The DevOps Enterprise Summit turned 4 years old this year, and what a difference four years makes: At the inaugural summit, perhaps a few hundred attendees participated. This year, there were roughly 2,000, according to the organizers.
The energy at the first year’s event felt like that of a skunkworks team that knew they were on to a great new way—they only had to sell the rest of the world on their radical ideas. This year, it became clear that the battle of ideas is over: The DevOps evangelists have won, and DevOps is here to stay.
According to a DBmaestro study, more than 80 percent of organizations have adopted DevOps to some degree, but only 30 percent have done so across their entire organization. That study shows the popularity of DevOps, but also that there’s much more work to be done.
That state of work was reflected at this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit. This year the focus was on improving the pipelines that have been built, pushing the limits of DevOps even further and learning how to cope with the limitations of legacy business-technology systems that refuse yet to be retired.
Greater Focus on Business Outcomes
It seems DevOps has arrived. As Scott Prugh, chief architect and VP software development at CSG, said during his DevOps Enterprise Summit talk, “Product Management Meets DevOps,” it’s about business leaders from across the organization coming together to deliver better outcomes.
That’s an aspect of DevOps that stood out boldly this year. DevOps practices in the enterprise are starting to move beyond the common cloud-native toolsets and are being applied to other areas in the organization, from the cloud back to mainframe and many systems in between.
This unleashing of systems detached from the typical DevOps workflows turned out to be a central theme of the summit. For instance, Eric Robertson, VP product marketing management at CollabNet, explained how customers are exposing services on their mainframes and enterprise resource planning systems. As a result, customers are better able to deliver capability and value without having to re-create and re-release services.
“It’s about knocking down the silos and optimizing functionality around business value,” said Sam Fell, VP of marketing at Electric Cloud. Those who aren’t doing it right, he said, are those who are not aligned well enough to provide the best business outcomes, the right user experience or the most optimal architecture, security and performance necessary to succeed in creating those user experiences.
“You need to take a multidimensional approach and put the right people in the room early enough so that the right focus is maintained on outcomes,” said Anders Wallgren, CTO at Electric Cloud, during the DevOps Enterprise Summit.
Both Fell and Wallgren agreed that more organizations have embraced the kind of architectures necessary to support the agility necessary to succeed. This includes container architectures that can be changed rapidly and safely so that in the event errors are introduced, systems can be remediated quickly.
In his talk, “DevOps for the Enterprise: 2018 Trends and Insights,” Wesley Pullen, chief strategy officer at Electric Cloud, detailed how enterprises are working to manage IT complexity. According to findings he shared from 451 Research, enterprises are taking a hybrid approach to cloud and container adoption, with 81 percent of organizations adopting a multi-cloud strategy, 58 percent adopting containers and 48 percent traditional on-premises systems. “What we have today are multiple teams working on independent and interdependent systems and target platforms with overlapping tools, platforms and release cadences. Managing all of this effectively is a challenge,” he said.
One area where these challenges show themselves is with security. According to the “Sonatype2018 State of Software Supply Chain” study, since the Equifax data breach in 2017, there has been a 55 percent increase in open source breaches and 1 million downloads of vulnerable open source libraries. Fortunately, more organizations are embracing DevSecOps and making sure security processes are integrated into their DevOps processes, Pullen said.
When it comes to extracting value from their existing enterprise systems, Pullen noted more organizations are making self-service catalogs available to their teams so that if a service is needed and it’s already been built, teams can access these resources quickly.
Finally, he said more organizations are applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to their development pipelines. About one-third of organizations are making machine learning a top investment priority. They are using the technology to identify patterns using in-depth statistical analysis, predict future risk using previous patterns and provide recommendations to reduce risk, he said.
While DevOps has outgrown its skunkworks roots, this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit made it clear there is still much more work to be done before most DevOps organizations reach their full potential.