Throughout our hundreds – possibly thousands – of conversations with IT professionals and managers, clients and prospects, many, many of them had made conscious decisions to delay investing in automation of one process or another – or avoid it altogether.
The reason behind this decision was usually the belief that the expense will outweigh the benefits. While that might be the case with other processes, when it comes to deployments, that is absolutely not the case. There are many, many benefits derived from automating the deployment process versus performing it manually – consistency, speed and the minimizing of rework, to name just a few. In today’s article we’re going to focus mainly on the cost benefits.
Time to market and opportunity cost
To start with, by automating deployments, implementation time is dramatically reduced.
Getting a product released typically requires several iterations before it’s ready; having an automated, and therefore agile, deployment process enables companies to design, test and implement faster, so getting more quickly to market. Consequently, products (infrastructure, applications, or features) are available to their intended users (customers, prospects, sales teams, QA, developers, etc.) much faster and more reliably than if the same deployment had been manually performed. Often, being able to quickly fill a gap in the market makes all the difference; we can all think of several products that are not technically the best solution, yet they lead their market sheerly by having been first.
A real-life case
One of our customers, a 10-person start-up, releases no fewer than 400 changes, updates, and / or features to their apps each year. They had been performing them manually, requiring an average of five people-hours each. Doing some math, one calculates that they dedicated two thousand people-hours every year for deployments.
If we consider that the rate for the person performing these deployments was $30/hr, we get that the total cost of these deployments was $60,000 per year, not an insignificant amount for a start-up. This means that the company had to budget and pre-plan for any deployment, since they had to allocate limited dollars among infrastructure improvements, developing new features, or deployments.
After Flugel.it automated their deployments, the expenditure per deployment dropped to $15 or so per month. Remember that it had been $60,000 / year previously. The payback on the automation project investment was a matter of a few months.
In addition, once the company had their deployments automated they were able to deploy as often as they wanted to; no longer restricted by resource availability or expense, they increased the number of deployments each year many times over.
Another interesting benefit through the course of automating that’s worth noting: tension between the infrastructure and dev teams diminished significantly. Among other reasons, they were finally able to test a long backlog of features that had been ready as much as six months ago, and do it at any time they wanted to, without needing to coordinate with the infrastructure team.
Even though we’ve just scratched the surface of the many benefits of using automation, we hope this article started to give you a sense of how it can save significant amounts of money and frustration for team members.
We will continue discussing in future articles the ways that automation benefits organizations; make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss them!
Written by: Luis Vinay and Gabriel Gusmaroli
English Translation & Proofreading: Jesica Greco
English Editing & Proofreading: Rebekah Wildman
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