Author: AchintArora

Nine Tactics that Can Improve Salesforce Contract Negotiation | Blog

Getting the best deal on Salesforce CRM software can be tricky. Most enterprises find contract benchmarking challenging because market data and custom discounting on modules are unclear. Learn nine key approaches and valuable market insights from our Salesforce contract negotiation playbook that can be used in purchasing or renewal discussions. 

When negotiating, understand that software and services are quite different businesses. Over our 25-plus years of services experience, we have observed large pricing variations for services due to client-specific factors such as lead time to renewal, industry, enterprise business size, etc. The software business also has the additional complexity of product stickiness compared to services.

Enterprises should be mindful that, like any software provider, Salesforce also wants to increase its overall revenue per customer each year and is always actively looking for opportunities to increase user volume, expand product adoption rates, and upsell higher versions by offering value adds and new modules at discounted rates.

To get optimal pricing, especially with a looming recession, enterprises should be aware of the various Salesforce contract negotiation tactics that they can leverage for new contracts as well as renewals.

Based on our experience assessing Salesforce contracts for customers of varying revenues and domains, we have found the following nine steps that can give enterprises an edge:

  1. Assess current and future demand: Enterprises should thoroughly assess their current Salesforce usage and environment. Having a granular understanding of the utilization of individual modules and add-on needs can prevent the enterprise from buying more expensive and premium editions. While customers have seen better Salesforce discounts for more expensive editions, enterprises should always purchase the most suitable versions for their end users (super or light users) to alleviate concerns about software usage
  2. Examine new products or potential alternatives: When performing demand management, enterprises also should look at cost-effective, viable alternatives from competing vendors. Even if similar options do not exist for each module, demonstrating awareness of alternatives can initiate effective discussions during Salesforce contract negotiations
  3. Perform an enterprise-level portfolio assessment: Different business units often get varied pricing (even if marginal) for individual modules since they have either different sales reps or the products were added to the Salesforce portfolio through acquisitions. We recommend enterprises build an extensive roadmap of future requirements that consolidates and forecasts volumes across business Larger deals with greater volume are more likely to get higher discounts versus multiple smaller deals with low volume. Also, signing longer contract terms can be an effective measure to get better discounts in Salesforce contract negotiations
  4. Evaluate the contract’s market competitiveness: We have observed that Salesforce product pricing varies significantly across enterprises based on deal size, industry, strategic relationship, client logo, contract tenure, etc. We highly recommend enterprises perform external contract benchmarking of their existing agreement before entering the negotiation process. This provides more transparency on the deal’s competitiveness and also makes Salesforce more open to discussions about the overall commercial structure, including unified price protection, upfront and volume-based discounting, etc. We see enterprises receive competitive pricing and higher discounts for additional modules or for products where Salesforce is expanding into new areas. For example, organizations that previously used Sales and Service Cloud may get better discounting for the marketing modules as Salesforce views this as an investment to get entrenched into the enterprise’s overall value chain
  5. Align negotiations with Salesforce’s fiscal end of quarter/year: Many enterprises already know that Salesforce’s fiscal year concludes later or earlier than the typical calendar/fiscal year of its clients. To ensure predictable revenues, Salesforce account executives may want to quickly close negotiations by offering a few additional single-digit percentage point discounts during this period
  6. Understand the account executive’s role in discounting: Salesforce has a multi-tiered discounting structure. This implies that each management level has the authority to approve specific incremental discounts. While the deal desk decides the discounts, enterprises must clearly communicate expectations (including asking for cash preservation for future years) with the account executive, who can further send the correct messages to the next approval level
  7. Take advantage of service credits: Much like other software providers, Salesforce or its resellers may offer customers certain resources as an investment to support them during the platform implementation. Service credit provides an effective way to have hand-holding during the actual implementation
  8. Secure upfront price protection: At the start of the relationship, an enterprise has the most leverage. With new contracts, enterprises should sign upfront price protection clauses to prevent price increases for at least two to three years. When renewing, longer-term contracts instead of yearly renewals can help protect prices
  9. Sign global contracts: Enterprises also should ask Salesforce for global contracts that not only consolidate the business units or geographies but also acquire products such as Tableau, Mulesoft, Slack, etc. Discounts are often lower for these products because each unit has its own sales representatives and enterprises spend less on these platforms. Enterprises should request one single point of contact for negotiating the entire portfolio

While each relationship with Salesforce is unique, we firmly believe these recommendations can put your enterprise in a better negotiating position. To discuss Salesforce contract negotiation and for a detailed analysis, please reach out to [email protected] Explore more about Everest Group’s contract benchmarking offerings.

