Trendspotting is always challenging. No one can know for certain what the future holds, but it’s clear that change is a constant, especially when it comes to the evolving role of DevOps in supporting enterprise applications. As business needs evolve and companies seek out new ways to increase efficiency and harness the cloud, the role of DevOps will become even more important, and it will be more closely integrated into business operations.
In 2018, we will see DevOps becoming part of routine business operations, with more responsibility and more accountability for business-critical processes.
DevOps Unicorns Are Becoming Extinct
Where DevOps teams were once considered as rare as unicorns, they are now part of mainstream operations,accelerating delivery of new applications and services. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals are struggling to keep pace with demands for innovation, and they are moving beyond simple agile development processes to embrace DevOps.
Industry analysts agree that DevOps is now coming into its own. This is a trend that Gartner observed a while ago, predicting that 25 percent of Global 2000 organizations would embrace DevOps by 2016. According to the latest research from Forrester, 2018 is going to be the year of enterprise DevOps. Fifty percent of organizations have already implemented DevOps or are continuing to expand DevOps deployments. Forrester also found that companies are implementing DevOps across all business applications:
- Internal applications – 62 percent
- IoT-enabled smart products – 65 percent
- Mobile apps - 68 percent
- e-commerce websites – 56 percent
The conversation Forrester is having with clients has shifted from explaining the role of DevOps to developing strategies to deploy DevOps at scale.
DevOps Market Drivers
More companies have come to recognize that incremental innovation is inadequate if they want to compete. Continuous product upgrades and updates are essential to not only deliver new features, but to deal with new consumer demands and security threats, as well. In 2018, we are going to see agile development processes and tools mature as the role of DevOps becomes more prominent.
For example, there is more demand for new content delivery and new consumer interaction strategies. Emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are driving hardware and software vendors to embrace DevOps as their best hope of keeping pace. The new AR capability added to Apple’s iOS, for example, is opening new possibilities for consumers looking to try before they buy and is driving new DevOps initiatives. Wayfair is an early adopter and has developed a new AR feature for iOS 11 that allows shoppers to preview furniture in their home before they order.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another technology driving DevOps in 2018. For vertical solutions, such as retail and healthcare, IoT is playing a more important role in user interaction. Similarly, IoT features such as facial recognition are becoming prevalent in consumer technology such as the iPhone. The role of DevOps in IoT is to monitor, analyze, and tune device performance. Fundamental to IoT development is faster time to feedback, which not only guides development but improves performance and device reliability, and highlights how IoT development contributes to the business.
DevOps is playing a more important role in big data analytics as well. Big data is still foreign to many IT professionals, so big data developers and analysts often work separately from IT, even though the data needed for analysis is stored and delivered on the network. Agile development speeds up integration, software builds, and testing to shorten the time it takes to generate big data analytics. Applications written for big data can benefit from the same DevOps software development practices, allowing big data developers and IT operations to collaborate to speed up data mining and make analytical changes on the fly.
DevOps Will Improve Security
Another area where DevOps expertise will have more impact in 2018 is in enterprise security. Threats to data security are continuous as hackers and cybercriminals continually adopt new strategies to penetrate corporate systems. Ongoing cyberthreats require continuous monitoring, development, and integration, in other words DevSecOps.
Many CIOs and CSOs recognize that using DevOps for security is a great way to reduce risk, especially for cloud computing. DevOps can help organizations test and integrate best-of-breed security tools to protect the entire network stack, including providing real-time visibility and control.
As DevOps practices become more closely integrated into cloud security and lifecycle management, DevOps will become more proactive, adding security in the development cycle in anticipation of security issues rather in response to problems uncovered once a project is deployed. Security will become part of continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), with more automation to eliminate potential threats and minimize manual processes.
When you consider these and other trends, it’s clear that the role of DevOps has become the foundation for all aspects of enterprise development. DevOps and agile development have become more commonplace for all types of corporate software deployment. In the coming year, DevOps is going to change the way businesses think about software development and promises to have a dramatic impact on the development, testing, and distribution of all types of business-critical applications.