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Enterprise DevOps at Scale: What’s Next in 2020 and Beyond

Tobias Dunn-Krahn ON Mar 31, 2020

Adoption of DevOps practices continues to increase. According to the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report, software delivery performance is 208 times more frequent, with 106 times faster lead times, and those numbers are only expected to grow in 2020. With that said, DevOps is an emergent practice that is not fully standardized. While there are many different approaches to DevOps practices across various organizations—and many more permutations that will be uncovered over the next year—here’s what I think we can expect to see across DevOps organizations throughout the year:

Image: DevOps at scale in the enterprise

Different departments must think about SLIs and SLOs as the expression of a common goal.

DevOps at scale in the enterprise
In order to continue bringing enterprise DevOps at Scale in the enterprise in 2020 and beyond, there needs to be a change in processes and tools to bridge the culture gap between service teams and the enterprise. For example, many development teams are most comfortable working in ChatOps systems, whereas executives might rely on ticketing systems to satisfy corporate standards. Throw customer-facing teams into the mix who are responsible for providing information to customers during an incident. Extracting relevant details from a chat channel is not easy, especially during the course of incident resolution where things are moving quickly.

Another way of looking at it is that there are various specializations within organizations. Each of these specialties are responsible for the customer experience: development teams, quality assurance, security and customer success teams. Even executives are focused on customer experience as their common goal. However, each of these departments come from different cultures. I believe the first step in bridging that gap and enabling DevOps at scale in the enterprise is to ensure that the different departments within the enterprise are thinking about SLIs and SLOs as the expression of that common goal.

Rise in incidents will have developers looking for a better resolution process.

Increasing incident volumes are going to necessitate better resolution processes.

Rise in incidents will have developers looking for a better resolution process
This year, more developers will look for a resolution process that will best fit the needs of their company to combat an increase in incidents. xMatters released the Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity report in November of this year which found 77% of respondents reported that the amount of releases increased by at least 25% over the past three years. Additionally, more than half (57%) of organizations today are experiencing degradations in their digital experiences, ranging from minor performance issues to major outages, on a weekly and daily basis. Incident volumes are also increasing, which is going to necessitate better resolution processes.

New approaches for microservices will emerge with operational concerns at the forefront.

Teams can break a monolith into constituent parts in many different ways.

New approaches for microservices will emerge with operational concerns at the forefront
Microservices are an architecture to support scalability and that concern is not going away any time soon. Microservice architecture takes a monolith and breaks it up into constituent parts, and teams specialize around each of those parts. This can be done in many different ways. You can slice your monolith by business function. You can chop it up by scalability groups so that if you know a particular part of your application is going to generate large workloads then you can ensure that particular function is scalable.

Another approach is prioritizing operational concerns when decomposing a monolith. For example, if you need to extract and load large amounts of data very quickly, you may choose to optimize a specific microservice for I/O, independent of the business functions that it serves.

This is an emerging field and it’s going to get even more interesting over the next year because you often only get to make that choice once. When it comes to microservice decomposition, it can be very costly to change your mind later.

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