by Sydney Stone
The term DevOps has become increasingly popular in the software industry over the last several years. One of the reasons for this is that more companies have moved to the Agile development method, which is based on iterative development and enhanced communication between cross-functional teams.
Having both development and operations teams act as equal stakeholders in the creation of applications and solutions leads to a more efficient process and faster production timeline. Other benefits of DevOps include a higher quality product with fewer bugs, an enhanced user experience, and an easier pathway to scaling a solution for future growth.
As we settle into the new year, we find ourselves asking the question, what is the future of DevOps? How will all the latest trends in technology affect software development in general? And what should companies – both enterprise and startups – be considering as far as development investment in the years to come?
Here are our predictions.
Prediction #1: There will be an increased focus on the database as an integral part of development.
One of the most important DevOps practices in the future will be in the area of databases. In 2018’s Accelerate State of DevOps Report, database development is highlighted as one of the key ways to drive high performance in software solutions. This is significant because it is the first time that database development has been mentioned in the five years since the research has been performed and reported.
The report found that development teams that treat database changes in the same manner as application changes tend to experience a higher level of success and fewer bottlenecks in the development process. By considering the database an integral rather than a separate part of the application lifecycle, developers don’t have to worry about sudden changes slowing down or even halting other aspects of development.
Prediction #2: The increase of Big Data will lead to the rise of DataOps.
DevOps leads to more solutions making it to market much faster, which means that more data is being generated, collected and analyzed than ever before. Insight gained from all of this information is a valuable product in and of itself. This applies to the information obtained about the actual development process, too.
Back in 2015, Andy Palmer of Tamr introduced the phrase “DataOps” in a blog post entitled, From DevOps to DataOps. In it, he discussed two parameters that called for the inclusion of data collection in the DevOps process. One was the democratization of analytics and the other was the implementation of “built-for-purpose” database engines. These two trends, Palmer concluded, led to the need for a new approach to Big Data…an approach similar to that of combining development and operations.
In the coming years, there will be a greater emphasis on DataOps and the move to include data collection as part of the entire development lifecycle.
Prediction #3: Artificial Intelligence will become ingrained in all business processes.
Any discussion about DevOps nextgen solutions has to involve Artificial Intelligence.
In 2019 AI Predictions, PwC stated, “AI is going to transform nearly everything about your business and markets.” Companies must incorporate AI into their existing business processes in order to keep up with the competition. This will be especially challenging for older established businesses trying to compete with hot young startups.
Not only will the demand for AI and Machine Learning solutions grow exponentially in the near future, but the need to implement these technologies into the DevOps process itself will become mandatory.
Prediction #4: There will be a push to automate (practically) everything.
The prevalence of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence lends credence to the role automation will play in DevOps. Given the fact that we now have way too much data for humans to analyze, Artificial Intelligence combined with automation will handle the task.
In DevOps methodology, this means that automation will play a much bigger part in the development process, especially when it comes to testing. With Agile, a great emphasis is placed on recurring testing, which in the past has slowed down the entire development timeline. Incorporating automated testing throughout solves the problem while speeding up the process and delivering a bug-free final product. Of course, testing is not the only area that can benefit from automation.
A great example of where automation fits into the DevOps cycle is shown in this image from Hackernoon. Finding ways to automate as many of these steps during the development process will be a major goal for companies.
Prediction#5: DevSecOps will become the new DevOps.
Security is the single most important aspect of DevOps today and is top-of-mind for all businesses. No matter how much time, effort, and money you put into delivering a superior product or solution, if people don’t feel secure using it, it will be a massive failure.
Enter the concept of DevSecOps. Including security in the middle of the DevOps process ensures not only a safer product in the end, but also helps to speed up the production time. Instead of waiting until the end of development to test security scenarios, doing it at each phase helps to prevent problems before they arise.
To summarize our DevOps predictions, the entire development process will become even more Agile in the years to come. Focus on databases, Big Data, AI, automation, and security will continue to increase across all sectors and industries.
Perhaps Deloitte’s CTO Bill Briggs said it best when he stated, “Incorporating DevOps is becoming a mandate if you want to improve performance, productivity, and value.”