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DevOps Institute

November 23, 2022

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By Eveline Oehrlich and Guest Contributors

For the Majority of Organizations, DevOps Must Still Expand

DevOps promises better quality software and happier working environments. The measures of deployment frequency, lead time for changes, MTTR, and change failure rate determine if an organization performs as a highly evolved organization with consistent improvements around software quality. Additionally, these organizations have modified their way of working by transforming their culture. 

According to Puppet’s 2021 State of DevOps report, the majority of companies practicing DevOps were stuck in the middle of their DevOps evolution. In the report, Puppet defines mid-level evolution as companies that have already laid their DevOps foundations. While working on our Upskilling IT 2022 report, we found that 58% of survey respondents primarily applied DevOps among other process and framework models. While DevOps might not be suitable for all applications and services, it certainly has proven to be more than just hype. 

Unlocking the Frozen Middle Towards High-Performance Organizations Will Hinge on Upskilling Efforts 

Forbes reports the landscape of work continues to stress employees and employers as global economic factors force layoffs. Nobody can really predict the future of the economy, however, a study commissioned by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence revealed that ‘most employees are concerned they lack the skills (78%) and education (71%) required to advance their career, and the pandemic is at least partly to blame.’  

For the last four years, DevOps Institute has researched the different DevOps and IT skill domains, the must-have skills within these domains and the challenges associated with upskilling. In the Upskilling IT 2022 survey, we found that only 52% of IT enterprise organizations have a formal upskilling program, while the biggest challenge across global IT teams is the lack of skills. Jayne Groll, CEO, DevOps Institute says `Scaling DevOps, Agile and SRE will be the challenge facing enterprise leaders. Human transformation and upskilling will be a key directive for leaders in order to move faster, stay competitive and retain and attract human talent’.   

To guide you towards an evolution or further improvements around your DevOps journey, here is a detailed look at our 2023 IT predictions: 

The DevOps Way Combines With a Variety of Operational Frameworks  

Digital transformations are improving existing operations, allowing organizations to develop new operating models, expand their revenue streams and are great ways to improve customer and employee experience while being better than the competition. But it requires a transformation of stability, speed and innovation activities, investment in new ways of working and the adoption of new operating models. The future IT operating model for accelerating digital transformation will combine various operational frameworks.   

Value Stream Management Will Rise in Priority 

Helen Beal, DevOps Institute, VSM Consortium –

“Value Stream Management (VSM) is experiencing a renaissance triggered by the emergence of DevOps toolchains which are well-established in many organizations and fast becoming a defacto standard industry-wide. These toolchains make it possible to access data from start to finish in digital value streams and supply teams with actionable insights to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their products and services. In 2023, VSM will bring product management and software engineering closer than ever before and start crossing the chasm to reach the early majority.” 

ITSM Will Remain Important but Will Become Less Formal 

Jayne Groll, CEO, DevOps Institute –

“ITSM will remain relevant but will transform into less bureaucratic, more lightweight processes resulting from the rise of Site Reliability Engineering. This will be particularly so for processes such as Service Level Management, Incident, Change, Event, Capacity, and Security. The focus will shift from Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to Service Level Objectives (SLOs), from Change Advisory Boards (CABs) to Error Budgets/Standard Changes and from Event Management to Observability. As more organizations migrate to the cloud, capacity management and cloud security will evolve.”

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and DevSecOps Investments Will Accelerate  

Eveline Oehrlich, Chief Research Officer, DevOps Institute

“In 2022, SRE as an operational framework was a must-have for 40% of respondents within our research. Within digital business (and others) customer and employee experience is impacted if the performance and reliability of resources do not meet the high expectations. Additionally, complexity across the technology ecosystem through the adoption of hybrid cloud and other modern resources will fuel the necessity to have SRE capabilities. And last, the conversation will also shift toward the responsibility of security. In 2023, security will be at equal stakes between developers, IT operations and the security team. The good news from Upskilling IT 2022 is that 46% of respondents said there already is a tight collaboration between the development and security teams in their organizations, with regular joint meetings and well-used channels.” 

Automation Must Achieve Outcomes for Customers – Not Just for IT 

Automation is critical to managing, changing, and adapting processes, infrastructure, applications, services and more. It allows offloading of a variety of repetitive and mundane tasks but also helps streamline a variety of processes. For example, by simplifying change through automation, teams gain the time and energy to focus on innovation. But Automation can only be done with a strategy. This should include optimizing processes before automation, aligning expectations and goals, and the costs and associated risks and challenges. Automation for the sake of it does not add value to business stakeholders.  

