2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 3
December 06, 2023

Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2024. Part 3 covers platform engineering and DevOps costs.

Start with: 2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 1

Start with: 2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 2

PLATFORM ENGINEERING – THE BIGGEST THING IN DEVOPS

I think the biggest thing next year in DevOps will continue to be platform engineering. At its most basic level, platform engineering provides a self-service internal platform to power developers and reduce cognitive overhead. It's about improving the developer experience. The broader trend toward developer autonomy is driving interest in platform engineering because it can allow this while still adding in some platform-driven command and control. The companies that use platform engineering the best with their DevOps teams will be those that understand it's not about trying to use the platform to lock their developers into certain architectures — it's about bringing all the tools and process options into one place so it can be viewed through a single pane of glass.
Jon Mort
CTO, Adaptavist

Platform engineering will become mission critical in 2024. Organizations will recognize that a seamlessly functioning and secure software delivery pipeline is equally important to business continuity as the services that end users and customers rely on. We will, therefore, see a shift toward the productization of the tooling used to drive DevOps, security, and site reliability engineering best practices. This will bring platform engineering to the fore as organizations codify the know-how and capabilities needed to automate secure DevOps pipelines. As this trend takes hold, software delivery, security, and operations processes will be triggered through application programming interfaces (APIs) that automate those tasks, based on real-time insights from observability data.
Bernd Greifeneder
CTO and Founder, Dynatrace

What's driving the growth of platform engineering? Software developers have always built tools to improve their work environment. As software has become more complex, with distributed systems running in the cloud becoming the norm, deploying software has also increased in complexity. Platform engineering is about automating the whole process of delivering software, from check-in and testing through to deployment into production. It has become a necessity.
Mike Loukides
VP of Emerging Tech Content, O'Reilly Media

PLATFORM ENGINEERING BECOMES PRODUCTION-GRADE

This year saw hype around platform engineering. Next year I expect to see platform engineering becoming production-grade, led by hyperscalers and larger organizations integrating this function and sharing their experiences with the industry. This maturation will involve increasing emphasis on both developer experience and developer productivity, and streamlining communications between the different Dev and DevOps teams using effective processes and tooling such as integrated developer platforms the likes of Spotify's Backstage, now an open source project under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. But tooling on its own will not be enough. The big challenge will be to make the necessary organizational culture change, to make sure platform engineering does not become a new organizational silo.
Dotan Horovits
CNCF Ambassador and Principal Developer Advocate, Logz.io

ESTABLISHING PLATFORM ENGINEERING TEAMS

As businesses continue to sharpen their focus on efficiency — scrutinizing every expenditure and tool — by December 2024, most forward-thinking CIOs will institutionalize Platform Engineering and establish corresponding teams. These teams will not only manage technology assets, but also prioritize them to accelerate business value delivery. This strategic shift aligns with the broader industry trend of optimizing technology stacks for agility and efficiency, offering a multi-dimensional approach to solving current business challenges.
Kyle Campos
CTPO, CloudBolt

OPEN SOURCE SUPPORTS PLATFORM ENGINEERING

For DevOps teams eager to deliver on platform engineering goals in 2024 — and equip developers with the self-service tools they need to meaningfully accelerate application delivery and time to value — open source strategies will take on an increasingly important role. Open source portability will allow DevOps to guarantee the same developer experience no matter what clouds or infrastructure providers developers are using, and operating an internal developer platform (IDP) based on open source software will help with talent recruitment. Also, expect more DevOps teams to tie platform engineering to open source in 2024 to enable better pluggability — allowing them to change code to match requirements without grappling with vendor-imposed limitations.
Pete Lilley
VP and GM, Instaclustr, part of Spot by NetApp

