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7 DevOps Trends to Watch in 2021

Chandra & Kumar
Chandra & Kumar
Published on
March 1, 2023

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2020 was an eventful year, with many companies scrambling to find their new digital feet. With a rapid push for better customer-facing apps and services, the implementation of DevOps was at the forefront for many companies. For those already invested in DevOps, the push to streamline and fully automate delivery pipelines and bake in security were a core focus. These changes hit every market segment and industry. So what new trends will we see in 2021?

New approaches to software delivery, security, and infrastructure are already hot. We will see maturation of automation tools for infrastructure, alongside better security tools, while infrastructure continues its move towards microservices and containerization. Organizations have finally embraced digital transformation in a more complete way, meaning DevOps will gain more steam and visibility. No longer will DevOps solely be the domain of Developers and Operations team,  but with the digital transformation and change in the working environment, most of the executive leaders and management will tie the productivity, performance, security and operations metrics with OKR's.

Let’s take a closer look at seven of the next big trends in DevOps. 

1. Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Migration Drive the Need for Automation

The variety of application and data needs facing companies is fueling a major push for cloud adoption. For many companies, hybrid and the use of multiple cloud providers has become common. We will continue to see this trend, and with it, the need for continuous orchestrated automation and automation across the multi-cloud. Tools that natively interconnect and interoperate with multiple vendors and allow seamless integration will be needed more than ever. We will see a greater demand for automation that can interact with data, apps, and workloads across these complex architectures.

Also read: What is CI/CD pipeline

2. Platform Approach to Software Delivery to Orchestrate DevOps

The push to streamline the integration and management of tools that govern the DevOps lifecycle will intensify. Meanwhile, the selection of tools available for every function in the pipeline will be at an all-time high. "While enabling innovation, managing the tool proliferation will remain an issue. " Improvement will emerge in the form of platforms that can automate, manage, and provision the tools needed while preserving choice for teams. Expect to see orchestration platforms that provide self-service provisioning and automate the ingestion of new tools, as well as their workflows. These tools will follow the low-code model, bringing more visual programming, drag-and-drop, and automation functionality.

3. Shift Left of Quality and Security Will Become a Standard of Practice

As digitization, containerization, and automation of workloads increases, the need for “baked-in” security will be needed more than ever. This has led to the rise of DevSecOps, a full integration of security and quality practices directly into the pipeline. DevSecOps not only serves to reduce vulnerabilities at every layer in the stack, but does so in a seamless fashion while providing necessary transparency to stakeholders. We will see DevSecOps continue to gain traction as a standard operating practice with greater automation and programmability.

4. Kubernetes and Containerization Will Continue to Grow

Kubernetes has evolved to be the go-to for cloud-native containerization and container orchestration platform. Containers offer the ability to decouple from traditional server deployment stacks and shift to microservices. This move improves automation and security, while helping organizations realize potentially significant cost savings. Kubernetes has a learning curve, and you can expect to see organizations making investments in the training and upskilling necessary for their teams to be successful.

5. Declarative pipelines for use cases spanning SDLC, IaC, SaaS applications will be more common

Automation will become more deeply integrated into the entire SDLC, managing CI from code creation to deployment, continuously. Infrastructure will continue on the Infrastructure-as-Code pathway, making automated deployments faster and cleaner. Expanded automation will be seen in the Saas space as well, with a need to deeply align with a DevOps methodology that drives customer satisfaction. Salesforce (SFDC) applications will embrace greater integration and automation of these tools in the DevOps stack

6. DevOps Will Become Measurable with focus on Value Stream Management

We will continue to see DevOps embraced further up the chain and throughout organizations. No longer just a buzzword batted around in IT spaces, stakeholders at all levels are starting to recognize and embrace the value of DevOps. As tools improve and more data can be analyzed, DevOps is gaining the ability to be measurable.Value stream management" is going to be play a key role in connecting the KPI's, metrics with OKR's and help measure the productivity and performance across "planning, security, quality, compliance and operations'' as a core function of DevOps.

7. AI and Machine Learning - the Rise of AIOps and MLOps

The use of AI and machine learning has been on a steep rise across industries. It is no surprise that we will be seeing an increase in AI and ML informing and integrating into DevOps. We will see this both in DevOps tools that leverage AI to help speed up and automated operational feedback, root cause analysis, and big data processing -- all leading to finding new and novel ways to solve problems and reach new levels of efficiency. We will see this begin to shape into “predictive DevOps” with an eye toward using the data generated by DevOps tools to no longer (only) monitor the infrastructure, but to monitor the business and drive value-focused initiatives.

7 DevOps Trends Infographic

Learn more in our upcoming webinar where Neil Daswani, Tracy Ragan and Chandra Ranganathan discuss DevOps predictions and how to plan for the year ahead. 

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