do, the opportunity will be big but if they don’t, the loss could be even bigger. Significant investments are needed in areas like agile development, business-driven development testing, automated testing, automated security testing, and so on.

“These capabilities exist in isolation in most service providers today. But the need of the hour is to merge these capabilities to create a multi-disciplined/cross-skilled workforce,” says Rahul Madhusudhan Joshi, Industry Principal, Infosys.

To be a part of their clients’ DevOps journey, vendors will have to take the outsourcing relationship to a more strategic level. This will require bringing in competencies in areas like core development, tools, infrastructure, solutions, domain, and analytics all at one go.

“The industry will be forced to make strategic investments to either build new agile capabilities and processes or launch new businesses,” opines Karthik Padmanabhan, Executive, Cloud Ecosystem, Cities, BizDev & Cloud ISVs, AP, GCG & Japan, IBM. There will be challenges in terms of bringing in cultural and organizational changes. It will involve breaking down silos inside the service organization and integrating the usually segregated application services and infrastructure services business units.

The changing scenario would also require more emphasis on re-skilling the delivery workforce. SLAs will also have to be redefined. “It will require a very strong commercial and SLA expertise at the vendor end to integrate the correct range of value added services in addition to the core development so the DevOps canvas can spread across several service providers with the IT outsourcing company being the focal point of providing the service,” points
out Ranganath Iyengar, Director, Strategic Interventions India. The DevOps path could be tough. Organizations need to embrace the change and develop the right culture to thrive in this new reality. At the same time, it also requires outsourcing vendors to foresee the possibilities and make the right moves to be able to support their client’s transition and deliver true value.

“Most DevOps implementations fail today due to excessive focus on building technology solutions and not enough focus on organization’s change management. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for DevOps,” sums up Joshi. As organizations strive to succeed and stay ahead in this application-driven economy, IT service providers can turn the DevOps challenge into a rewarding opportunity by showing them the real business value and charting the future roadmap.

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