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Grumpy CIO - DevOps are the springboard for everything else

Startups and SMEs, get your DevOps in order.

Which doesn't mean just ordering a dev to do it.

Take it seriously, DevOps is its own skillset, practice.

But how to resource?

We looked through outsourcing, internal resourcing, training.

Good DevOps makes you money, plain and simple.

It's not "just a cost-centre" any more than sales people are.

Get your DevOps practices right and you will be able to move fast.

But how? In-house, outsource?

Spoiler: we kept in-house, and the cost comparison in the video shows why.

But there are risks, DevOps are a vital springboard for everything else.

Make sure whoever joins is and feels part of your team.


Hi, I'm Alistair, the grumpy CIO on what am I grumpy about this week? I am grumpy about startups seeing DevOps as a cost, not an opportunity to accelerate your business. First of all, what is DevOps? And most founders, let's face it are business people. If you're a tech startup founder, this probably doesn't apply to you. But most startup founders are business people, and what are you getting what you're paying for? What's all this mysterious stuff? And it's everything I'm putting up on the screen here, the sysadmin, the scripting, specific coding tasks, it's everything techie and complicated. Let's just keep it that simple enough definition, you can break it down a tech personal, true tech person will break it down to lots more, but let's keep it simple like that. So how do you handle it? normal startup, plug it on a dev, it's what hired you for go and deal with it. It's sticky stuff development solution as part of a solution. Great, slight variant on that I've seen happen a lot is the CTO does all of it. Because you're a business focused startup founder, you bring on this person, you're trying to keep costs down. So the next resources, you bring on a very, very low skill, your CTO ends up being responsible for all the DevOps, and they basically drown in that. What are the alternatives? Well, you can outsource it. And there are a lot of great businesses out there to do that, too. And you get brilliant coverage for your business, you get like really the great architectural setup, you can't get great monitoring, guaranteed performance 24/7 coverage you might get as well. It's brilliant. It's quite expensive, though. Particularly if you're starting up. Well, you can also do is hire a dedicated resource. Well, that's pretty scary, isn't it? But suddenly talking about increasing cost base? What happens? Where do you put them as well, you might offshore the resource. Even scarier, you're basically giving someone the keys to your kingdom, and you might not have ever met them in person. Very scary. The other thing is, we'll have enough to do. And spoiler alert, this is where we went, the person who actually joined our team eventually raised this and they're having in that as they were having their initial discussions with us, they said, What am I going to do after six months to six months worth of problems? What do I do then? And the answer is, we're a growing company, that will be enough to do and there was, what about the cost options, because that's what really a lot of this comes down to So devs do it, it's free, it's not free, not free at all, you'll lose 20 to 30% of your deaf time sounds like a lot 20 to 30%, yes, you will lose 20 to 30% of your deaf time. If you're just making devs do DevOps, you probably actually just end up having one of them off to actually do it most of the time, and they're not doing as well as if you've actually gotten dedicated first in the first place. In house, you get a full time person, as I said, there's risks with that. And one of the risks is that they might not have all the skills, which means you end up having to get some outsourced support anyway, to add the cost to it. So you're really if you're gonna go that option, you really have to get the team member carefully. The other thing is you can outsource it, as I said, it's brilliant, you get amazing coverage, but realistically, you'll get between two and six days per month of FTE equivalents. And it can be as low as two six is a great deal. So that leaves you a lot of coverage that you don't have or a lot of extra expense, you have to have to take things forward. So as I said, what did we do? Well, we went with one expert person that we spent a long time finding this person. The other thing about bringing in DevOps people is make sure they're part of the team. I've worked in so many companies where the DevOps people sort of have their own stand up selves elsewhere. They kind of feel like they're in part of the IT Crowd you know, that TV programme with a strange people in the gubbins of the business. Even within developers, you can do this, this lowest monkey people. Don't do that. Make sure they're part of your team. You're not bringing on staff, you're bringing on a team member who will actually help the rest of the team perform better, integrated work. Make sure as I said, the standards are shared so people know it's visible, make sure they can see what's happened, give them dedicated projects. So they're not just picking up stuff that just the developers need and not just support lackeys. They're actually an important and integral member of the team. And now if you do all this, none of the situation we're in which is there the first personal life devs go to, because they've got this incredible brain, they look at things differently. And it's an incredibly valuable resource that's accelerated hugely, the driver of our company. So yes, as I said, bring a team member, not a staff member. And you will take your company forward hugely make the most of it DevOps, it accelerates your growth. It does not just a cost base cost base. Thanks for watching. I'm Alistair, the grumpy CIO of We are the free venture capital search engine comm and improve your investor outreach. Come on to our site, find investors and get what you're talking about. Thank you


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