Regardless of whether the overall economy is experiencing a correction or is on the cusp of a recession, organizations are going to prioritize some projects over others as resources become more constrained.
During the “DevOps: Has the Bubble Burst?” panel made up of DevOps executives and investors from venture capital firms that kicked off the virtual TechStrong Con event today, panelists said organizations will need to continue to invest in DevOps automation and cybersecurity to ensure their long-term survival.
However, the number of IT projects that organizations will be able to simultaneously invest in is likely to decline, said Chenxi Wang, general partner for Rain Capital. “We are starting to see a slowdown of projects, for sure,” she said.
Fundamentally, organizations will need to decide not so much whether they will modernize legacy monolithic applications but rather at what rate. More than 70% of organizations’ codebases are still based on legacy monolithic architectures, noted Wang.
No one knows for sure how long the current economic contraction might last, but, as in any downturn, organizations will seek to conserve cash, said JFrog CEO Shlomi Ben Haim. DevOps initiatives will continue to be prioritized because otherwise, organizations risk falling far enough behind that they may not be able to ever recover, he added. “DevOps is in a good place,” said Ben Haim.
In fact, thus far many DevOps companies have yet to see a decline in demand because organizations are investing in automation to reduce their technical debt costs, noted Thomas Krane, managing director for Insight Partners. “It’s a matter of life or death,” he said.
At the same time, Krane said organizations might want to take a hard look at the profitability of the vendors they are counting on to drive that innovation. Vendors that have been counting on venture capital funding to maintain operations may soon find that money much harder to come by as capital becomes scarce, he noted.
The core issue will become how quickly returns on investment (ROI) are generated, added Incredibuild CEO Tami Mazel Shachar. “There is going to be a lot more focus on ROI,” she said.
In the meantime, the debate over what constitutes DevOps continues. Some narrowly define DevOps as a set of development activities that revolve around continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms. Others definitions of DevOps include everything from application testing to observability and application security. No matter how big the proverbial DevOps tent is defined to be, however, the number of organizations that are embracing DevOps—and now DevSecOps—workflows more deeply only continues to increase.
The challenge is focusing those efforts on the projects that deliver the most value for the business in the face of executive uncertainty about the future. Of course, nothing quite focuses the mind like an impending crisis; for better or worse, it will require more organizations to honestly assess their current capabilities.