DevOps Automation Will Extend Beyond CI/CD 

Matt Clemente, EVP, Lemongrass –

“Historically, automation in the context of DevOps meant automating software delivery processes, like Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) of applications.

Going forward, however, we’re likely to see DevOps teams creating automations that extend to other facets of IT management and operations. Businesses will be making heavier use of automated testing to ensure application quality, for instance, security teams will adopt automation to help remediate risks. The main reason for these changes is that automation will help to bring even more velocity to Dev and Ops processes. Traditionally, workflows like software testing or security response could become bottlenecks for DevOps teams. By automating these processes as much as possible, businesses reduce friction and make DevOps even faster and more efficient.”

We Will Hear the Terms “AIOps” and “DataOps” More Often

Supratip Banerjee, Solutions Architect, Principal Financial Group –

“IT teams will employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to improve results and contribute to more responsive IT operations. The challenges of growing complexity and fast amounts of data are forcing IT teams to adopt different ways of monitoring. Additionally, AI has the potential to significantly alter the DevOps decision-making process. Understanding and recognizing patterns will increase team productivity and bridge the gap between big data and humans.”  

Even More Migration of Workloads to Kubernetes in 2023 

Matt Clemente, EVP, Lemongrass –

“… and not just because Kubernetes has won the “orchestration wars” to become the de facto platform for hosting containerized applications. Instead, part of Kubernetes’s appeal in the context of modern DevOps is that Kubernetes is a platform that both developers and IT Ops engineers can love. For developers, Kubernetes provides a consistent, predictable way to run apps, so development teams don’t have to worry about addressing as many variables and edge cases when writing code. Likewise, for Ops, Kubernetes offers a systematic and highly reliable way of deploying applications at scale. Kubernetes thus brings Dev and Ops together in a way few other platforms can.”

Skill Shortages Will Need to be Addressed to Not Stall the DevOps Way of Working  

DevOps ways of working represent the most dramatic shift for IT organizations in a generation. Unfortunately, we are experiencing tremendous skill gaps. According to Upskilling IT 2022, process and framework skills, human skills, technical skills, automation skills, leadership skills, digital skills, business skills, and advanced cognitive skills are the top seven IT must-have skill capabilities. Unfortunately, most IT enterprise managers hire for technical skills. Still, as seen in State of DevOps 2021, cultural challenges in organizational structures seem to be the biggest hindering factor for further advancing DevOps within organizations. 

Leaders, IT Staff and Business All Must Have a Fundamental Understanding of DevOps 

Eveline Oehrlich, Chief Research Officer, DevOps Institute –

“While DevOps improves innovation, speed, agility, and resilience, upskilling and reskilling is an essential strategy component of any DevOps journey, but DevOps training is not just for staff within IT. DevOps ways of working must be understood by all to help improve operational efficiency, to positively impact the bottom line of an organization, and for sustainable, improved and quicker ways to service customers. In 2023, DevOps and its related topics and subcategories will become an upskilling priority across all levels and roles within organizations striving to improve. While current barriers to upskilling such as lack of time (53%), lack of budget (47%), lack of offerings (32%), upskilling not being a top priority for leadership (20%), and emphasis on hiring instead of upskilling (19%) have existed in 2021, these will need to be addressed for ensuring a skilled and engaged team towards DevOps futures.”  

AI Will Play a Significant Role in Accelerating Skill Development 

Tracy Ragan, Creator and CEO, DeployHub –

“The lack of skilled software engineers continues to be a problem for organizations large and small. While we continue to preach ‘STEM’ in our elementary education, the number of Computer Science graduates is far less than the labor market requires. Artificial Intelligence in software development may be our way out. Just this year, GitHub released an open-source offering called “Copilot.”  Copilot accelerates a person’s ability to write code by suggesting code and entire functions in real time from an editor. Think Grammarly for programmers. Why is this important? By providing this level of coding assistance, ‘New Collar’ workers will have an easier path to employment. AI-assisted programming will open the door to an entirely new group of software developers, including older individuals making a career change, women looking for work they can easily do from home, and really smart kids that may not have had the resources to go to a four-year college. This new pool of software developers will allow organizations to recruit and retain life-long learners who want to find their place in IT.” 