Don’t miss our session, Nordea’s Story: IT Vendor Management Transformation, to hear from Mihaela Tapu, Head of Supplier Performance Management at Nordea, and how Nordea transformed its IT vendor management function to overcome key obstacles related to compliance, service level management, financial planning, and control.

Razor-sharp Solution Sizing for IT Services – How to Ensure Competitive Pricing | Webinar

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR

Razor-sharp Solution Sizing for IT Services – How to Ensure Competitive Pricing

There is clear intentionality as IT applications and infrastructure move to managed services, a shift that the global challenge to find talent across industries accelerated.

Pricing model asks are now moving from simple day rates to more complex pricing constructs, such as pricing for agile pods, weekly pricing, fixed fee, and output and outcome-based pricing. In such scenarios, getting the solution sizing right is often the difference between wins and losses in competitive deal scenarios.

Within a managed services model, providers will also need to correctly translate these underlying solution considerations and the value they bring to the client to ensure that the solution is evaluated for its true merit.

 

What questions will the webinar answer for the participants?

  • Why is razor-sharp solution sizing so critical?
  • What are the important parameters to keep in mind?
  • What are the common pitfalls to avoid to ensure a competitive fee profile?

Who should attend?

  • Service providers
  • Commercial leads
  • Sales leaders
  • Pricing team members
  • Solution design leads
  • Contracting leads
Gupta Prateek Refresh gray square 1
Prateek Gupta
Practice Director

Outsourcing Pricing: 3 Pitfalls and 2 Unknowns Enterprises Need to Know in 2022 | Webinar

EXPERT PANEL

Outsourcing Pricing: 3 Pitfalls and 2 Unknowns Enterprises Need to Know in 2022

April 12, 2022 |
9 am CDT | 10 am EDT | 3 pm BST | 7:30 pm IST

The market for outsourced services has changed drastically in the past twelve months. With the talent shortage shaping up to be a long-term dilemma that will likely last years, compounded with industry uncertainty brought on by the Ukraine war, enterprises are navigating uncharted territory.

Watch this expert panel to discover three critical outsourcing pricing pitfalls that enterprises should watch for now and two unknowns to be aware of throughout 2022.

Our experts address the following questions:

  • What key elements will ensure that pricing-related uncertainties can be managed correctly in 2022?
  • What unknowns should enterprise buyers keep in mind for 2022?
  • What are the pricing pitfalls that enterprises should avoid?

Who should attend?

  • CIOs
  • CTOs
  • CDOs
  • IT executives
  • IT strategy leaders
  • BPO department leaders
  • GBS leaders managing IT and BPO outsourcing contracts

How Much Will Your Next Outsourcing Deal Cost? Understand These Seven Factors That Impact Pricing for Services | Blog

With outsourcing activity again picking up after slowing when the pandemic hit, now is a good time to gain a better understanding of how providers price IT services. To help ensure your enterprise gets the right value out of your next outsourcing deal, read on for expert pricing tips based on Everest Group’s experiences.

Below are seven common trends we see that can impact the pricing of outsourcing services:

