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Chef 2019 Predictions: New tools for application automation, making infrastructure effortless and eliminating the compliance wall to avoid compromising innovation

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Corey Scobie, SVP of product and engineering at Chef Software

New tools for application automation, making infrastructure effortless and eliminating the compliance wall to avoid compromising innovation

2018 was a banner year for DevOps. The industry saw strategic acquisitions, more enterprise adoption of containers, security improvements and more. But this does not necessarily indicate that the DevOps industry is mature. Although DevOps tools have been advancing over the past decade, like any new innovation or practice, it continues to evolve, and there has been an increasing need for DevOps within a multitude of industries.

According to an October 2018 Gartner report, How to Navigate Your DevOps Journey, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders "often struggle to identify and define their best initial DevOps actions and initiatives. As a result, many DevOps initiatives fail to deliver the expected business value, leading them to stall or be abandoned." With this in mind, "I&O leaders must determine how to improve their ability to identify best practices for their initial DevOps efforts."

As the end of 2018 approaches, it's time to prepare for the year ahead. From the relationships within enterprises, to the evolving dev and ops roles, to the innovative technologies that support them, below are a few transformative developments in DevOps that we can expect in 2019.

New tools and perspectives will ease application build, deploy, manage cycles when compared to Kubernetes, et al.

Though much has been said about the efficacy of container management platforms in enabling cloud migration and multi-cloud app deployment and management, barriers still exist. That said, 2019 will be the year when more complete solutions around container orchestration will emerge, and customers who are already agile will be able to derive real ROI from these solutions. Meanwhile, those who were just tinkering with Kubernetes as a "tool" rather than tying it to business outcomes will fail to achieve meaningful results. New approaches that streamline processes toward the core issue (app development, deployment and management in any environment) will serve as a critical, complementary component to DevOps and IT strategies and separate the winners from the losers on enterprise leadership in the new year.   

Enterprises in 2019 will recognize the criticality of contractual clarity and consistency between layers and begin creating a software assembly line to future-proof their businesses.

Recognizing that they tend to develop software and dev processes, in siloes, by group, while hyperscalers optimize for output, enterprises will place the focus squarely on aiming for consistency in development and delivery at scale. In order for enterprises to compete with hyperscalers, they have to think like hyperscalers and organize like hyperscalers.

Hyperscalers have legacy systems too; they call them their product. Leaders will move past their self-imposed limitations.

In competing with Hyperscalers, many enterprises have failed to recognize that hyperscalers, too, have legacy. In contrast to enterprises, who see legacy as a hindrance to forward progress, hyperscalers just see it as their genesis and something they have iterated on to get to where they are. Leading enterprises in 2019 will come to see their current state in the same way and champion the developments that have moved them beyond where they were.

2019 is all about making infrastructure effortless, immediate, scalable and secure for apps teams.

IT in 2019 will truly begin making infrastructure effortless for apps teams to do their jobs. The tools already exist to make that happen, they are just not applied consistently and effectively across the board. Closing this gap is critical to digital transformation and to enterprise ability to compete with hyperscalers and 2019 will be there year where we begin to see marked advancements along that path.   

Business success will be dependent on eliminating the gap and eradicating siloes - it's all a technology problem.

Too many companies have learned to keep IT and product teams at a distance. Siloes like these indicate lack of ability to identify as a technology company and see everything as a technology-addressable problem. Leading IT teams in 2019 will eradicate walls and siloes, leading to more creative, effective problem-solving and to better outcomes for companies and their customers.

IT leaders must accelerate the implementation of compliance automation processes to avoid compromising innovation.

Application innovation often hits a hard wall - compliance considerations - on the way to production. As a result, 2019 will be the year when security and compliance teams themselves will be under tremendous pressure from the broader organization to get onboard with the compliance automation process and stop being perceived as obstructionists. Likewise, IT leaders in 2019 must accelerate the implementation of compliance automation processes and platforms, to eliminate any barriers to productivity quickly and easily, optimizing outcomes for enterprises and their customers.


About the Author


Corey Scobie is SVP of product and engineering at Chef Software. Corey brings more than 20 years of experience in internet and enterprise technologies to Chef, having worked for and with the world's top web players and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Chef, he served as VP of Open Platform and product experience at Akamai Technologies, where he led strategy and delivery of Akamai's command and control console (Luna Control Center) as well as the portfolio of customer and developer facing applications and APIs. Corey created The Open Platform Initiative to simplify and expand access to Akamai's core technologies, products and services using a developer focused and self-service approach.

Published Wednesday, December 26, 2018 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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