Come see Helen Beal speak at Jax DevOps in London on 5 April 2017

What does the future of DevOps look like?

Helen Beal
Woman walking in cityscape image via Shutterstock.

We’re super excited for Helen Beal’s talk at JAX DevOps. Here, she talks about the future of DevOps, from serverless computing to containers and more.

Has DevOps become a synonym for Continuous Improvement? As the breadth of DevOps concerns has spread to seemingly include everything in the IT lifecycle and ever incorporates the rest of the business’ goals and activities, how do we define what it is? What are the contributing methodologies that converge and combine to drive DevOps evolution?

Here at Ranger4,  we’re looking forward to helping our customers new and old continue to tread the DevOps path to make our lives and software better, faster and safer. Here are 7 things we’re excited to be working on:


We’ve all come a long way from thinking that DevOps is ONLY about velocity. We’ve been working on many projects through the last few years that have put quality up front and centre (over quantity) – a focus on fix, THEN ship and building/engineering quality and performance in. It’s important to take a breath and make space to tackle the decades of technical debt that has built up while still allowing prioritised innovative change through the value stream. 2017 will be the year of security; making better software, faster and MORE SAFELY. We’ll be helping our customers build security and risk assessment into their ideation.  We’ll help realize an early delivery process using tools such as Sonatype’s Nexus Lifecycle.  We’ll integrate into the IDE and provide live alerts to assist development in shifting security left. We’ll also be launching a DevSecOps Engineer course and certification late spring with the DevOps Institute.

Closing the DevOps loop

The way DevOps has evolved in the enterprise organisations we work with has resulted in lots of tools fragmentation and ‘under the radar’ attempts at delivering CI/CD. Whilst tools standardisation will remain a controversial and emotive subject as we see individuals and groups fighting for the rights of their favourite tools, as 2017 sees a race towards true end to end ideation to realisation and the delivery of a ‘DevOps Loop’ or continuous release lifecycle, finding tools that integrate, or integrating tools better will be a priority for many organisations. Atlassian still lead this space for us along with Dynatrace for real time value realisation and we’ll continue to work with our customers to keep on top of what gives the best transparency, security and automation through the lifecycle through the year.


One of the hottest topics in 2016, containerisation is here to stay and we don’t believe it’s anywhere near peak. Although we see organisations using containers in pre-production every day, by no means everyone is ready or using them for their critical production environments. Yet. As DevSecOps continues to mature, as per 1), the proliferation of containerisation into production will accelerate (we think!).

Serverless computing

At DevOpsCon in Munich last December I attended a talk from a chap at AWS which was a realeye-openerr to me in terms of what can be achieved here. I had flashbacks to conversations with UBS several years ago where their ops guys were explaining their dream of a world where they didn’t have to care or even really know what platform they were deploying an application onto. We don’t hear that many of our customers using the term today, but I’m expecting that to change rapidly as we move through the next twelve months. Here’s a very well balanced view and great introduction to the subject.

Cloud transformations and target operating models (TOMs)

Yeah, I know, Cloud’s not a new term or even a new thing, but in 2016, what we saw was a lot of the enterprises we work with take the plunge into Cloud and stop worrying so much about which Cloud to go with (AWS or Azure, right?) or about local compliance laws (as the big Cloud providers opened local datacentres and tackled data privacy and security head on). The Register just launched a survey here, called ‘Cloud Checkpoint – 5 Years On’ if you would like to weigh in on where you are.

For us, Cloud Transformation projects led the way in terms of focus areas for organisations to experiment with DevOps thinking and practices. They also had a lot to answer for as I heard the term ‘Target Operating Model’ for the first time in 2016 and then EVERYWHERE. So I’m expecting to hear about more of these in the coming year, and hoping to see people weaving DevOps thinking through their new initiatives.

SEE MORE: Common #DevOpsFail: Think of DevOps as synonymous with Continuous Delivery

The emergence of the DevOps superpattern

2016 saw me (over?) use the description of DevOps as the ‘harmonious, polygamous marriage’ of Lean, Agile and ITSM (thank you lovely Jayne Groll) and I presented several times and wrote blogs on Correlations Between DevOps and Holacracy. But there are even more methodologies and transformational concepts that are converging and driving the DevOps BoK (Body of Knowledge). Watch this space for more.

DevOps analysis-paralysis is overcome

Whilst more organisations than ever before went through an exercise to baseline their current state in 2016, a large proportion still found it hard to get off their DevOps starting blocks and got stuck in measurement and analysis. Whilst some of this is attributable to budget cycles, this is the year where we’ll unlock those constraints and get those organisations on their DevOps journey.


What have we missed? What do you think is going to be big in the future?

This post was originally published on the Ranger4 blog.

Helen Beal will be delivering one talk at JAX DevOps which will focus on the relationships between Agile, Lean, ITSM, Learning, Failing Smart/Safe/Fast, the Theory of Constraints, Shifting Left and Holacracy and whether together they are a superpattern that underpins DevOps.


Helen Beal

Helen Beal has twenty years’ experience working in the technology industry with a focus on the Software Development Lifecycle for a wealth of cross industry clients in the UK and abroad. Helen is passionate about DevOps and is the creator of the Ranger4 DevOps LiftOff Workshop and the Ranger4 DevOps Maturity Assessment – winner of the IBM Beacon Award 2015 for Outstanding DevOps Solution. She also started Ranger4’s #DevOpsFriday5 initiative and is on the Board of Regents at the DevOps Institute (Ranger4 are also a Registered Education Provider for the DOI’s DevOps training courses).

Helen is also a novelist and ecologist. She once saw a flamingo lay an egg.

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