  1. Of course, it’s the economy: Without a doubt, the economy plays a major role in the movement of deal pricing, especially when Black Swan events such as COVID-19 can throw away all previous estimates on the futures of pricing rate cards. The pandemic forced many enterprises to ask for short- to mid-term invoice discounts while others used it as an opportunity to renegotiate their existing contracts. As markets rebound, talent scarcity and travel bans are resulting in upwards movement in pricing at high-cost locations while pricing for digital talent at low-cost locations has reached an inflection point and is expected to turn around
  2. RFP versus sole-sourced deals: First, there is nothing wrong with a sole-sourced deal. It can be more efficient, shorter in duration, and deliver greater value compared to an RFP-led scenario, given you have a trusted relationship with a vendor of choice. By introducing competitive tension into the overall bidding process, an RFP can often be more effective in getting the best pricing. However, due to excessive price undercutting, the quality during delivery may not be what was promised during the talks or negotiations
  3. Cross subsidization of accounts: Often, vendors subsidize their loss-making accounts through their profit-making ones. This is why it’s so important for enterprises to benchmark regularly to see how prices compare against market peers and the overall industry
  4. Enterprise and sector financial performance: The performance of the industry or the sector as a whole can widely influence deal pricing. Sectors such as insurance or oil and gas that typically do not have very high margins usually have visibly low time and materials (T&M) costs or managed services pricing compared to enterprises in well-performing verticals such as life sciences, retail, investment management, or capital markets. While paying less in low or underperforming sectors is not guaranteed, clear trends point to this practice
  5. Buyer persona: The sourcing team can impact the negotiations in ways enterprises often can’t fathom. For example, a senior purchasing manager who has worked across a range of sectors and seen at least the last two recessions will bring a different experience into negotiations than purchasing resources who are newer in their careers and have worked in the cash-rich internet, high-tech, or e-commerce sectors, which can impact the price and length of the deal-making
  6. Transformation versus technical upgrade: If embarking on a complex transformation engagement that involves multiple elements such as change management, business consulting, architecture design, and a longer advisory/blueprinting cycle, it is highly likely you will engage a Tier 1 systems integrator or consulting heritage vendor (including the Big 4 firms) for the entire scope of work. Expect such engagements to cost as much as two and a half times more than a technical upgrade of a similar effort
  7. Contract terms and conditions: Service levels, service credits, and penalties can have a major impact on pricing without enterprise procurement realizing it. In our experience, most all the holdback or fees at risk the enterprise asks the vendor to commit to are baked into the deal as contingencies. So, if you are planning to have the most stringent service levels and fees at risk for your next deal, think twice about whether you need it

 

After advising on countless engagements, we’ve seen many other checkpoints that impact deal pricing. By starting with understanding the factors above, you’ll begin thinking about pricing from a more holistic viewpoint and be more educated at the negotiation table.

If you would like to talk more about pricing, please reach out to Achint Arora at [email protected].

Output-based Pricing Gaining Ground in Application Services Outsourcing | Blog

Over the past several years, output-based pricing has increased in popularity in infrastructure services and transactional business process outsourcing deals. More recently, enterprises have warmed up to the idea of using this pricing model for application services.

This should come as no surprise, given the benefits. Here’s an example that paints a clear picture of the advantages of output-based pricing in application services.

One of our clients – a large retail firm – was using the managed capacity pricing model. While in isolation the pricing appeared attractive, the firm wasn’t able to differentiate the fee it was paying for critical versus non-critical applications. The fee it was paying was a black box with no foreseeable value. After a thorough analysis of its portfolio, we realized that there were instances of over-utilization, redundant budgeting, and unnecessary allocation of resources for certain applications.

After we armed the company with market best practices data on business criticality, support coverage, ticket volumes, ticket type, usage, change frequency, and underlying technology, it renegotiated its contract with its provider. The new contract is saving the retailer 15 percent compared to earlier spend. And the adoption of the output-based pricing model spurred conversations around portfolio transformation, particularly in the cloud.

Overall, output-based pricing brings a lot of transparency into the pricing equation, and makes underlying delivery nuances clear. Enterprises’ procurement teams also find this pricing model attractive, as they can expect greater delivery certainty, better transparency, and more flexibility from the suppliers, leading to higher value relationships.

Output-based pricing is good for providers too

Service providers also benefit from this pricing model, as it allows them to charge a higher price per service unit delivered. Because the focus in this pricing construct is on services offered, not on the underlying number of resources, providers can cross-utilize resources across projects or charge a premium fee resulting in improved project margins.

Key success factors

Output-based pricing works best in scenarios where transaction volumes are known, repetitive, and predictable. Enterprises with clearly defined parameters such as industrialized estimation models to measure resource productivity can derive optimum results from this model.

However, the model may pose limitations in situations wherein the organization’s processes are not standardized. Engagements involving activities with a higher degree of subjectivity should not go for this pricing construct. And because procurement and delivery teams need a certain level of maturity in order to leverage the model effectively, it shouldn’t be used when the enterprise is new to outsourcing.

In order to succeed with output-based pricing, the client and the provider must collaborate, and both parties must remove as many constraints as possible to allow the provider to go about the best ways to achieve optimal results.

The onus is on the enterprise to provide access to historical data, information around regulatory requirements, business fluctuations, and identify clear risk areas. The service provider is responsible for being transparent on its assumptions, inclusions, exclusions, and risk premium.

