Drop Guard is cutting costs by 40% - facts and figures
While working with other agencies and NGOs during the last 1,5 years, we collected more and more information about the time and money that Drop Guard will save your agency. On our website, we claim that Drop Guard will cut your update costs by 40%. CTOs and COOs want to challenge numbers like this and ask how exactly this ROI is calculated. That’s why I want to share the detailed information in this blog post with you.
Security updates are released every Wednesday. If you work in a Drupal shop that cares about security, you have to apply updates for every site every Wednesday or at least Thursday.
Did you ever review what a developer needs to do to apply an update and how much time this process needs? We did.
Check, which updates are available & which site they’d affect (3 minutes per site)
Clone or pull the GIT repo of the project & switch to the right branch (2 minutes)
Create an update task in Jira or any other task/ ticket system to document the update process for your clients & for time tracking (3 minutes)
If you use Composer (if not, checking for patches & versions is about 3-10 times more time consuming - I recommend to get Composer!), change the version number of all modules to the latest version & test locally if the site builds successfully (5 minutes)
Commit your changes, add a commit message & push (2 minutes)
Merge the branch, at least into the QA or STAGE branch, copy the LIVE database & LIVE files into the STAGE environment, build the test instance (trigger the build job with Jenkins or let any other system start the build & the preparation of the STAGE instance automatically); wait until the build is completed (5 minutes)
Update the task in Jira, set it to "ready to test" & assign a tester or project manager or inform your customer that the update is now ready to be tested; document the URL of the STAGE instance (3 minutes)
After the test has passed successfully, merge the STAGE branch into the MASTER branch & build the LIVE instance, wait until the instance is build & make a quick check (5 minutes)
Close the Jira task & inform the customer about the deployment (or any other stakeholder that needs this information) (2 minutes)
Sum: at least 30 min
By using automated tests or visual regression testing you can also reduce your testing time a lot.
In this calculation of total update time, we don't respect that manuell update process are much more fragile than the automated alternative.
You are right: An update might break the site. This is possible anyway, whether you update manually or use automation. In both cases, you need to check the site, run automated tests and fix problems if they appear. Drop Guard will inform you as soon as some problems happen during the update process.
If you truly take security seriously, a site needs to be updated 4 times a month.
Let’s imagine the optimistic case and assume the update needs to be applied only 2 times a month.
The time your developers need to spend on updating one single site is 3+2+3+5+2+5+3+5+2 = 30 minutes, as I explained above. We don't respect that your developers really hate updating a site, go ask them ;-)
In Central Europe, the costs per developer (including all allocatable costs) are on average 50 EUR.
This means that one site costs 50 EUR per month, if you calculate the time your developers have to spend on a correct and quality assured process. What we don't include is that your developer could work in projects and earn money in this time - but not in the time they work on updates (except you get paid for every hour while updating a site - if so, lucky you!).
Let’s do the math: If you use Drop Guard with an agency package, you get 1 site for a price as low as 19 EUR (or even 9 EUR if you run many sites) per month.
19 EUR is 62% saving of 50 EUR
9 EUR is 82% saving of 50 EUR
Summarized, Drop Guard does the following:
✓ It saves you up to 82% of money for keeping a site up to date
✓ It makes your developers happy & more productive as they don't need to run the annoying update process manually
✓ It lets your company earn more money by focussing the developer's time on projects
✓ It makes your processes (and support service for your customers) much faster, especially if you have a great bunch of sites
If you think some details don’t fit in your case, contact us any time. We are always looking forward to learn about individual and new situations.
Do you want to learn more about our agency packages? Then contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.