2020 DevOps Predictions - Part 1
December 11, 2019

As the New Year approaches, it is time for DEVOPSdigest's annual list of DevOps predictions, one of the most popular series of content on DEVOPSdigest. Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020.

DEVOPSdigest covers a variety of topics related to DevOps, and this year's predictions list offers an equally broad scope of topics. In addition to DevOps in general, topics covered include DevSecOps, containers and Kubernetes, cloud, AIOPs, automation, development and testing.

Some of these predictions may come true in the next 12 months, while others may be just as valid but take several years to be realized. Still others may be wishful thinking or unbased fears. Some predictions even directly conflict with each other. But taken collectively, this list of predictions offers a timely and interesting snapshot of what the IT industry and the DevOps market are thinking about, planning, expecting and hoping for 2020.

The predictions will be posted in 6 parts over the next week and a half, with separate lists of predictions for DevSecOps, containers and cloud to follow after the holidays.

A forecast by many of the top minds in DevOps today, here are the predictions:


DevOps is dead. Yes, I said it. DevOps is dead. In its place we now have DevSecOps, the difference being that DevSecOps is about having security baked into your DevOps process from end-to-end. I expect the number of attacks across enterprise and industrial system to continue accelerating. In a real sense, if you're not doing DevSecOps but only DevOps, then your system is just waiting to be breached. You might as well be your competitor's honeypot.
Arthur Hicken
Evangelist, Parasoft


DevOps has gone global! It's been ten years since DevOps took the world by storm. Attending the Ghent event commemorating this milestone, it was clear that diversity and inclusivity will be driving the movement through the next year. From a tech and methodology perspective, DevOps has proven its value and will continue to evolve. It is no longer a fringe movement that only a few geeks get excited about: numerous books, forums and feedback loops have made it widely accessible and available. But what will drive further adoption? People. As diverse voices from all over the world begin to step up and take the stage at DevOpsDays events, a wider spectrum of DevOps flavors has emerged encompassing greater cultural, economic, and gender representation. From China to Brazil, each storyteller brings their own unique perspective. This is what excites me the most about the future of DevOps.
Peco Karayanev
Product Management Director, Riverbed APM

Most companies in the US are aware of DevOps, and many have pockets of DevOps happening. Far fewer companies have finely tuned DevOps practice running across their enterprise. In that regard, we still have a ways to go in terms of mainstream adoption. Outside of the US, DevOps momentum is slower but will pick up the pace. From a survey of 200 UK IT decision-makers, only ten percent have no intention of using DevOps and less than one percent said they had tried DevOps and stopped because it wasn't for them. More companies will start to understand the value of an elite performing DevOps organization and will introduce DevOps practices into their teams.
Tori Wieldt
Sr. Solutions Manager, New Relic


2020 is the year we finally break the term "DevOps." What was once an accurate depiction has been all but hijacked by Ops organizations. Internal Ops teams are freaked out about losing their jobs, so they've simply started re-titling themselves "DevOps Engineers." People are paying crazy money for these fakers, but they're easy to spot — they're the ones taking six weeks to spin up an instance that should be ready in thirty seconds. This isn't an easy solution, but we have to start educating executive leadership on what real DevOps means and looks like, and what they need to expect from their DevOps investment.
Nate Berent-Spillson
Technology Principal, Nexient


Software Delivery Management will be codified and adopted as a key strategy by multiple companies and vendors, based on the realization that becoming a digital disruptor is more than just deploying more and delivering faster, but rather requires fundamentally changing the company's relationship with software.
Brian Dawson
DevOps Evangelist and Product Suite Marketing, CloudBees


As we close out 2019 and head into 2020, it's clear that DevOps has fully crossed the chasm and gone mainstream. With DevOps firmly entrenched as a standard practice, the question now shifts to how it will evolve and mature. One of the things we'll start to see in 2020 is development and operations teams slowly inching back toward their respective corners. While this might sound like a regressive development for DevOps, it's actually just the opposite. DevOps has driven greater overall alignment between development and operations teams than has ever existed in the past. With that alignment cemented, the two groups can now more readily focus on the things they do best, knowing the other group will be right there in lock-step. For developers, that means shifting left and building and delivering flawless apps to market quickly. For operations teams, that means shifting right, back to a more Ops-centric approach focused on ensuring the smoothest possible product releases and the best possible post-production experience for customers.
Joanna Schloss
Evangelist, Sauce Labs


According to information provided in product reviews on IT Central Station, one of the top requests from users is better visibility into DevOp products. Because of this, real users call for improvements in the GUI. In 2020, we expect vendors will address this crucial need.
Russell Rothstein
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station

As agile development methodologies continue to mature and organizations increasingly focus on improving quality without compromising speed, the ability to actively observe what's happening at all points of the software development lifecycle will become paramount. Just as observability is now a built-in part of modern data security and data protection strategies, so too will it become inherent for development teams. Executing and then reacting doesn't provide the speed teams need in the digital age. In 2020, teams will increasingly rely on software that proactively highlights, and even anticipates, potential problem areas within its own operation. This will drive a more rapid release/monitor/repair cycle, revealing bugs before they make it to production, and making them far easier to repair.
Marcus Merrell
Director of Technical Services, Sauce Labs


As engineering teams take more responsibility for their applications from code to the grave, we are seeing more specialized teams arising to fulfill specific platform needs for those development organizations. Like Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams before them, we should see a sharp increase in the creation of Quality Engineering (QE) teams and roles that focus on driving agile and DevOps practices into testing and quality control — including a move away from traditional QA teams to a shared responsibility model with developers (again similar to SRE models).
Ben Newton
Director of Product Marketing, Sumo Logic


DevOps and Engineering Leaders will start to measure business outcomes and costs associated with software delivery. Over the past few years, elite and high performing teams were tracking metrics like lead time, deployment velocity, change failure rate and MTTR to measure the performance of software delivery. In 2020, the focus will shift towards measuring business KPIs like revenue, transaction throughput as well as the cost implications of deployments, applications, and services.
Steve Burton
DevOps Evangelist, Harness


Developers Take the Wheel. You can already make a strong case that nothing is more central to the success or failure of an organization in the digital era than having a diverse, collaborative and adaptable development team. Developers are the modern-day artisan. They are the creative force driving digital enterprises, and as we move into 2020, their growing influence on companies' bottom lines will manifest itself into greater control over their operational destiny. For years, line of business and product leaders have set the strategic direction for developers, and centers of excellence have dictated the tools and technology they should adopt to execute on those edicts. In 2020, we'll see that start to balance out, with developers increasingly influencing strategic decisions at the product and line of business levels, and having more control over the technology purchases that most impact them. This will, in turn, enable them to do their jobs more effectively, express their creativity more freely, and drive adoption of innovative edge technologies across the organization more readily.
Joanna Schloss
Evangelist, Sauce Labs


Many organizations start their DevOps journey with technology and automation. They see some benefits — tasks get faster, more repeatable, and more consistent. But the productivity gains stall out until they start working on their culture and how they view risk. They need to change how they respond to failures, using them as opportunities to learn and improve. They also have to change their attitude about risk, introducing experimentation and calculated risk-taking as ways to increase learning about how best to win. If organizations want to see the full benefit of a DevOps transformation, they have to move beyond technology and start changing mindsets and how people interact. I expect to see more organizations figuring this out in the near future.
Jeff Gallimore
Agile/DevOps Guru and CTIO, Excella

Go to 2020 DevOps Predictions - Part 2

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