Careful contract management right from the pre-contract phase is a prerequisite to make this pricing model work. Unambiguous definitions of performance measurements will help deliver the most favorable outcomes. Finally, there must be an open and trusting relationship between the two parties. Relationships that are based on up-ending each other will likely result in failure.

To learn more, please replay our recent webinar called Output-Based Pricing in Application Services: Adoption in the As-a-Service Economy, or contact our pricing experts directly at [email protected] or [email protected].

WaterSprint or AgileFall: Implementing Packaged Apps in Contemporary Times | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

During a recent next-generation packaged application benchmarking project for one of our Tier 1 clients, one point jumped out at us: service providers and product vendors have started moving away from the traditional waterfall approach to an adaptive hybrid agile-waterfall approach while solutioning for packaged application deployments.

Is an Agile-Led Methodology Needed?

You’re probably wondering if an agile-led methodology is necessary, since packaged applications have inbuilt configurations that are aligned to industry best practices. The resounding answer is yes, as packaged apps projects have been victims of scope creep, cost overruns, missed deadlines, objective mismatches, and a host of other issues. A good share of these failures can be attributed to the customization requirements that were built using a traditional implementation approach, which encouraged a siloed and non-continuous way of working.

How is the Hybrid Approach Effective?

The effectiveness of the hybrid approach can be easily gauged through a mix of waterfall and agile-based SLAs and KPIs. We are seeing that using the hybrid waterfall-agile methodology significantly improves traditional packaged apps implementation project SLAs such as defect leakage, defect density, and schedule and cost adherence. And agile KPIs such as velocity rate, work-focus factor, and percent of story-point accuracy help keep track of team productivity, and enable the team to track deviations from standard configurations.

One major adopter of the hybrid approach is SAP, which has refurbished its implementation framework with the introduction of its agile-based Activate methodology for the SAP S/4 HANA suite. While SAP has retained the strong elements of the traditional Accelerated SAP (ASAP) waterfall methodology, it has changed its approach from a template-led long duration blueprinting exercise to a fit-gap analysis for processes configured on a cloud-based solution. Additionally, it no longer runs the realization phase in a linear fashion, wherein testing is performed only after complete configuration or customization is done. Instead, testing resources are onboarded as soon as the sprint starts, and implementation effectiveness is gauged right from the word “go.”

Many service providers and product vendors are also following this same approach in some form and fashion, particularly in the realization phase.

What’s the Value of Shifting to a Hybrid Agile Approach?

It helps enterprises streamline their journey to becoming a truly agile organization, and enables a better end-user experience, as improved SLAs underscore better service delivery. And it helps service providers enhance their brand reputation, capture more business, and shed the tag of being old school and monolithic in their implementation approach.

If you are interested in learning more about the impact of the hybrid waterfall methodology on project timelines, average daily rate, overall TCV, contractual SLAs, and risk alleviation mechanisms, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. You can also visit our Benchmarking page.

Service Integration and Management in the Digital Era | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

As enterprises increasingly realize that their ability to compete hinges on their digital strategy, they’re engaging with a wide, ever-growing range of niche small- to mid-sized digital technology providers. In some cases, we’ve seen organizations’ portfolios include more than 50 providers servicing a mix of traditional and next generation IT services.

The high complexity of such a massive number of providers is driving a surge in the need for Service Integration and Management (SIAM) specialists to help ensure seamless service and contract management and integration through a single body that interfaces with the multiple stakeholders including business and IT. While digital programs are being led by enterprise business units, the IT unit is focusing on rationalization of the legacy landscape and providing support for digital transformation projects.

In the golden days of outsourcing, when things were much simpler and outsourcing-related benefits were limited to cost, enterprises clearly preferred to completely retain the SIAM function internally. The enterprise IT teams collaborated with suppliers and ”leased” resources in a T&M fashion, while completely owning the operational and strategic aspects of the services.

More recently, some organizations have employed hybrid SIAM, wherein enterprises willingly relinquish the design, operations, and contractual aspects of the service to a third-party with proven SIAM expertise, while retaining the more strategic aspects such as portfolio strategy, business relationship management, and procurement.

But in the digital era, hybrid SIAM is starting to take a different shape and flavor.

In a traditional IT delivery model, enterprise IT is the interface between the provider and the business. But we’re now seeing enterprise business units become increasingly involved in end-to-end digital transformation engagements, and interacting and collaborating directly with providers.

Following is an illustration of two different hybrid SIAM models, outlining key functions that are outsourced or retained:

eg12

 

So, what will outsourcing the SIAM function cost you?

