8 Ways CI/CD Pipelines Are Evolving - Part 1
July 14, 2021

Jayne Groll
DevOps Institute

In today's software development enterprise, businesses are looking to get more done faster than ever before. There is a need to deliver products safely and efficiently while delighting your customers. CI/CD has become instrumental in delivering products quickly, without much downtime or maintenance.

CI/CD is the combined practice of continuous integration and either continuous delivery or continuous deployment. CI/CD allows your dev teams to take code stored in a repository and continuously deliver it to production. CI/CD pipelines have shifted IT's approach to software delivery, but it is continually evolving with the technology landscape.

I asked several speakers and sponsors for the upcoming SKILup Day as well as several DevOps Institute Ambassadors to weigh in on how they think CI/CD pipelines are evolving. Here's what they had to say in Part 1 of this two-part series:

Speaker, Grant Fritchey
Product Advocate, Redgate Software

I am seeing a lot more focus on security and compliance. While these have always been a concern, recent events have emphasized just how dangerous it can be to ignore security. That's both a part of the code you're deploying, and the mechanisms used to deploy it.

Sponsor, Basis Technologies, Eran Kriegshauser
Basis Technologies' SAP DevOps Architect

Today's software changes need to be validated in multi-domain orchestrations. It is common for systems, applications, and products (SAP) environments to be linked to other non-SAP technologies. Ericsson utilizes a joint orchestration of GitLab pipelines and Basis Technologies' ActiveControl to drive multi-domain testing when change occurs. If there is an SAP change, ActiveControl can trigger the GitLab pipeline to perform a build, deploy a Docker container, deploy the non-SAP Microsoft application, and kick off automated testing. Once the testing is complete, ActiveControl is notified by GitLab to deploy the SAP transports to the next QA environment. The ultimate goal is for development teams to work productively in isolation from other development teams and be able to perform production quality testing before the larger QA and UAT audience is asked to perform their testing. Today, Ericsson deploys 2500 SAP transports to production every two weeks.

Tiffany Jachja
Technical Evangelist, Harness

CI/CD pipelines today are evolving towards no-code or low-code solutions that scale better to requirements and change. Scripted pipelines tend to yield brittle processes that don't handle new or scaled workloads. CI/CD platforms and solutions make it simple to get applications from code commit to production. Platforms that enable a DevOps flow provide a common interface for all software delivery stakeholders to communicate and deliver their applications. Further applications of platforms can include intelligence, and added security support.

The Continuous Delivery Foundation is a vendor-neutral community that is also driving and sharing more about this changing CI/CD ecosystem.

Jamal Walsh
Technical Product Owner, The Very Group

The CD/CD Vendor landscape is evolving quickly, more and more vendors are trying to build solutions that offer all the tooling to support CI/CD. There is also a push towards Machine learning (ML) and Artificial intelligence (AI) in CI/CD.

Stephen Walters
Sales Engineer, Everbridge

As we move from a Dev-centric way of thinking to our Software Delivery Lifecycle, our CI/CD pipelines are having to be more inclusive towards our Lean Enterprise. For example, there must be acceptance that our CI/CD pipelines have to be part of our Incident Management processes, assisting us in delivering fixes within expected service level agreement (SLA) and service level objective (SLO) tolerances.

As such, it is just as important that they provide immediate progress reporting to ensure minimised impact on the business and that our precious development teams are freed up to provide innovative value delivery over maintaining stability.

Bryan Finster
Software Engineer, DoD Platform One

Instrumenting the delivery platforms to get insights into the flow of value is becoming more common. The desire for and proper use of delivery metrics is in its infancy in many organizations. Still, there is a growing call for vendors and enterprise delivery enablement platform teams to provide teams and leadership a view into the flow. This is a double-edged sword because there is also a lack of understanding of which metrics are actually meaningful for improving outcomes and how to use them effectively. There is a growing need for training at every level on how to prevent poor outcomes from metrics misuse.

Dheeraj Nayal
Global Community Ambassador, DevOps Institute

AI and ML are helping, shaping and impacting CI/CD, enabling organizations to move away from siloed operations management, provide intelligent insights, and drive automation and collaboration. This is happening in four major areas: AI-Driven Development, Cloud Native Distributed Data Frameworks, AI-Driven Operationalization, and Next level insights into Delivery Health.

Vishnu Vasudevan
Head of Product Engineering and Development, Opsera

The CI/CD space has become huge and is always evolving with new practices around continuous security, continuous quality, the continuous processes associated with ITSM, and continuous deployment. It's not just the build and deployment steps any longer, CI/CD now involves security gates, quality control, process improvement, governance and compliance, and also continuously working on efficient ways of deploying the code into the production.


Learn more about CI/CD and similar topics, by registering for an upcoming SKILup Day. Or, start your upskilling journey by learning more about the benefits of DevOps Institute membership.

Go to: 8 Ways CI/CD Pipelines Are Evolving - Part 2

Jayne Groll is CEO of DevOps Institute
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