2017 Surprises and 2018 Predictions for Agile

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2017 Surprises and 2018 Predictions for Agile

Agile is the precursor for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. If you're not already agile, you are behind and may not catch up depending on what your competitors are doing.

· Agile Zone ·
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Given how fast technology is changing, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their thoughts on the biggest surprises in 2017 and their predictions for 2018.

Here's what they told us about Agile: 

Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems

Biggest surprise: The biggest surprise for me is watching the adoption of Agile create a higher degree of collaboration among teams in agile companies. Enterprises are moving out of a Microsoft Project approach and into a collaborative Agile product suite or combining tools like Slack and Jira with the DevOps technology stack, and getting things done at a pace considered impossible not that long ago.

On the horizon: I have three predictions for 2018 and beyond. The first is a more rapid integration of platforms and products with each other; the bot frameworks put out by Microsoft and Google are a small example of this. The other big prediction is to see more and more work getting done from collaboration tools themselves. For example, I see Slack becoming your interactive shell for Azure and VSTS environments for DevOps and others, allowing teams to get things done while collaborating simultaneously. This is a shared prediction within DevOps, of course, but I think it will increase the productivity and agility of teams significantly. Lastly, I see a growing gap between enterprises adopting and incorporating agile into their development cycles, and I see it coming to a critical juncture in organizations that can’t manage to keep up with their peers or even their own requirements. We’re going to see more and more companies that “can’t do Agile” get left in the dust.

Patric Palm, CEO & Co-founder, Favro

What was the biggest event/surprise for Agile in 2017?

The biggest event that we saw in Agile is that it was no longer limited to just software development. Agile is now spreading throughout whole organizations i.e. Agile marketing.

What’s on the horizon for Agile in 2018?

In 2017, the question was “Are you adopting Agile?” Now that Agile has entered into the mainstream, the question is no longer “Are you adopting Agile?” but rather, “Are you doing Agile well?”

Mike Kail, CTO at CYBRIC

2017 – It's surprising how many organizations still haven't (fully) adopted Agile methodology, and many are still simply "Wagile" (Waterfall-Agile).

2018 – Continuous Delivery will become table stakes for those who want to stave off disruption.

SuryaPanditi, General Manager, Agile Management, CA Technologies

What was the biggest event/surprise in 2017?

It goes without saying that the agile movement will continue to expand across the enterprise, but data and analytics will revolutionize agile as we know it. As our CTO recently said, “Agile without data analytics will be like fuel injection without oxygen”, and the real outcomes will be driven by insight-generating engines that are tied to real-time business metrics.

What’s on the horizon in 2018?

As we move from agile to agility and drive agile methods outside of IT to realize benefits across an organization, the focus will move from being agile to driving outcomes. Much like the internet divisions of large 90’s organizations are a thing of the past, agile will become more than just a practice, and instead a new way of working.

Bob Davis, CMO, Plutora

2017 Surprise: The speed of the market evolution

“The biggest surprise in 2017, for me, was seeing how quickly the software delivery lifecycle market has evolved. As smaller, more flexible businesses have already realized, the need to connect and develop IT operations to support an agile development process ensures quicker time to market, in turn transforming the way software is delivered. It’s now time for larger enterprises to evolve their software development processes and embrace continuous delivery for all of their software development needs.

2018 Prediction: Continuous Delivery

Recently, Forrester was quoted as saying: "If agile was the opening act, continuous delivery is the headliner." This has definitely made its way to the ears of vendors and many have put their hat in the ring this year to try and solve this problem. As great as this is for organizations looking to embrace this style of development, it also makes it hard to cut through the noise and find the products that solve the specific problems they are facing. What is clear is that organizations just can't afford to wait for outdated software delivery processes. They need to evolve and innovate.”

Dan Juengst, Principal Technology Evangelist, OutSystems

2018 Prediction

Agile software development methodologies will continue to gain in adoption especially as organizations move to adopt cloud-native, microservices based application architectures. 

Dmitri Tcherevik, CTO, Progress


It turns out that established software development processes and methodologies designed in the age of monoliths do not work when applied to the development of fine-grained functions and services for the cloud. Traditionally, IT teams were structured by function: UX team, front-end team, back-end team, QA, and operations. Cloud-native apps, on the other hand, are built by small cross-functional teams, and each team is responsible for a particular service or API.

It could take several years to create a monolith. Developing a simple feature update and deploying it in production could easily take months. Cloud-native apps, on the other hand, operate in the continuous delivery mode. Hundreds of changes are constantly made by numerous independent teams in the main code trunk and deployed to production on a daily schedule. Changes are relentlessly tested against a set of metrics. If a change does not work, it is immediately rolled back or superseded by another change.


The terms “lean” and “agile” are used to describe processes that are used to build cloud-native apps. As companies are switching from monoliths to cloud-native apps, they are also replacing their waterfall and waterscrumfall processes with lean and agile approaches, a change of tectonic proportions with far-reaching implications.

Sarah Lahav, CEO, SysAid

More focus on value and customer experience. Traditionally, IT service management has focused on efficiency (reducing effort and cost) and on delivering services to meet the targets laid out in service level agreements (SLAs). Many IT departments have now realized that this is not enough. They have started to focus on ways of increasing their value to the overall organization and of delivering a great experience to their users.

During 2018 this message will spread as many IT organizations move away from traditional SLAs toward a value-driven approach. Organizations that do move in this direction will be rewarded by much higher levels of user satisfaction at a lower cost, which will, in turn, promote an even greater focus on providing value. This virtuous-circle will enable such organizations to accelerate ahead of competitors who stick to more traditional approaches.

More enterprise service management -- It’s not just IT departments and organizations that need to manage incidents and requests. This means that the tools, processes and organizational design we use to support IT could also do a great job of providing support to many other areas of the business.

We’ve already started to see a move toward enterprise service management (ESM), where organizations adopt a consistent approach to delivering services across the business. Tools and processes that were originally developed to provide IT support are being used to support legal, HR, facilities and other internal departments within the enterprise. In some cases, one service desk provides all the services to everyone who needs them; in others, the work is still being carried out independently.

agile, agile methodology, interviews, prediction 2018

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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