DevOps has already evolved quite a bit in just the last few years, it is hard to imagine what it will look like ten years from now. Using Agile as a model, which has now been around for nearly two decades, actual adoption of the DevOps methodologies will take time. In the 2018 State of Agile Report only around half of the survey’s respondents said the majority of teams within their organization were using agile and only 25 percent said that all teams were agile. There’s still a lot of room for growth and need for continued expansion efforts such as efforts around scaling agile for enterprises.
DevOps garnered great enthusiasm these last few years as teams who adopted these methods saw significant improvements and changes, but as Eric Robertson, VP of Product Marketing Management at CollabNet VersionOne says, we still have a long road ahead:
“Those who are involved in evangelizing DevOps and furthering its mission need to understand that this effort is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and we are likely still at the beginning. Those of us who have been at the forefront of sharing the benefits of DevOps with the industry, have accomplished a great deal in terms of breaking down culture barriers and getting the attention of top-level business leaders. However, the number of enterprises still unsure where to start with making DevOps a reality is large.”
We’ve asked some DevOps thought leaders to weigh in on this question, looking ahead at DevOps and they seem to agree, changes will take place, but at that time there will be new problems to solve and it’s worth noting that large and well-established enterprises move at a slow pace. Mirco Hering, Mirco Hering, Principal Director, APAC DevOps and Agile at Accenture, reminds us of this:
“I want to say that we will have solved all the problems, but after 15 years in the industry I have learned that things move slowly in large enterprises. I do think that in 10 years the tool and application vendors have realized that their systems are part of an ecosystem and have made them much more compatible than they are now.”
He also points out a key advancement the DevOps industry has made, which is in measuring why DevOps is important.
“I also think that we have become a lot better at measuring our progress rather than just taking leaps of faith,” said Hering.
With proof points showing the value of DevOps, organizations are more likely to adopt sooner than later. Dominica DeGrandis, author of, “Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow, takes a more optimistic approach saying that DevOps will be essential for organizations to succeed. She also posits changes in the way IT functions within an organization. She says, “DevOps will likely be table stakes for companies who wish to remain relevant in the future. IT will no longer be considered a cost center and organizations will manage work from a product perspective vs. a project centric model.”
As the industry focus around DevOps has evolved from looking at culture and people dynamics to tools and delivery to recently business value, IT leaders seem to want to work backwards from the results. Thanks to the improvements in measurement, mentioned by Hering, this is becoming possible. When business leaders see that IT initiatives support their goals, they are more likely to facilitate DevOps adoption.
Jeff Sussna, author of “Designing Delivery,” when asked what DevOps would look like in 10 years, said it will, “encompass more and more of the business in cross-functional product/service teams that continuously align themselves with customers and each other.”
By bringing business stakeholders into software development earlier, products reflect customer needs and workflows reflect business priorities — the whole pipeline is more efficient and responsive.
Whether DevOps slowly trudges ahead, relatively unchanged in 10 years or whether the methodology becomes a given for all organizations the need for innovation around developing better quality software and delivering it at speed will still be a driving force in the industry.
What do you think DevOps will look like in 10 years? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.