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Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2024. Part 2 covers application development.
Start with: 2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 1
COMPOSABLE APPLICATIONS GAIN PROMINENCE
In 2024, composable applications will gain prominence as organizations seek faster development cycles, scalability, and cost efficiency. Businesses will invest in composable architectures to streamline application development, reduce time-to-market, and adapt to changing customer demands.
Bharani Kumar Kulasekaran
Product Manager, ManageEngine
I think that in 2024 we'll witness a significant shift in development technology, moving towards more composable and declarative SDKs. This evolution will empower developers to construct complex systems with precision and ease, reducing the cognitive load and allowing them to focus more on creativity and problem-solving. This is not just a step but a leap towards more fluid and intuitive development processes.
Developer Advocate & Manager, LEADTOOLS
I predict 2024 will be the year that developers are recognized as frontier creators, and much of this creativity will be powered by analytics embedded within the tools and applications people use every day. For the modern company seeking a competitive edge, analytics will accelerate decision-making, improve efficiency, and create new opportunities, such as providing insight into ways to better monetize data. These modern SaaS applications — built as composable applications leveraging reusable, shareable components — should be high quality, scalable, and provide AI-enhanced experiences. Developers will be at the forefront of accelerating this innovation.
Chief Product Officer, Sisense
WEB3 – A NEW GENERATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE
Web3 technology is often associated with cryptocurrencies and NFTs, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about enterprise computing. In 2024, developers will see the benefits of a new generation of infrastructure emerging leveraging consensus, verification, and transparency to address some of the most significant new challenges in enterprise computing today. Web3 factors in as IT leaders increasingly seek a more open market for compute. The factors driving the shift to hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructures are the same forces underlying Web3: security, reliability, risk mitigation, portability, interoperability, and cost control. As we refactor cloud architectures to accommodate this shift, Web3 naturally emerges as the next evolution of the compute we rely on today — from VMs to containers to serverless functions.
Head of Product, Truebit
SHIFT BACK TO MONOLITHIC ARCHITECTURE
The rising costs of monitoring microservice architectures will bring about a shift back to simpler architectures and with it the resurgence of proven languages, such as Ruby and Python. Monitoring complexities increase with the introduction of microservices and multi-language environments, which will contribute to the shift back to a monolithic architecture.
For the small-medium sized, agile development team it becomes unrealistic to support 50-70 microservices. Challenges in managing and monitoring these complex architectures will drive a resurgence of simpler architectures with proven technologies. Simplifying architecture will allow developers to focus on advancing their applications instead of spending their time on support and issue diagnosis. For the SMB space, the adoption of microservices and highly containerized environments will see a shift back towards the easier-to-manage monolithic architectures.
Head of Product, Scout APM
With the popularization of microservices over the last decade, the scale or footprint of the systems engineering teams' build and deploy are much bigger than they used to be. In 2004, you might have only had three or four services running on one or two servers, but in 2024, there are dozens of services and environments to keep track of at least, and you may only actually own some of them. For example, an e-commerce company may outsource payment processing to an outside vendor. While this can be convenient for your engineers, cutting down their ownership and maintenance requirements that come with managing this internally, it can also add complications. If this payment processing vendor updates their system without your team realizing it, it can be problematic and impact your team's own, internal technical and business flows.
With this in mind, there's a possibility that over the next few years, we'll see engineers move away from microservice architecture — depending less on external services to manage aspects of the business — as a result of LLMs. Think about it this way: The reason it became so popular to rely on microservices and APIs to manage services like payment processing was that it was becoming increasingly hard for engineering teams to manage all that code. It was much simpler to let a subject matter expert manage that service on their behalf because they already know exactly what they're doing. But, what if an LLM could just spit out exactly what you needed for your payment processing services? If an LLM can continuously and accurately update the code needed for a specific service, then all that the engineers would need to do is tell it what to do better or what to change. In this case, why not move back to a monolithic architecture where you have full control over every piece of code your users interact with? In 2024 and beyond, organizations will likely consider this shift as LLMs have the power to make it easier to re-adopt monolithic and "all in house" architectures.