It fully depends on multiple factors. The first is team size, which must appropriately match to the input volumes. Next is scope and responsibilities. For example, does the engagement include cross-functional activities?

Of course, the location from which the SIAM program is delivered – i.e., onshore, nearshore, or offshore – also impacts the cost. While offshoring will provide the lowest price, the complexity of new age digital engagements requires a SIAM practice that is located closer to business.

Has your company outsourced SIAM, or is it considering doing so? Are there any best practices or pitfalls that you would like to share? I encourage you to do so by contacting me directly at: [email protected].

 

 

Modern Today, Legacy Tomorrow: The Nature of Fast-Changing Skill Demand in IT Services | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

It is no hidden fact that the outsourcing industry is on the cusp of change. While the labor arbitrage model and legacy ERP applications ruled the 1990s and 2000s, digital has become the heartthrob of the current decade, and you can see enterprises entering new forays to keep themselves relevant in this fast-changing business landscape.

In this context, even the demand for technical skills has changed tremendously over the past few years. Some skills that used to have the largest pull have become obsolete, and others are struggling to keep their hold in the IT services industry.

Specialist skills losing leverage against generic skills

Consider the case of SAP on-premise business solutions. Until recently, SAP as a skillset had been very attractive among fresh graduates and lateral hires alike. High market demand coupled with supply playing catch up meant higher wages and easy to switch options in the ever-competitive outsourcing market. But over the past few years, on-premise ERP and factory-led offshoring have matured to the extent that once premium technical skills such as ABAP or Basis no longer command the same leverage over generic skills such as Java, .NET, and COBOL. Even functional skills such as finance controller (FICO) or sales and distribution have seen their premium declining over the last few years.

Specialist skills such as Cognos, Informatica, and IBM Websphere are also facing the heat in large outsourcing deals, where high competition and enterprise awareness have forced service providers to utilize a common, generic rate card irrespective of the complexity or diversity of skills involved. Also, organizations such as NetSuite, Salesforce, SuccessFactors, and Workday provide a viable option with consumption-led pricing models, which make them highly attractive. The level of competition and clear buying trends are forcing even behemoths to come to the table with cloud-based, integrated business solutions. Think SAP with S/4 HANA, which is pushed aggressively by the company’s account sales teams.
With the change in the business landscape, there’s increasingly a clear preference for new age phenomena such as big data analytics, hyper-automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The impact of IoT, digital technologies, and automation on skill demand

IoT is one area in which organizations are investing large sums for either cost optimization or revenue generation, depending on their business models. And it is one area in which hardware, firmware, mobility, cloud, and analytics specialists are in extremely high demand to address its hot growth. While the likes of Angular JS and Swift are being used to develop mobile applications, Hadoop and Spark are seeing a huge demand in data analytics. Even firmware and hardware engineers are being required to work in an agile fashion using DevOps methodology, a phenomenon never seen before in industrial manufacturing.

Another big area in which significant investment is being made is Service Delivery Automation (SDA). It is being looked at as a viable alternative to labor arbitrage. Enterprises are looking to automation to reduce costs and streamline business processes. Service providers and enterprises alike are scouting for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) developers and DevOps engineers for onshore/GIC/service provider operations to significantly downsize the low-level tasks performed offshore.

Overall, the current market is in a state of flux as digital takes precedence and legacy becomes less prominent. But the demand for digital services across enterprises is clear, regardless of existing market shares.

Are Rising Costs the Only Impact Immigration Reform Bills Will Have on the Services Industry? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

When U.S. congressmen Darrel Issa and Scott Peters at the very beginning of 2017 proposed a bill that would increase H-1B visa holders’ wages to US$100,000, experts in the industry were positive that IT service providers would be able to manage it, as they were already bearing costs between US$75-85K. But less than a month later, U.S. Congressman Zoe Lofgren’s introduction of the “The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017” – a bill that aims to double the minimum salaries for H-1B visa holders to minimum US$130,000 – eroded 5 percent of the Indian IT service providers’ market.

Although U.S. President Trump’s subsequent congressional speech talked about merit being the criteria for visa allotment – and many businesses rejoiced that he made no mention of minimum wage as the deciding factor – it’s fair to assume that the minimum wage might still end up near US$130,000 in a merit-based lottery system.

But cost is only one of the possible impacts of visa reforms on the parties directly and indirectly involved in the services industry. Let’s take a look.

