5 DevOps Trends That Set the Stage for 2018

DevOps will be a major focus in 2018, numerous surveys say.  But how to make the most of these investments – both in capital and in personnel?  ManageEngine’s Giridhara Raam shares 5 key DevOps trends for 2018 that may hold the key for how to enjoy improved software delivery with better quality.

Tags: Agile, automation, CI, DevOps, DevSecOps, Infrastructure as Code, ManageEngine, testing,

Giridhara Raam, ManageEngine
Giridhara Raam
Product Analyst

"Agile and Scrum development techniques just a few years ago were considered the best techniques by many. But in 2018, changes are coming."

DevOps is the process of improving an organization’s overall software development procedures to deliver high-quality outputs quickly.


And while the goals of DevOps have remained constant, a change in DevOps culture is underway as organizations around the world try to develop approaches that can assure an agile environment where both development and operations can work hand in hand.


Organizations need to be aware of these trends – and be ready to adapt to them -- if they want to enjoy improved software delivery with better quality. At ManageEngine, we’ve identified five DevOps trends that will set the stage for success in 2018.  Let’s look at emerging trends one by one.


Trend #1 - Testers Need Basic Programming Skills

With automation replacing many jobs, employees in the IT sector can expect a more competitive environment in the near future. Testers, who ensure software is bug-free, must evaluate their skill set to ensure they’re up to date with all the programming trends. These days, testers need to have basic programming skills that allow them to fix issues themselves without escalating the problem to the development team (unless, of course, the issue is overly complicated).


It’s also important to note here that testing is of different types, say for example a ‘black box’ testing, does not require a deep coding knowledge. But ‘white box’ testing, code-driven testing and agile testing will require good coding knowledge. Good knowledge of JavaScript and SQL commands will definitely add as an extra perk towards improved software security.


Trend #2 -- Modern Agile and Heart of Agile

Organizations have moved far from the core of DevOps. 


Agile and Scrum development techniques just a few years ago were considered the best techniques by many. But in 2018, changes are coming. We will see these long-trusted core formulas joined (maybe overtaken?) by new methodologies, notably Modern Agile and Heart of Agile methodologies.


Modern Agile is a combination of four basic principles: making people awesome, learning and experimenting rapidly, making safety a prerequisite and delivering value continuously.


Heart of Agile describes its mission using just four words: collaborate, deliver, reflect and improve. Practicing Modern Agile and Heart of Agile together can help organizations get ahead as the core DevOps approach will become fundamental in 2018.


Trend #3 - DevSecOps

DevOps needs to be updated with necessary security measures, especially since IT security has become a high-priority issue after 2017’s avalanche of cyberattacks. Despite developing security features for software and applications, security has to be baked into the development framework to deliver a secure product now and to allow security loopholes to be fixed later.


Developing a product with security in its framework will help improve application security right from its base level.

The shift from DevOps to DevSecOps can take a minimum of 12 months for a successful implementation. To get started, here is a valuable 3-phrase roadmap to help you with your journey.

First phase: 
In this phase the security team has to create 15-20 threat models using a DevSecOps implementation solution. After creating the same the security experts have to develop a repeatable process, generate best security requirements and test cases continuously to build a centralized threat library. This phase usually takes three months to complete.


Second phase:
During this phase the security team should introduce a threat implementation solution to applications and system architects asking them to showcase their project and iterations on the diagramming canvas. At this stage both developers and operations team work together to modify and build up 30 new threat models out of their entire portfolio. This again can take three months to complete.


Third phase: 
This is the final phase, also called the Universal phase which takes six months to complete. At this phase the whole DevOps team participate in modelling the threats using the threat implementation solution. When the team completes this phase, the organization will be able to classify its top threats, top vulnerable applications and construct a comprehensive attack surface.

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Trend #4 - Rapid Technological Growth

New DevOps tools and a large number of plug-ins are introduced to the market on a daily basis. Companies need to analyze these new tools, measure their performance and employ them if necessary. To stay alive in this competitive market, you need to stay up to date with the newest DevOps tools and techniques.


In the blizzard of new DevOps tools, available today and in the future, it will be useful to focus in on a few key qualities. Focus on these capabilities and you’ll be sure to be headed in the right direction.

  1. Possibilities of collaborate vision and design
  2. Staging environments for development
  3. Support for infrastructure as code
  4. Support for collaborative coding
  5. Should help in continuous integration
  6. Scope for automated testing and deployment. 
  7. Features for incident, change and problem tracking
  8. Ability to monitor feedbacks which can help in continuous improvements.


Trend #5 - Interdependency Between Containers and Microservices

Containers and microservices have to work in collaboration with DevOps to obtain streamlined productivity and delivery. Microservices are the best and most recent trend used to establish efficient DevOps environments, and containers have already been used in Linux for a while.


If microservices and DevOps work together, organizations can optimize the deployability, reliability, availability, scalability, modifiability and management of their output. If done correctly, this allows developers to manage frameworks separately and eases the demand for them to troubleshoot.


If containers and DevOps work together, then deployment, production and testing become easy and quick. Containers help organizations achieve simple deployment by delivering software with streamlined application updates. For example, if your application is distributed onto multiple microservices, each one will be hosted in a separate, individual container. So, if you need to update a particular service, you can update that part of the app and restart its container without interrupting the other parts of the app. In addition, containers support multiple frameworks, which means that moving a container from Red Hat to Ubuntu is simple.


Conclusion – Getting DevOps-Ready in 2018

Big names like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Salesforce, Zoho and Microsoft have already employed the latest DevOps trends to prepare themselves for this evolving competitive market. It’s time for the rest of us to kick-start our DevOps workflow. The tools, technologies and methodologies are poised to be available for everyone.  


While there are no predefined rules and tools for DevOps, let me close with a few guiding principles which will help you get DevOps-ready in the New Year:

  1. Holistic system thinking
  2. No silos
  3. Rapid useful feedback
  4. Automate drudgery away


Also, make sure to adapt your DevOps plans to fit your organization. The trends and guiding principles we discussed in this article should give you the freedom and confidence to frequently analyze your DevOps approach (and revamp as necessary).  


Keep in mind, DevOps is about outcomes – not fixed rules. The ideal DevOps environment can only be achieved if it is customized specifically for your organization and the industry to which it belongs. DevOps in 2017 has already made organizations realize what a difference it can bring to their productivity. For 2018, DevOps success can be more remarkable – and more widespread.


These 5 trends can be your best friends.


Giridhara Raam is a product analyst at ManageEngine, a provider of IT operations and service management software (a division of Zoho Corp). Giridhara is a frequent contributor to the company’s blog blogs.manageengine.com/ and also the author of a recent ebook on cybersecurity 6 Best Practices for Escaping Ransomware