DevOps in 2019 (Part 5)
Industry executives predict that DevOps and automated testing will become more pervasive in 2019.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Given how fast technology is changing, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their predictions about the future of DevOps in 2019. Here's more of what they told us:
Stumbles will level set what “agility” really means for DevOps. Agility is defined as the ability to move quickly and easily. For most businesses, the holy grail of agility has meant automating continuous release and deployment for applications in order to realize value faster. But as complexity increases exponentially through transformations, integrations, and permutations of what a hybrid deployment look like, the process definitions of the stodgy, legacy enterprise will begin to creep in as knowledge gaps expose businesses to risks and compromise. The trick will be to establish rigor to mitigate risk without resulting in rigor-mortis.
A major breach will result in a massive fine or fallout in the user community. As businesses continue to evolve existing processes and encourage experimentation and scale through DevOps initiatives, the "healthy" friction from misaligned team values will force behaviors that will ultimately result in exposure in the form of a significant data breach. Whereas governance and oversight have been seen as an anathema to agile teams (because they assume legacy controls applied to modern workflows), the industry will begin to reconcile how controls can enable agility, not restrict it. This will result in the industry revisiting the notion of DevSecOps and redoubling efforts in awareness, education, and enablement.
Disillusionment with the over-promise of AI and ML will grow in the face of longer time to value. Vendors have been in a marketing arms race to leverage the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). In 2019, businesses will begin to realize that the current capabilities of the technology can solve for the simple, routine problems that are noisy but less valuable to the business, but leave the custom logic and complex corner cases to individuals to solve. Whether the catalyst comes from forensic tools that miss detecting advanced threats until significant damage has been done, or monitoring and analytics software that fails to detect the root cause of an issue in a complex deployment environment, the industry will reawaken to the value of evolving specialists vs. purchasing intelligence.
Skills gaps for key versatilist positions will bring new legitimacy to managed services. After key roles and skills go unfilled through the first quarter of 2019, businesses will come to appreciate staffing versatilist roles from a managed service provider. The complexity of cloud orchestration, API-driven integrations, and custom logic will require investments in key areas of differentiation while leaving gaps in the critical functions to integrate and operate heterogeneous deployments - the bread and butter of cloud and other PaaS and IaaS vendors.
Experience value will transition to platform value with IT leaders demanding OOTB integrations. CIOs and architects will grow weary of the "Wild Wild West" of DevOps toolchains and begin mandating standardized integrations with proven scale in the form of available support and operations expertise. This will accelerate the consolidation of adjacent and niche solutions as medium and large businesses demand standardization and ecosystem integrations from the major players in the industry.
Competitive disruption will drive remaining laggards to a DevOps boiling point. As the industry moves to the plateau of productivity with DevOps automation and standard tooling, laggard executives will reach a management crisis point that will force action. Mainframe-centric, heavily regulated, and even businesses that have historically not identified the external catalyst for transformation will awaken to the reality of missed business opportunities if they fail to adapt architectures and processes to embrace cloud technologies and modern ways of developing and deploying technology. Developing nations and a backlash against nationalism will drive a global move to leverage technology to open and mature key markets, which will shine a spotlight on the last bastions of waterfalls and walled gardens.
Testing Becomes Everyone’s Responsibility
Here’s the reality of the digital era: when a recurring or would-be customer fires up an application, and it fails, they move on, and they don’t come back. In other words, testing isn’t so much about checking code quality as it is safeguarding a business. Against that backdrop, testing can no longer be an afterthought left solely to the Quality Assurance (QA) team. And in 2019, it won’t be. Instead, the new year will see testing become the responsibility of everyone involved with the development process. With agile development and continuous delivery fast becoming the norm, and apps being pushed continuously, teams will increasingly design their apps and their tests simultaneously. Testing might sound niche, but it’s fundamental to the reliability of your brand, and 2019, it becomes pervasive.
The Need for Instantaneous Uniformity Reshapes Software Development Priorities
With digital transformation in full swing, businesses are increasingly intent on delivering a consistent customer experience across their in-store locations, websites and mobile devices – and doing so in real-time. This need for instantaneous uniformity will fundamentally reshape software development priorities in 2019. Organizations will increasingly focus on being first and fastest to market, and on delivering a seamless and uniform experience across all platforms. As a result, if they’re not already, developers will move aggressively to implement modern DevOps and agile development best practices. They’ll also make the long-overdue decision to prioritize automated testing throughout the development pipeline, as agile development requires agile testing to deliver on the user experience customers expect and demand in the digital age.
Late adopters will look to fast-track automated testing. Organizations that have been slower to implement today’s testing best practices will look for a fast track to modernization in 2019 - and they’ll find it in the form of automated testing. The practice of writing a test script, generally in Selenium or Appium, that interacts with the browser and functional elements on a web page with no human intervention (other than generating the test script in the first place), automated testing is essential for any organization looking to replace legacy, manual testing - and the costs and bottlenecks associated with it - with an approach appropriate for the high-speed world of the new digital economy. Look for it to take hold in big way in 2019.
Testing shifts left - and leaps forward. As companies’ desire to release their web and mobile applications more frequently continues to increase, and developers evolve to keep pace, the traditional approach in which testing is considered the sole domain of the QA team and is conducted almost entirely at the end of the development process is quickly becoming obsolete. This will drive testing to “shift left” in 2019, with teams implementing automated testing significantly earlier in the development pipeline. Not only will the volume of tests that shift left increase, so too will the variety. To date, even those early adopters who have shifted left have done so primarily with functional tests designed to ascertain whether something does what it’s supposed to, regardless of the broader non-functional user experience. In 2019, non-functional testing will begin to shift left as well, with teams looking to validate performance, security and visual experience earlier in the process.
Microprofile is gaining quite a bit of traction in the market - it is up 50% in popularity and use with developers. It will continue to mature and be popular among developers. It will likely add about 5 more umbrella specs and will continue to be super agile, super light, and innovate fast.
DevOps continues to be seen as a discipline of Ops only. While bringing agile principles and automation tools to the Ops community is valuable, the fact that Dev is still considered to be a separate silo means organizations will not realize the full benefits of DevOps.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.