Impacts on service providers

A landed resource might continue to be indispensable for projects when his or her role is primarily that of liaison with between the client’s business units and the provider’s offshore resources (due to time zone differences and established comfort levels) or if he or she was engaged for unique skills or insights. Landed resources serving as liaisons for business units could more easily be replaced by local resources.

H-1B visa reforms are expected to trigger a refocus on driving efficiencies through automation and digital process transformation. This will accelerate the transformation in service providers’ years’ standing talent acquisition operations and processes. The requirement for different skill sets, coupled with cannibalization of traditional revenue streams, paint a less than rosy picture on falling traditional revenues and increasing costs.

We might also see higher consolidation in the outsourcing industry, especially for mid-sized firms, as service providers may look at economies of scale and inorganic account expansion to counter slowing growth and keep cost of operations in check.

Impact on enterprises

U.S. companies might have to bear the brunt economic impact of the demand-supply mismatch. Enterprises today use H-1B resources for a variety of reasons, some to manage their GIC operations. A raise in the average wage will cause inflationary pressure on IT resource costs, restrict supply of talent, and create increased poaching of resources between companies. In other words, enterprises might be forced to hire landed resources at a cost much higher than the perceived value, or lose out on business efficiency and growth, thus creating a vicious cycle that the current administration hopes to break.

Impact on the education sector

The education sector might be most immediately impacted by any stringent visa reform going through. Enrollment of non-U.S. nationals in Master’s programs could plummet, given the likely challenge in finding jobs after graduation. This situation has already been observed in the U.K., where tight visa guidelines have compelled students to return home once they are done with their education. The rest of Europe, which has relatively less stringent visa requirements, might become a hot destination for the Indian student diaspora as demand for technical expertise increases significantly.

In India, it’s clear industry veterans and current leaders are questioning their own hiring tactics and the sustainability of the low cost model. While some have expressed that retraining their current force is difficult as people in senior and middle management are low quality, others have condemned the IT industry as a whole by accusing them of carteling to keep wages low.
This might not float well with new graduates, who increasingly look for jobs at start-ups entering the disruptive digital space. These new companies are offering higher wages and a culture more suited to millennials than do IT service providers.

While it will be wait and watch until we know what clauses in the proposed bill become law, it’s clear that any combination of the above and other impacts will force providers and enterprises to make some major decisions to remain at the top of their game.

DevOps Driving Digital Initiatives | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

DevOps as a concept has been in the market for some time now, and citations abound from the leadership of various organizations on how they have adopted DevOps successfully as part of their software implementation methodology.

But, every organization that has adopted DevOps has done so partially or almost completely on their own understanding and practice of the concept. Some suggest it as a modified form of agile development methodology, while others claim it as a simple co-location of resources with the traditional processes in place.

Here are some realities about DevOps, both for organizations that have already adopted it, and for those still sitting on the fence.

In the digital age, where faster deployment of products has become all the more important, it is imperative to develop an appropriate DevOps framework that ensures fast and easy deployment of code into the production. This framework should not only ensure a faster time to market but also affirm that the quality of the code meets or exceeds client expectations.

It has become critical for organizations to enhance the customer experience via software that meets individual customer’s expectations. DevOps as a methodology accelerates the release of this software, which is launched in form of a minimum viable product (MVP) and upgraded incrementally based on market demand.

The DevOps framework ideally should consist of the right team structure, where the development and operations teams collaborate from the beginning of the design stage to formulate an ideal system. This framework should solve old issues, such as late involvement of the operations and testing teams, which results in developers moving on to new projects while the code waits for the UAT approval before being handed over to the operations team, which in turn affects the release timing and code quality.

The framework should also incorporate guidelines on the tool stack that will help in faster code deployment while maintaining consistency across multiple environments. There are a variety of tools in the marketplace that automate DevOps testing, configuration, provisioning, and monitoring. It is highly important to choose the right tool stack that can be easily integrated, while ensuring high performance and throughput.

What are the critical DevOps underpinnings? The three pillars of reduced cost, increased quality, and lower effort are the KPIs against which the DevOps strategy should be gauged. Automated deployment of code plays a major role in achieving these objectives, helping ensure that end users get a ready to use product in a short span of time. And with the urgency with which organizations are going digital, time can equal success…or failure.

For more details on DevOps and its application, please see Everest Group’s recently published viewpoint, “DevOps: People, Processes and Products.”

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