Investments Into Upskilling Will Rise to Ease the Skill Gap 

Jayne Groll, CEO, DevOps Institute –

“There will be an awakening at the leadership level that automation requires skilled staff to fulfill the promises of DevOps and digital transformation are essential. The talent gap will continue to widen, particularly for skilled software engineers and site reliability engineers.  Organizations will invest more in certifications, upskilling, reskilling, and continuous learning to stay ahead of the curve and benefit existing and potentially new staff. Human skills will be recognized as essential, with soft skill training and resources being made available to teams.”


The Adoption of Technology Must be Correlated With Learning 

Harrison Kirby, Strategic Account Consultant and DevOps Institute Ambassador  –

“The gap in digital skills across many organisations has been very apparent, particularly in public sectors where it is repeatedly hitting the headlines as the problem gets wider rather than narrower. Cloud and automation skills continue to be challenging as demand continues to outstrip supply. I think a key reason for this is that innovation is often associated with the need to use new technology, without first understanding how that technology can be delivered and supported. Most of us agree that incremental delivery as opposed to the big bang achieves better results, but with skills, we seem to forget about this. Granted, new technology is needed, but we must correlate the adoption of technology with learning and ensure both grow in parallel to avoid large capability gaps and skill debt. Given the rise of publicity in skill shortages I predict that in 2023 DevOps, and in particular methods related to the Third Way (Continuous Experimentation and Learning) will become more prominent as organisations seek innovative ways of reducing skill debt by applying focus and effort on continuous learning.”

Competing Priorities Derail DevOps 

Starting DevOps within one team, product, or application is a good beginning, but cannot be fully effective without a coherent strategy for organizing, governing, optimizing, and deploying an organization’s overall strategy towards practicing DevOps principles. One must know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to DevOps and that there are other factors influencing the expansion and growth of DevOps journeys.    

Modernization of Legacy Environments Will Bubble up in Priority

Eveline Oehrlich
, Chief Research Officer, DevOps Institute  –

“While we have experienced the debilitating consequences of relying on legacy systems during COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of legacy modernization is gaining some attention. Organisations and governments are spending horrendous amounts of money to keep legacy going. Unfortunately, over time, our current IT systems and applications are becoming legacy and require replacement. While the cost of operations and support of legacy systems continue to grow, outages, performance challenges, integration issues, and other problems continue to plague many organisations across the globe. While Gartner predicts a worldwide overall growth of 5.1% in IT budgets, the majority of the new funding will be spent in shifts toward the cloud. This might include adoptions of DevOps but could also compete with optimization of process and culture work.”    

Demand For Speed, Scale and Volume Will Keep New Terms Coming

Within the last year and before we have seen terms like AIOps, BizOps, ChatOps, DataOps, FinOps, GitOps, GreenOps, MLOPs, ModelOps, ProductOps, SecOps, ServiceOps and more showing up in literature and research. The commonality among these terms is that they all are bridging silos and/or technologies and are adding improved operationalization and organization of different lifecycles across teams, functions, and topics. It also enhances the collaboration of different roles and personas such as data scientists and IT professionals to collaborate and communicate effectively while automating machine learning models in the case of MLOps. In 2023 new names for collaborative operating models will continue to be developed and the challenge will be to understand which ones are critical to understand, learn and potentially apply.  

Cultural Anthropology Will Become a Topic Aside From Technology and Operating Models

Some of us have been around IT for a long time, and others have just recently entered this awesome field. No matter where you come from or what your next destination is, you have joined this field because you love to solve problems, apply new technologies, try out new things, and develop or operationalize existing or new solutions. The evolution into new operating models and new technologies (e.g., AI, RPA, AR/VR) however, requires the adoption and change of existing behaviors and cultures. Additionally, burnout, quiet quitting, generational issues, and different working models will need to be addressed. A cultural anthropologist studies different cultures and looks at different behaviors and models within a culture. To sustain (or improve) health, wellness, collaboration within and across teams and to achieve a specific vision, we must understand how to evolve and adopt our culture.

Closing

The year 2023 has many challenges ahead, and there are plenty of predictions and opportunities to leverage. You might need to change, stop some things, or start new things. To understand what can be improved, a good practice is that of a retrospective – no matter if your team is Agile, deploys DevOps, or any other models. No matter at what level, looking retrospectively will give everyone a chance to share what was important to them in 2022, what they learned and what their ideas are for 2023.  

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