2021 IT Ops Prediction: DevOps
February 18, 2021
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The agile, DevOps approach to IT, as enabled by nimble, scalable cloud services, encourages incremental wins and daring experimentation. Release new features in smaller, quicker updates; try new things, assess and adjust quickly, and pull the plug if necessary. Chalk up a loss to experience and growth, rather than slam some ambitious engineer or product manager for an unsuccessful venture.

"Cloud platforms, DevOps disciplines and digital technologies enable a culture of experiment, fail and iterate," says Sendur Sellakumar. But that's because we're no longer in a waterfall world where just the "experiment" part of that equation took 18-24 months. "It can't take three years to fail. And in a digital world, it doesn't have to."

Even allowing for factors such as varying levels of regulation or data sensitivity from one industry to the next, organizations are going to find that their increasing adoption of cloud will enable — and instigate — a more experimental mindset.

Prediction: Successful organizations will blur (or erase) the line between ITOps and DevOps

The embrace of cloud, the related importance of observability, the "fail fast" mantra ... why didn't we just cut this whole thing down to two words: Adopt DevOps?

Because it's not that simple. DevOps is not an inevitable destination for every IT organization. In fact, says Sendur Sellakumar, it's not exactly a destination at all.

"People say the DevOps movement is a transformation and a journey; I actually don't think it's a journey," Sellakumar says. "I think it's a different way of adopting, and it increases the heterogeneity of the operating model for our companies."

In other words, for most organizations, DevOps has to coexist with traditional IT operations.

"There's a natural limit to where it makes business sense to transition to DevOps," Sellakumar says. "If you're a large insurance organization that has a third of your business running on mainframes, it probably doesn't make sense to change that to a DevOps model."

But don't try telling insurance CEOs that their industry is no place for agility and digital experimentation. Velocity and customer focus are central to every industry in the Data Age, and DevOps' more holistic view of software development — from conception to consumer — help get you there.

"The DevOps practices of continuous integration and continuous deployment are fundamental to achieving necessary velocity," says Splunk CIO Steve McMahon.

So bring a little DevOps to every aspect of IT operations. You don't even have to call it DevOps, McMahon says.

"DevOps means something different to everyone, anyway," he notes. "To me, it means that I deploy code and am responsible for that code after it goes live. So I have to have the relevant information to understand how the code is performing so that if need be, I can quickly roll it back, and the service is barely impacted at all. That's really what DevOps and the core practices of continuous integration and continuous deployment mean to me."

These are the values, regardless of the specific tools, technologies and terms of art, that will drive IT operations in the Data Age.

This is an excerpt from the ebook: Splunk IT Operations Predictions 2021

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