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MSPs and DevOps: How to Take Advantage of the Best of Both Worlds

MSPs (managed service providers) and DevOps (development and operations) are both experiencing a surge in demand. By 2025, the MSP market is expected to be worth $356 billion, following a growth of more than 100% between 2018 and 2025. At the same time, the global DevOps market is expected to be worth $12.85 billion by 2025, a sizable increase of 18.6% between 2018 and 2025.

Although both IT solutions are on the rise, their success isn’t necessarily because they benefit each other. From one perspective, MSPs and DevOps are at odds.

How MSPs and DevOps clash

You could argue that the more an organization outsources IT services to MSPs, the less it can get involved with DevOps. There’s some truth to this, because when IT services are outsourced, the organization has limited control over the IT culture and processes used.

Rarely do organizations dictate which culture, processes or tools MSPs should use. This means it’s not possible for many organizations which rely heavily upon MSPs to benefit from DevOps.

You’ll still have problems implementing DevOps processes if you maintain a minimal IT department inhouse. While it’s easy to improve communication and collaboration through DevOps in your internal team, encouraging the teams managed by the MSP to work the same way will be a challenge.

The solution

However, there is a very simple solution to this problem: work with a DevOps-friendly MSP. This way, you can continue outsourcing your IT operations to MSPs, while maintaining control over the culture, processes and tools used. You gain the flexibility, cost-efficiency and productivity that an MSP provides, while also enjoying the speed and adaptability created through DevOps.

Implementing DevOps is more difficult when some or all your IT services are run by a remote provider. But when you find an MSP committed to transparent communication and collaboration when it comes to IT planning, taking a DevOps approach becomes simpler.

As organizations distance themselves away from ITIL-based processes and look for more modern solutions, many MSPs will find themselves compelled to offer DevOps services as a way to maintain their customer base. As a result, finding DevOps-friendly MSPs will become easier each year.

Managed service provider DevOps vs managed staffing provider DevOps

Whether you want your MSP to adopt a DevOps approach or you want to set up DevOps processes internally, you’ll require the services of a DevOps engineer.

When outsourcing all your IT operations to a managed service provider, the provider will be responsible for hiring the DevOps engineer. But if you’re setting up DevOps inhouse, you’ll need to source your own engineer. One way of doing that is to find one through a managed staffing provider, also known as an MSP.

To help clarify the difference between both MSPs, here’s a definition and several examples of each type.

A managed service provider is an organization which delivers IT services, such as end-user systems and infrastructure, for other companies, typically under a subscription model on a proactive basis. This type of MSP handles many tasks which, although they’re essential to the success of a business, are not customer-facing.

Here are some examples of areas commonly outsourced to managed service providers:

  • IT
  • Payroll
  • Workforce management
  • Contingent workforce management
  • Human resources
  • Contract management
  • Contract compliance
  • Vendor management
  • Product sourcing

A DevOps-friendly managed service provider will employ a DevOps engineer to oversee the software development and IT operations teams, ensuring the best processes are implemented and the best tools are used.

A managed staffing provider, such as Redtech, is a company which implements an advanced staffing model to assemble teams of experts led by experienced project managers to carry out important projects. This type of MSP can provide staff for a number of different tasks, regardless of whether you need a temporary team for a one-off project or a permanent team for an ongoing department.

Here are some examples of teams commonly requested by companies that managed staffing providers can create:

  • IT support
  • Payroll department
  • Accounts
  • Human resources
  • Software development
  • Website publishing and maintenance
  • Cloud services
  • Marketing
  • Quality control

You can use a managed staffing provider to source a highly skilled and experienced DevOps engineer to oversee your internal DevOps processes. This method provides you with more control, as you can manage your organization’s IT culture.

MSPs and DevOps can work together

The future is bright for both MSPs and DevOps. And while these IT solutions were once seen as incompatible, industry professionals are learning that they both need to work side-by-side for their continued success.

The prominence of DevOps-friendly MSPs is proof that being able to outsource entire departments while benefiting from a DevOps approach is high in demand. As technology continues to advance, these superior providers are anticipated to grow and become even more beneficial for organizations which prioritize agility, productivity and efficiency.

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