Senior Product Manager, New Relic
MODULAR MONOLITHS – THE NEXT STAGE IN SOFTWARE EVOLUTION
More people are talking about a return from microservices to monoliths. I don't see this as a change per se; leaders on microservices have always believed that monoliths have their place, and that you shouldn't start developing microservices until you've outgrown your monolith and need the flexibility that microservices provide. But it's interesting and important to see companies talking about modular monoliths. This looks like the next stage in the evolution of enterprise software architecture.”
VP of Emerging Tech Content, O'Reilly Media
MOVING FROM PROJECT-BASED TO PRODUCT-BASED APPROACH
Investments in digital are growing exponentially. In the past, the ability to derive value from these investments wasn't there, which is why the product-centric approach is catching on. Product-centricity is built on a foundation of Agile & DevOps ways of working — you need to move speedily to deliver products to customers in a fast and reliable way. In 2024, Enterprises will re-imagine how they work — moving from a project-based approach to a product-based approach.
VP and Head — IT Process Consulting, Infosys
Standardizing API Design and Implementation
With companies building larger API estates, the need to maintain consistency across this ecosystem becomes crucial. Technologies such as Linting and Style guides will be leveraged to maintain that consistency, while providing an acceptable developer experience with their APIs.
Vice President of Product Management, SmartBear
APIs will continue to be the linchpin of digital ecosystems in 2024. I predict an evolution towards more self-descriptive and standardized APIs, minimizing integration times and facilitating seamless interconnectivity across diverse platforms and technologies. SDK providers will play a pivotal role in this transition, delivering more agile and adaptive tools to cater to the burgeoning API economy.
Developer Advocate & Manager, LEADTOOLS
GENERATING DETAILED SBOM
As the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) becomes more critical, embedded software developers will need tools that can efficiently generate detailed SBOMs. This means that their development environments will evolve to capture and present this data at various stages of development which can be accomplished using binary composition analysis. For organizations, SBOMs provide a clear audit trail of software components, ensuring traceability. If vulnerabilities are discovered, they can quickly identify affected products, leading to rapid responses and solutions, thereby reducing potential damages.
Chief Product Officer, CodeSecure
THE RISE OF MOBILE DEVOPS
Ever since mobile apps emerged with the release of the first iPhone 15+ years ago, mobile engineers have been borrowing best practices, talent and technology from traditional DevOps standards. But bringing mobile apps to life is a lot different than launching traditional software and web apps. Despite mobile's profound nuances, only about 8% of companies today have a dedicated Mobile DevOps team (based on a survey of 1300+ mobile practitioners who attended the 2023 Bitrise Summit). And 46% of developers say the biggest challenge they face when it comes to Mobile DevOps is a lack of mobile-specific expertise, tools, and resources. The good news is that this is changing. Going forward, we'll see an increase in mobile engineering experts, mobile-first technologies built to optimize mobile-specific processes, and mobile-specific best practices. Mobile DevOps will become the norm when developing for mobile apps — instead of adapted traditional DevOps practices.
NEED FOR MOBILE DEVOPS STANDARDS
Mobile will no longer be limited to Google's DORA for DevOps metrics. For mobile engineers scrambling to introduce structure to keep up with mobile's growth, Google's DORA has been a go-to resource for those who want a general sense of where they stack up in the industry. Now, as mobile teams come up for air, they're realizing that the next steps in refining their Mobile DevOps practices is gaining an acute understanding of the nuances and best practices of mobile that traditional DevOps standards don't cover. In 2024, we will see growing demand for and access to Mobile DevOps standards that paint a clear picture of how teams are performing across critical metrics, like creation, testing, deployment, monitoring and collaboration.
GIT-BASED DEVOPS MODERNIZES DEVELOPER EXPERIENCE
In 2024, Git-based DevOps will enable more modern developer experiences which will help build new mainframe applications that leverage microservices and accelerate velocity. Being able to use Git-based source code management tools on the mainframe will let developers work concurrently on a single source code at the same time. Whether re-platforming or refactoring, with the continued transformation of git-based DevOps, mainframe development will feel like a more modern experience in the coming year.
SVP and GM of Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation, BMC Software
Go to: 2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 3, covering platform engineering and DevOps costs.