2021 DevOps Predictions For The Software-Powered World

2021 DevOps Predictions For The Software-Powered World

2021 DevOps Predictions For The Software-Powered World

The developer community has scaled quickly. Its presence and growth have driven change in many industries. Moving forward, I think we’ll see organizations pay more attention to developers and have a greater understanding of how important they are in decision making.

As a member of the DevOps community, I’ve identified some of the key trends of this developer-powered world that will continue to shape our reality. Organizations that embrace and scale along with these trends will be most likely to succeed in the future of the digital revolution.

1. Software Packages (A.k.a. Binaries) Will Be The Common Currency

The advent of DevOps has led to a number of trends, including rapid development and more frequent deployments. These trends, coupled with massive increases in infrastructure footprint across hybrid environments and new edge and IoT applications, will likely put more emphasis on binaries as the common currency of DevOps and software build-to-release processes.

Binaries and “images” are the building blocks of applications. Binaries (or “artifacts”) are:

• The unit of consistency across environments — they are what’s running in production.

• The collaboration point between development and operations.

• The single source of truth for the organization to ensure security, governance, supply chain management and quality delivery.

In our developer-powered world, one piece of source code is compiled to produce tens of thousands (sometimes millions) of binaries in the wild. These binaries run on distributed, hyper-scale infrastructure and are incorporated as dependencies in thousands of “descendent” applications. With this great scale — and impact on our daily lives — comes great responsibility. Ensuring central management, security and granular visibility into this inventory of the building blocks of software in the organization has become more crucial than ever.

2. Edge And IoT Applications Will Transform Software Distribution

Already today, it seems like almost every company is a software company. In the next couple of years, we may see virtually every company become an edge software company.

To meet customer demand, support new use cases and ensure an optimal experience, enterprises must run more of their applications closer to consumers, meaning there will probably be growth in edge applications. These new deployment targets range from “thick” edges, such as remote “mini data centers” (think of every retail store branch, 5G tower, manufacturing floors, etc.), to “thin” edges, such as embedded and IoT devices (smart cars and homes). These applications will run on exponentially growing, distributed, complex infrastructure footprints and connectivity requirements.

Enterprises must continuously deploy thousands of software binaries to possibly millions of limited-compute and limited-connectivity remote edges, IoT servers and devices. How do you conquer bandwidth limitations, security concerns, device management and complex topologies overhead to get applications across this complex edge footprint in a fast, secure, reliable way?

The new challenges of this “hyper-edge” brave new world will likely transform software distribution as we know it with modern cloud-native technologies, delivery patterns and operations methods. It may also further blend the lines between application development and IT operations. Developers will be entrusted with distributing their binaries for deployments across edges and the IoT and will own an even larger slice of the ITOps stack, particularly for IoT development.

The year 2021 may be the turning point for enterprises living on the edge. In order to bring computing closer to consumers, enterprises first must get software binaries closer to the consumption point, quickly and securely. However, the ability to automate the distribution of application binaries and deployments all the way to hybrid edge endpoints is still nascent. This year represents a sea change: More enterprises will likely emphasize the edge moving forward.

3. Hybrid Everything Will Demand Interoperability

Along with the new normal of working from home and remote DevOps, the new reality of edge development and emerging use cases underscores that everything in our DevOps world has to support a hybrid state of affairs: hybrid infrastructure spanning on-premises, cloud, multicloud and edges/things across remote geographies and environments; hybrid workloads spanning legacy and cloud-native applications; hybrid architectures, from monoliths to microservices to functions; and hybrid stacks, technologies and DevOps tooling to support the various use cases and application needs.

To enable seamless and continuous application updates across environments, including remote and edge devices, we’ll likely see more organizations realize that they need to put more effort into their DevOps pipeline, processes, validation and interoperability.

Organizations cannot consider their DevOps processes mature and always available if they do not work seamlessly across multiple clouds and deployment environments, for example. Ensuring that tools and processes work across environments and workloads will likely become a priority. Enterprises may double down to accelerate and improve their continuous integration/continuous delivery automation and development, security and operations capabilities. Only when these processes are mature can organizations have confidence in their delivery practices and tooling.

4. Security Will Be Baked In From The Start

This edge, hybrid, always-on, remote-everything, software-driven reality also will mean increased cybersecurity risks, a much wider attack surface and potential disruption to all our lives.

The future of software delivery will likely bring more convergence between the traditional divide of application security and infrastructure/runtime security. I think we’ll see more consolidation in the space and solutions to ensure tighter security, compliance controls and security responses that span development to production all the way to the edge, including end-to-end automation of security policies as an integral part of CI/CD.

This consolidation will likely be made possible by the adoption of container technologies and solutions that expand software life cycle management processes to edges and production, such as validating releases’ bills of materials at these distributed endpoints and preventing any drifts. The cybersecurity market for cloud infrastructure will also probably mature and take a more proactive approach to ensure that secure cloud configurations will proliferate.

Enable DevOps Teams To Change The Game

In a software-powered world, developers are game-changers. They enable organizational progress and are often key decision makers for DevOps and software delivery initiatives that directly impact businesses’ bottom lines today. The world is software-powered, and the software game is evolving. Only the companies that understand the power of their developers will evolve along with it.

This article originally appeared on forbes.com To read the full article and see the images, click here.

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