2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 4
December 18, 2018

DEVOPSdigest asked DevOps experts — analysts and consultants, users and the top vendors — for their predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2019. Part 4 covers Agile, CI/CD and automation.

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 1

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 2

Start with 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 3


When you think of the traditional software release cycle, you think of a linear, step-by-step process in which product teams deliver requirements, development teams write code, and QA teams run tests, usually in that order. Though that worked fine for a time, it's a process that's increasingly antiquated in the modern age of digital transformation. The reality of the digital era — where time to market is your largest differentiator and you have to deliver a real-time, uniform experience across your omni-channel business — demands a new approach. That's why, in 2019, we'll see the death of the release cycle as we've traditionally known it, and the rise of a modernized, non-linear approach focused on continuous delivery of web and mobile applications — in other words, a true, continuous cycle. And because a continuous cycle demands continuous testing, we'll increasingly see developers and QA teams working together to automate testing of both functional and non-functional release components throughout the development process.
Joanna Schloss
VP of Product Marketing, Sauce Labs


The industry as a whole will continue the process of collapsing the traditional SDLC phases roles into each other, increasing the importance of continuous development and deployment even further.
Jeffrey Martin
Director of Product Management and Operations, SmartBear


Agile development is going to give way to Continuous Delivery in 2019. Organizations are going to need faster development processes than Agile can provide and Continuous Delivery provides the speed they need while also building in processes to test and fix security bugs in real time.
Mark Curphey
VP of Strategy, Veracode


In 2019, integrating CI pipelines with the overall DevOps pipelines will become a priority for organizations that want to increase time spent on feature development and accelerate time to production. The ability to monitor CI pipelines and their data alongside other pipeline activities will be essential for keeping everyone in the release process up-to-date and for reducing the amount of time developers spend on extraneous tasks.
Andreas Prins
VP of Product Development, XebiaLabs


The concept of “bi-modal” has been used in the recent past to predict how enterprise businesses will structure themselves to facilitate DevOps and agile practices. The idea is that large organizations will essentially run at two paces; they can have fast and nimble agile teams while at the same time having legacy teams that are slower. These teams will live side-by-side and function independently.
However, we've recently seen organizations start to take a different approach. We more often hear the sentiment that, “if we're going to embrace digital transformation, go fast, and do DevOps, we need all teams and the whole business to do it together.” Next year we expect to see this trend continue, with more organizations saying yes to multi-modal and adopting the idea that all the teams need to move together and move quickly. It will be more important than ever to figure out how that mainframe or Cobal based systems team is going to work together with the upstart Kubernetes team. Prediction: companies will shift investment more toward common frameworks that integrate disparate tools, address different types of end users and team, and provide common visibility and control across the enterprise.
Hans Ashlock
Director of Technical Marketing, Electric Cloud


ITIL v4 is going to surprise some laggard enterprise IT organizations with the degree to which it embraces software teams and DevOps practices such as continuous delivery. Even enterprises that have already started to embrace continuous delivery are going to hit a wall with heavily centralized efforts as they discover over-standardizing on tools impedes adoption. As development teams look forward toward cloud-native development, operations teams will be left trying to figure out how to make legacy applications take better advantage of cloud services.
Ian Buchanan
Developer Advocate, Atlassian


Automation, Automation, Automation. There will be more emphasis on not only categorizing applications for on-boarding but automating key tasks around security, self healing, and risk assessment. Now more than ever, DevOps Leaders will be tasked with turning their Chief firefighters into strategist to deal with the high demand but low pool of critical development resources.
Jeanne Morain
Author and Strategist, iSpeak Cloud

Now more than ever, inefficiency in software rollouts costs companies time and money they can't afford. In 2019, the vast majority of tech companies will have some sort of DevOps process automation in place. With automation, businesses can get more done while allowing employees to allocate their time to other, more strategic tasks. This year, we saw massive announcements from cloud providers like Google, which are rolling out continuous integration and delivery platforms. I expect these offerings to have a trickle down effect to the rest of the industry. DevOps professionals, many of whom already use Google Cloud and other leading cloud services, will take note. Thanks to better tooling, increased community awareness and adoption from the largest players in the tech space, we'll finally see widespread usage of automation.
Derek Choy
CIO, Rainforest QA

Despite its transformative potential, automation is still too often perceived as a significant threat to technology professionals' careers. However, in 2019, we expect that tech pros will realize that contrary to widespread “automation anxiety,” they can actually automate themselves into a job rather than out of a job. As a result, we will see a dramatic acceleration of programming culture at organizations that have not experimented in this space before. Many technology professionals working within a hybrid environment are already on the cusp of this transition, as the ability to use a GUI, CLI, or an API to manage cloud workloads is driving greater competency in automation and advanced scripting skills. As admins support ever more cloud workloads, we'll see a greater number of tech pros become successful at using APIs, GUIs, and CLIs to define not only networks, storage, and services, but a number of other processes, such as managing container queues. At the same time, automation technology will also deliver significant benefits to tech pros who are focused on the systems side of the house, who must begin to think more in terms of command-line actions and transition to an automation and orchestration-led way of doing things. Ultimately, as tech professionals — especially those working at small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — become more enlightened by the transformative potential of automation tools, we expect they will simultaneously identify opportunities to automate a variety of processes. The growth of conferences like DevNet at Cisco Live! — which will dominate nearly 75% of next year's Cisco Live! Event — is proof positive that 2019 will be a programmer's paradise.
Leon Adato
Head Geek, SolarWinds


In the year ahead, three-in-four organizations will deploy intelligent automation, according to a recent Appian survey. While automation will have a net positive impact on employment, we should also expect some disillusionment. Companies need to commit more resources than previously planned to implement and maintain the digital workforce such as bots.Bots can't solve every problem — businesses need a comprehensive automation strategy to successfully deploy machine learning and automation.
Kevin Spurway
SVP, Appian


Self-service deployment will gain steam in 2019, as deployment automation becomes a standard practice across enterprises, and as organizations come to realize that security and compliance can be built into their delivery process.
TJ Randall
VP of Customer Success, XebiaLabs


2019 is the year that DevOps teams break through the last remaining bottleneck of their CI/CD processes — by eliminating manual monitoring. Removing humans from the application monitoring process will give teams of all sizes the ability to fully automate their CI/CD process and achieve maximum speed.
Pete Abrams
Co-Founder and COO, Instana


The need for speed in software development will drive the adoption of squad-based dev organizations. In 2019, more companies will structure the development organization around a squad model, with small cross-functional teams responsible for specific features or parts of the larger application project.
Erez Rusovsky
CEO, Rollout.io


The methods and tools for develop-test-deploy are multiplying in the dark, and now there are thousands of novel, proprietary, and open-source ways to screw in that same lightbulb. A general shortage of full-stack developers who must know all the latest libraries, frameworks, engines, container orchestrators, caching mechanisms — and how to configure them in 10 different scripting languages — will force this situation to a head. But this summer the crisis will start to subside, thanks to results with simpler low-code application builders on fully automated, software-defined edge network infrastructure.
Jason English
Principal Analyst & CMO , Intellyx

Performing a successful automation project requires skilled technical people, but they will continue to be relatively hard to find. This will create challenges for users of open-source test automation to get a good return on the investment of time and effort — especially in the web and mobile space. Tool providers will work to close this gap. A new generation of tools will seek to leverage the power of existing solutions but in a way that the resulting code stays maintainable.
Michael Schweighofer
Product Manager for Webtestit and Ranorex Studio, a division of Idera

Read 2019 DevOps Predictions - Part 5, all about testing.

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