5 DevOps Predictions for 2023
January 17, 2023

Susmitha Vakkalanka

It's hard to believe that DevOps started to circulate around the software delivery industry nearly fourteen years ago. After all this time, while adoption is growing, there is still room for software delivery teams to increase their DevOps maturity and tap the full potential of DevOps.

Here are five key trends that will impact DevOps initiatives the most in 2023:

1. Cloud Continues to Grow

As enterprise organizations rapidly shifted to digital over the past couple of years, cloud-based approaches surged.

This trend continued into 2022, and we don't see it slowing down in 2023. As more organizations work to improve their software delivery pipelines, we expect to see the cloud at the forefront of every major decision. Further, with the rise of SaaS-based applications, cloud adoption will continue to grow.

However, a potential challenge with the cloud that software delivery teams should look out for in 2023 will be around cybersecurity. Companies are rapidly adopting cloud-based approaches, often before they understand how cloud security works compared to legacy data center security. We predict that cloud security will become a top-tier priority for many organizations in 2023 and beyond.

2. The SLSA Framework Becomes Widely Adopted

Last year, the SolarWinds attack made news headlines nationwide. Hackers accessed its software delivery pipeline and injected malicious code, which cost the company upwards of $18 Million. Using this cyberattack as an example, companies and government agencies have invested in building the secure Software Level for Software Artifacts (SLSA) framework.

According to the SLSA website, "SLSA is] a security framework, a checklist of standards and controls to prevent tampering, improve integrity, and secure packages and infrastructure in your projects, businesses or enterprises. It's how you get from safe enough to being as resilient as possible at any link in the chain."

Driven by the Linux Foundation and major contributors like Google and Microsoft, we expect to see new versions of SLSA entering the market in 2023. SLSA is relatively new, but adoption with begin to rise across the software delivery industry. We would advise organizations to start planning for SLSA framework adoption now as being SLSA compliant will likely be a critical factor as organizations choose which tools to adopt.

3. DevSecOps for Observability Rises

When multiple tools and teams are involved in DevOps, security needs to be baked in from the beginning. Observability is also critical in relation to meeting DORA KPIs.

However, DORA KPIs do not necessarily address the security aspect of observability. In 2023, as organizations continue to shift security left, we will see more emphasis placed on security. By adding DevSecOps practies to observability, developers will be able to have more of a security mindset.

With an observability platform offering quick feedback loops, the product teams, engineering teams, and security teams are better able to come together to deliver better software - faster and smarter - with fewer security issues.

4. Tool Rationalization

We expect the current economic trends to play a role in DevOps initiatives in 2023. There are many predictions going around about the economy, and based on professional insights, it's fair to anticipate a downward trend for at least the next two quarters.

These economic trends will force teams to look closely at all of the tools they've invested in and rationalize whether they are necessary. We also expect to see teams more cautious about investing in new tools.

Ultimately, we predict adopting new tools across organizations to go down and expect more investment in and finding new ways to get the most out of existing tools.

5. SaaS-based Growth

Many software delivery tools are moving toward SaaS-based models. As organizations move to the cloud, these tools naturally evolve to meet modern organizational needs.

SaaS will exponentially grow in 2023 because of the opportunity for scalability, availability, and maintainability with SaaS. Further, there is an opportunity for increased ROI in terms of saving money on the resources side spent on managing these platforms. So, that will be another area we expect to see significant growth in 2023 and beyond.

As organizations continue to focus on cloud and SaaS adoption, cybersecurity will be a critical priority in 2023. We expect the SLSA framework to impact how organizations approach software supply chain security in years to come and may see more governance around cybersecurity. We also anticipate the economy will impact DevOps decisions, especially as businesses brace for downward trends. It will be interesting to watch how these trends and predictions play out in 2023.

Susmitha Vakkalanka is VP of Marketing at Opsera
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