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The Future of DevOps: 15 Trends for 2021

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DevOps and IT operations at large is a constantly evolving field, the trends in this article are proof of that. There is always a need to keep up with trends and leverage the benefits. DevOps is evolving and merging with various technological innovations like machine learning and AI which will take more ground in 2021. Learning about these trends and implementing them in your DevOps practices will keep you afloat in the revolutionizing field.

Over the last decade of its introduction, DevOps has grown to become an integral part of many IT companies.

Experts predict that the DevOps market size will reach $12.85 billion by 2025. The efficiency and numerous advantages brought about by implementing DevOps in software engineering is the key driver of its massive adoption.

Year in year out, there have always been new and abandoned practices in the software development field.

In this article, we’ll look into rising trends and practices in DevOps and what to expect from the industry in 2021.

DevSecOps will become the new DevOps

As organizations embrace serverless, Docker, Kubernetes, and other modern cloud-based technologies, security, as always, will be of high priority, becoming a default part of DevOps.

As with DevOps — a merging of development and IT teams, DevSecOps will be an integration of security into the development and IT operations team.

The International Data Corporation (IDC), a technology research firm, predicts that DevSecOps will drive at least 50% of new applications in Asia-Pacific by 2024, giving DevSecOps a speculative clear ground from 2021.

AIOps implementation will rise

Since 2017, the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance, automate and manage IT operations has been a revolutionary change in the DevOps process.

Gartner’s research noted that by 2023, 40% of DevOps teams will augment application and infrastructure monitoring tools with artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps).

With more than 30% of IT organizations already utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence, more and more organizations will adopt AIOpsfor improved efficiency and automation of critical DevOps tasks, freeing up time for IT operators to spend on more valuable business activities.

Infrastructure Automation (IA) will be more dominant

Infrastructure management tools will help DevOps teams to bring automation into delivery, configuration, and IT infrastructure management.

IA application seamlessly automates the delivery, configuration, and management of IT infrastructure helping the IT team to be more efficient and reliable.

In 2021, companies will start to replace custom setups with enterprise-level IA tools to automate deployment and configuration.

Chaos Engineering will become a regular Testing Technique

Chaos Engineering — the discipline of experimenting on software in production to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand unexpected events, will become more important in DevOps.

Softwares are required to be highly effective and redundant, chaos engineering provides the test for that and more.

Gartner proposed that 40% of organizations will implement chaos engineering as part of DevOps by 2023, which will reduce unexpected downtime by up to 20%.

More Automation in DevOps processes

Practically, every IT organization uses automation in one way or the other. A Business wire report shows that 61% of organizations in the USA make use of automation extensively.

Companies are realizing the power and benefits of automation and are bringing it into every level of DevOps from development, to deployment and management stages.

In 2021, DevOps will get and use more advanced automation tools to evaluate error-prone human tasks and better accelerate development and deployment within the DevOps timeline.

More factored by the pandemic, lots of companies are and will continue to do a lot of automation like never before.

Companies will adopt hybrid, from design to deployment

With the shift experienced across the industry in 2020, with remote working becoming the new norm, businesses will fully embrace hybrid operations. As companies modernize their tech stack to take advantage of the cloud, hybrid will become the new norm in deployment, and business in general.

Companies will start using both the on-premise and cloud for their IT operations.

More agile software delivery with AgileOps

AgileOps combines proven agile and DevOps techniques for I&O teams to improve agility, manage software development and swiftly respond to requirements.

The ever-increasing need to quickly respond to user requirements in real-time will drive the further growth of AgileOps in IT operations.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) will boom

IaC provides a means to manage IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, storage devices (on-premise and cloud), through configuration files.

With IaC, software engineers can set up a complete infrastructure by running a script, providing consistency in deploying the same configurations, accountability, and improved efficiency in the software development environment.

Rapid recovery, reduced downtime, and other benefits of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) will move more companies to adopt it in operations.

The DataOps trend is real: DataOps will be more established

DataOps will revolutionize DevOps by using machine learning models to predict incidents or outages. DataOps uses predictive analysis and possesses the potential to revolutionize DevOps.

Itamar Ben Hemo is CEO and Co-Founder of Rivery, wrote:

Just like DevOps systematized software development, DataOps aims to accelerate the collection, processing and analysis of data. As noted by CIO, “IDC identifies four core stages in a ‘Data-to-Insights’ pipeline: Identify Data, Gather Data, Transform Data and Analyze Data. Collectively, these stages also constitute the core elements of an emerging discipline called DataOps.”

According to a survey conducted by Nexla, 73% of companies plan to invest in DataOps to manage data teams regarding how they use data, their team structure and data challenges found that 73% of companies are investing in DataOps.

Serverless Architecture will be widely adopted

Serverless computing provides scalability for application and software deployment without the cost of physical hardware.

As companies are looking to reduce and maximize expenditure to cushion the effect of the pandemic, more companies will migrate to serverless architecture eliminating the responsibilities of managing infrastructure allowing them to “pay for what you use”.

There will be a strong shift into serverless, whereby we’ll push our code into the cloud and the rest of the operation will be done by the cloud provider.

DevOps will further implement Kubernetes

More companies will begin to see the direct financial and operational benefits to the flexibility, scalability, automation, high availability, and portability offered by Kubernetes, thereby moving into adopting it.

Edge Computing will be a priority

Organizations are relying on edge computing to process data where it is collected for better latency, cost optimization, and analysis.

As IT operators look further into filtering monitored data, edge computing will provide DevOps with an edge to that, leading to more use in 2021.

Migrating to Microservices will be important

By implementing microservices, organizations will be able to control applications and automatically manage software versions with lower risks.

Business enterprises continue their accelerated move to the cloud in 2021 and beyond. They increasingly price the flexibility to try out the new technology stacks provided by microservices.

NoOps will come to the Operations Scene (again)

NoOps’ ideology is to remove all the platform management parts of DevOps and reduce friction between developers and infrastructure.

With the rise in various automation and AI in DevOps, NoOps will come to the scene in 2021 and start experiencing disruptive growth afterward.

GitOps will Institute

GitOps is an operating model for building cloud applications that combine deployment, monitoring, and management. GitOps allows DevOps to use developer tools to drive operation, establishing a “you build it, you own” process in DevOps.

If you want to know more about GitOps, check our podcast episode: GitOps: This is What You Need to Know.

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The Chief I/O

Insights for Cloud Native Leaders


Aymen El Amri

Founder, FAUN

Founder of FAUN, author, maker, trainer, and polymath software engineer (DevOps, CloudNative, CloudComputing, Python, NLP)
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