ZeroOps Helps Developers Manage Operational Complexity

The IT industry has generated a strange myth: That modern systems are easy to build and manage, and that developers should be able to both write code and manage the underlying systems that their code is executed on. The reality is that many of these systems are getting more complex, with more layers being added that while important are not part of the core business logic.

The result is that developers are being asked to become “jacks of all trades” and are spending more and more of their time performing tasks that traditionally would be assigned to operational staff. This means developers spending less time focusing on writing code and spending increasingly more time on operational tasks.

This has led to the expectation that every developer is a “full stack” or DevOps engineer, though these types of developers are actually unicorns. It’s simply not realistic for every developer to work like this, and trying to push most employees into this duality will be a detriment to their jobs. Realistically, there is no quicker way to breed developer burnout and resentment. As a result, tech companies are struggling to hire the employees they need.

We need to treat our developers better. But how?

What to Do about It

The best way to address this burgeoning situation is to embrace a mindset shift: Developers are not operations experts, and that is not where you’ll get the most value from their work.

This led us to introduce the concept of ZeroOps to help organizations take their smart developers and operators and maximize their talents, so they can drive value for the business. ZeroOps combines intelligent platform operations with effective managed services to alleviate the burden of managing infrastructure – freeing both developers and operators to work on tasks that drive value.

ZeroOps helps teams take their time back so they can do what they want to do (and what you need them to do).

First, it’s important to recognize that “DevOps” and “Full stack” are roles, not job titles, and to ensure that resourcing and expectations are set realistically. We all want the most value for our business, so we should plan according to our strengths: Developers are really great at writing code, so to really add value. They should be allowed to focus on just that. That’s where you’ll gain the most value for your organization.

Next, it’s imperative to develop a clear understanding of the complexities of infrastructure and to value the skills required to effectively operate and maintain said infrastructure, just as you would the skills required to develop core business logic. Both skill sets are integral to a company’s success and should stand uniquely on their own, with specific expertise dedicated to each.

What Does ZeroOps Entail?

Optimized Workflows

Ensuring that an effective branching and tagging strategy is combined with properly maintained CI/CD pipelines enables faster delivery that leverages a GitOps workflow. That includes supporting preferred tools and integrating those into the workflow.

Logging, Monitoring and Alerting

Cohesive, comprehensive and consistent logging and monitoring enable correlation of events across all tools, infrastructure and applications to quickly discover the root cause of issues and find ways to optimize code.

Security

Continuous conformance and security auditing ensure that the application and the underlying systems are up to date and that the configurations have not been changed in such a way that they could be compromised. If an issue is detected, it can be remediated immediately, providing peace of mind that data assets are safe.

reporting

Real-time reporting on capacity consumption and billing facilitates smart decisions on how applications are built in order to optimize costs and performance.

DevOps Support

Deployment friction comes in many forms, including sometimes just needing advice on the right way to deploy or test a function by having support available from experienced DevOps engineers who can quickly advise and provide guidance. This reduces friction and increases productivity.

How Do I Go about Implementing ZeroOps?

The first thing to take into account when implementing ZeroOps for your business: You must consider everything that isn’t directly driving value. Who should be doing those tasks? You want your core staff to be focused on the business, so it’s worth considering a managed service provider as a partner. This can help provide your team with the skills and support they need, while allowing them to focus on their core competencies. The right tools can help your team be more productive than you ever imagined, without hiring new full-time employees.

Why Should You Consider a Managed-Service-Based Solution?

Consider your team, but better. Lighter. More agile, with less pressure and responsibility to handle “the little things” that we know aren’t so little. Imagine how your team members could shine when supported by experts to assist them so they can focus on providing value. Imagine being able to deliver projects much more quickly so delivery expectations actually aligned with what was realistic.

This is the magic of managed services: Access to the exact expertise you need, when you need it so your team can accomplish even more. Managed services can help make your team more productive and capitalize on their talent. When you struggle with a problem, it’s likely that your managed service provider has already solved it for others so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Of course, there are always alternatives to managed services that can also add value, but each new option comes with significant challenges. For example, you could try and keep all projects on your team and do everything yourself, but the DIY method is risky, even if you have truly unique challenges. No success is guaranteed. Immense amounts of time could sink into the project, with no real return on investment. And many companies don’t even have the expertise they need on their teams — and talent scarcity can make it even harder to hire for these niche projects.

Some organizations may ask, “Can’t I just outsource?” but in our opinion, this approach is outdated, overly complicated and expensive. Outsourcers typically won’t have the niche expertise you’re looking for, and their goals may differ from your team’s.

It’s not just about the managed services you select, but how you architect your overall infrastructure solutions to take the needs of your organization into account.

To make ZeroOps work and drive the value you really need to see, you’d be best paired with a partner who can deliver software solutions and development, an open source solution and consistent deep testing. It’s also important that they be able to provide services like in-house operations, professional and advisory services, and have a proven track record of success.

If your use case is particularly unique, you’ll need to look for a partner who can be flexible and can customize to your project’s needs without compromise. Don’t overlook innovation, either: If you’re going to pay someone for managed services, they should be leaders in the industry where it counts and support your goals as a team. A big reason to even consider managed services is to get the benefit of speed, so make sure your provider moves fast and can remain agile.

And last but not least, you’ve got to work with someone you like and trust: Look for a partner, not just a software supplier. They should be customer-centric and very focused on finding a solution for you, as an “extension” of your team at large.

It’s not just about the managed services you select, but how you architect your overall infrastructure solutions to take the needs of your organization into account. Your goal is to create an environment where you can select the very best services and ensure that they integrate seamlessly.

To achieve this, architectural strategies must be considered. Service domains must be clearly defined and separated. Integrations should be done with clearly-defined APIs, and open source combined with open standards can help prevent lock-in. The more you use common abstraction layers, like Kubernetes, the better. And we encourage you to support multiple platforms in your efforts in a true multicloud discipline, for future-proofed results.

ZeroOps: Better Results for Your Team and Your Business

Let’s come back to why ZeroOps makes sense for your team and how it supports the success and growth of the business. Here are the key reasons that global companies are moving to accelerate ZeroOps in 2023.

Focus: ZeroOps allows your staff to focus on core business value, while your ZeroOps provider worries about systems

Economies of scale: You can take advantage of a broad set of experience by leveraging partners with deep expertise that you likely can’t get in-house

Multiplatform/Cloud: A robust ZeroOps partner will support multiple options for hosting applications

next steps

Contact your preferred software vendor and ask them the following questions;

  1. Can they provide direct support to your developers and operations teams?
  2. Can they customize their software delivery without compromising on quality?
  3. How do they validate the quality of the software they deliver?

Then ask yourself these questions about your relationship with the software vendor:

  1. Do you see the vendor as a partner or a supplier?
  2. Does the vendor extend your team and help you to move faster?
  3. Does the vendor have a consistent track record in companies like yours?
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