For developers and the IT industry, the introduction of DevOps has had a profound effect, changing mindsets and making concepts like continuous integration and continuous delivery more popular.
There are several factors behind the increasing adoption of DevOps:
- It allows organisations to capture all processes in an auditable and replicable way
- It adapts quickly, which makes the cost of change low
- It allows businesses to add cross-functionality collaborations, which often involves different teams working together
- It results in working at a much higher speed
Since its introduction, DevOps has also highlighted that organisations need to be more agile and has inspired many to do so.
As DevOps has matured and become more mainstream, there has been a gradual evolution of the approach. With a similar evolution taking place in the cloud world, more intelligent tools have started to become available too. Consequently, developers are now able to follow up DevOps processes with more discipline and more efficiently, with the approach showing the potential to revolutionise enterprise.
Now, we’re seeing more advanced forms of DevOps begin to take the IT industry by storm:
The evolution of DevOps has sparked the emergence of DevSecOps – the practice of integrating security into development. Historically, the issue of security had been largely overlooked in terms of DevOps due to the inclusion of security during development hindering speed. Instead, security was commonly retrofitted after a build.
However, as developers and organisations have begun to realise that this approach not only makes the process more difficult but also isn’t the most security-conscious method, some have started to integrate security into DevOps from the outset. This DevSecOps approach allows developers to alleviate any security issues at the time of development, rather than retrospectively.
Beyond this, DevSecOps is also helping businesses to break down siloes by encouraging greater collaboration across teams to ensure that security experts are involved in development stages and knowledge is being shared.
What’s next for DevOps?
Beyond DevSecOps, there’s no guarantee regarding where DevOps might go next, however, I have two main theories:
NoOps is the idea that solutions will feature everything they are required to, such as code standards, security, libraries and legislative protocols, from the outset and everything will be completely automated. Technically, as everything would be automated within the software provisioning pipeline, there would be no need for manual, human-based operations, instead, they will be required to merely monitor and raise questions as they verify the software. As everything would automatically meet a certain standard, this could potentially guarantee a higher level of security and resilience.
Rather than DevOps disappearing completely, different types of Ops may emerge. Ops could be augmented by machine learning (ML), or MLOps could be developed to form a machine learning-driven operation that would be able to certify the standards that an organization may want to implement. Things could develop in a declarative/rule-based manner and be implemented according to the technology stack selected by the organisation. And, wouldn’t it be great if the feedback loops could be integrated in an AI model that would feedback to developers, security and operation engineers alike and into auto-adaptive process that would ultimately tend to autonomic computing? What if we dare to dream what computers could do for us seeing as they are good at those mundane tasks we hate?
Over the coming years, the evolution of DevOps is likely to progress as organisations become more familiar with it and technologies continues to advance at pace. In time, this will result in DevOps beginning to encompass new technologies, such as AI and ML, and all of the requirements of development being brought together. Ultimately, this will be extremely beneficial, encouraging communication and collaboration across departments and ensuring that new solutions meet required standards and security from the outset.