FINOPS BECOMES PART OF PLATFORM ENGINEERING

FinOps joins Security and Observability as the "golden paths" trifecta of Platform Engineering
FinOps silos that drive friction and unrealized optimization promises will find a breakthrough as the conversation and solutions shift from "motivation" to "facilitation." And with Platform Engineering fully adopted as a technology approach by the majority of forward-thinking IT organizations by the end of next year, FinOps practices will become a native part of its "golden paths," on par with security and observability, as the trifecta of defaults in the delivery process.
Kyle Campos
CTPO, CloudBolt

THE NEED FOR PLATFORM ENGINEERING TRAINING

The need for training about platform engineering has certainly appeared in O'Reilly Media's usage data. It's come out of nowhere and quickly become one of the top 500 search terms on our platform. (To put that in perspective: we have over a million unique search terms per month.)
Mike Loukides
VP of Emerging Tech Content, O'Reilly Media

DEVOPS FOCUSES ON COSTS

DevOps and finance teams increasingly need to speak the same language about infrastructure and software costs. Budgets will continue to be under the microscope in 2024, and the efficiency with how DevOps and developers teams can do their jobs (without impacting application performance) will be critical. Look for DevOps and finance leaders to get more aligned, and get more of a handle on cloud cost monitoring and governance — with all the necessary cloud, Kubernetes, and third-party API data needed to get that visibility.
Jesse Goodier
Lead Solutions Architect, Kubecost

The DevOps and cloud industries as a whole will see a continued focus on cost reduction. Even technologies such as service meshes, historically brought in to improve system security and reliability, will find a way to contribute to these efforts. Advanced projects may introduce features such as cost-aware traffic routing, able to reduce cross-zone network costs above and beyond the baseline zone-aware routing available in stock Kubernetes.
William Morgan
CEO, Buoyant

2024 will continue the path forged in late 2022 and throughout 2023 — prioritizing efficiency and cost optimization, and reducing SaaS costs. DevOps teams were the first in line in the battle to reduce costs with many of them being safekeepers of the organization's managed cloud environment — the top bill for any cloud-based company. We will continue to see DevOps teams adopting cost monitoring tools that cover their cloud providers and observability vendors in one place but also take a more significant role in the organization when it comes to choosing observability stacks. DevOps teams will play a crucial role in estimating the total cost of ownership of an observability stack, and influence the decision making process much more than in the past. We will also see a growing trend toward consolidation, with teams trying to reduce vendors, focus their DevOps toolkit and intersect as many tools as possible throughout the different R&D departments like DevOps, SRE and development.
Shahar Azulay
CEO and Co-Founder, groundcover

DEVOPS SEEKS COST TRANSPARENCY

DevOps teams will sacrifice breadth and depth of features for pricing transparency. In a recent survey, 98% of DevOps and SRE teams voiced that they experience overages or unexpected spikes in analytics costs at least a few times each year. From the same respondent pool, 91% anticipated scrutiny to reduce costs in the coming 12 months. Given this sentiment, it's clear that DevOps teams are surprised by their costs and seeking a way to make analytics spending more predictable. In the next year, I anticipate teams foregoing every "bell and whistle" from legacy products if they can achieve their fundamental needs with more transparent vendors.
Ozan Unlu
CEO, Edge Delta

FINOPS SHIFTS LEFT

FinOps will shift left to become a developer platform feature in 2024. Every organization under the sun is interested in reducing cloud spend. Many leaders have adopted FinOps practices — which focus on resource-tagging and after-the-fact analysis — to do just that. However, it's easier said than done to track waste and identify cost-saving opportunities, especially in development environments. Development practices vary widely and teams are generally large; ergo, implementing FinOps practices becomes a challenge. The solution to these problems? Many organizations are implementing cost management practices within their development platform, enabling the automated tagging of all workloads, including: per-app, per-team and per-developer quota; and automatic termination of dev environments after a pre-determined period.
Solutions that bake these capabilities into their fundamental framework will excel in 2024, slowly becoming the gold standard for cost-effective development.
Sheng Liang
Co-Founder and CEO, Acorn Labs

Go to: 2024 DevOps Predictions - Part 4, covering testing.

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