DevOps is change and DevOps is changing

DevOps trends for 2016

Kurt Milne
Change image via Shutterstock

DevOps has arrived as a legitimate and mainstream means of delivering business value with IT. But by no means has the DevOps concept stopped changing. Kurt Milne examines the DevOps trends that are already on their way.

In the last five years I’ve seen several changes within DevOps, some coming rapidly like containers and others not so rapidly like getting people to change behaviour. I see three trends that will make 2016 a very interesting year for the DevOps community.

1. “Agile” will continue to make its way into Ops, albeit slowly

Fast is NOT reckless. This is a myth operations teams must dispel so that enterprise IT organizations can embrace faster release cycles. You have undoubtedly heard the management principle that “brakes allow the car to go faster.” However, many operations groups have found ways to move with greater confidence, allowing them to speed up without losing control. Advancements in standardization and automation enable Ops to establish guardrails that allow Dev to move faster but within boundaries that maintain – and even improve – service quality and operational efficiency. So if your Ops team has the brakes on, help them adopt a guardrails approach instead.

2. Automation will continue to grow as a foundation for DevOps

Increasingly, organisations are adopting a cross-cloud software development lifecycle in which Dev happens in the cloud and Ops happen in on-premises systems. Here, script-based automation is a liability because scripts only work in one environment. Automating deployment in multiple environments requires creating multiple scripts and artefacts.

The industry trend is toward combined blueprints that automate deployment of both infrastructure and application stacks. Ideally, these blueprints are cloud-agnostic and deployable to any environment, eliminating the need to create and maintain multiple environment-specific versions of scripts.

3. A serious container-caused security breach will make the news

Container technology is getting a lot of attention because it enables infrastructure and application stack automation without environment lock in. Undoubtedly, however, someone will deploy to production an unvetted container that unintentionally creates a vulnerability resulting in a material security breach. With that said, this should not deter the adoption of technology that can help us deliver better software faster. But, in the spirit of DevOps, be sure to keep security and service quality in mind as you edge operations toward using containers in production.


In summary, I see fewer brakes and more guardrails as the preferred approach to improve operations agility. I also predict DevOps will move away from hard-wire automation approaches and adopt either combined blueprints or containers that don’t create hard-wired automation.


Kurt Milne

Kurt Milne is vice president of marketing at CliQr. He has more than 20 years of experience in executive management, marketing, engineering, and industry analyst positions at leading technology organizations, including VMware, Hewlett-Packard, BMC Software and the IT Process Institute (ITPI). in April 2011 he released the book “Visible Ops Private Cloud: from virtualization to private cloud in 4 practical steps.” He is also a primary investigator and author of six major research studies from ITPI on private cloud, virtualization, IT controls, change configuration release, strategic alignment and IT governance.

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