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Akamai 2019 Predictions: DevOps Boiling Point Ahead for Digital Laggards

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

Contributed by Ari Weil, Global VP of Product and Industry Marketing, Akamai

DevOps Boiling Point Ahead for Digital Laggards

From increased security and governance oversight as a result of a major breach, to enterprise demand for standardization and ecosystem integrations, DevOps is poised  to undergo major transformation in the year ahead. Ari Weil, Global VP of Product and Industry Marketing at Akamai, weighs in on these and other key predictions for the DevOps industry in 2019.

Stumbles will level set what "agility" really means for DevOps. Agility is defined as the ability to move quickly and easily. For most businesses the holy grail of agility has meant automating continuous release and deployment for applications in order to realize value faster.  But as complexity increases exponentially through transformations, integrations, and permutations of what a hybrid deployment look like, the process definitions of the stodgy, legacy enterprise will begin to creep in as knowledge gaps expose businesses to risks and compromise. The trick will be to establish rigor to mitigate risk without resulting in rigor-mortis.  

A major breach will result in a massive fine or fallout in the user community. As businesses continue to evolve existing processes and encourage experimentation and scale through DevOps initiatives, the "healthy" friction from misaligned team values will force behaviors that will ultimately result in exposure in the form of a significant data breach.  Whereas governance and oversight have been seen as an anathema to agile teams (because they assume legacy controls applied to modern workflows), the industry will begin to reconcile how controls can enable agility, not restrict it. This will result in the industry revisiting the notion of DevSecOps and redoubling efforts in awareness, education, and enablement.

Disillusionment with the over-promising of AI and ML will grow in the face of longer time to value. Vendors have been in a marketing arms race to leverage the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). In 2019, businesses will begin to realize that the current capabilities of the technology can solve for the simple, routine problems that are noisy but less valuable to the business, but leave the custom logic and complex corner cases to individuals to solve. Whether the catalyst comes from forensic tools that miss detecting advanced threats until significant damage has been done, or monitoring and analytics software that fails to detect the root cause of an issue in a complex deployment environment, the industry will reawaken to the value of evolving specialists vs. purchasing intelligence.

Skills gaps for key versatilist positions will bring new legitimacy to managed services. After key roles and skills go unfilled through the first quarter of 2019, businesses will come to appreciate staffing versatilist roles from a managed service provider. The complexity of cloud orchestration, API-driven integrations, and custom logic will require investments in key areas of differentiation while leaving gaps in the critical functions to integrate and operate heterogeneous deployments - the bread and butter of cloud and other PaaS and IaaS vendors.

Experience value will transition to platform value with IT leaders demanding OOTB integrations. CIOs and architects will grow weary of the "Wild Wild West" of DevOps toolchains and begin mandating standardized integrations with proven scale in the form of available support and operations expertise. This will accelerate the consolidation of adjacent and niche solutions as medium and large businesses demand standardization and ecosystem integrations from the major players in the industry.

Competitive disruption will drive remaining laggards to a DevOps boiling point. As the industry moves to the plateau of productivity with DevOps automation and standard tooling, laggard executives will reach a management crisis point that will force actions. Mainframe-centric, heavily regulated, and even businesses that have historically not identified the external catalyst for transformation will awaken to the reality of missed business opportunities if they fail to adapt architectures and processes to embrace cloud technologies and modern ways of developing and deploying technology. Developing nations and a backlash against nationalism will drive a global move to leverage technology to open and mature key markets, which will shine a spotlight on the last bastions of waterfalls and walled gardens.


About the Author


Ari Weil is the Global VP of Product Marketing for Akamai's Web Division. As a hands-on executive with experience across various management and operational disciplines Ari focuses on Akamai's security, performance, and cloud migration strategy and brings 20 years of cross-functional enterprise management expertise to his role. His key areas of focus include cloud migration, adaptive security, and modern application architectures.
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:22 AM by David Marshall
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