Reflections and predictions on how DevOps will evolve in 2024, by Sergey Sverchkov, DevOps Division Manager at Godel Technologies.

What are the biggest trends you have seen over the past year in DevOps? 

Cutting the costs 

Last year, DevOps was in front of many cutting-edge tools and techniques to assist companies in being competitive with a focus on bringing business value. There was a clear focus on reducing various kinds of costs in a tough economic climate, moving to solutions that could provide insights for development teams and businesses using data, logging and monitoring metrics, instead of having various tools, each serving a specific part of the operation process.  

Usage of AI and ML tooling 

These solutions integrate AI and ML techniques to enable the real-time identification and resolution of issues, significantly reducing the reliance on manual processes in various phases of SDLC.    

Now it is not enough to set up and operate solutions for container orchestration, monitoring, logging and CI/CD process, as these are very basic foundations, and all require separate engineering operations and frequently are not interconnected. So, it pushes organisations to switch to SaaS solutions where they can have all-around operations in one place and be able to transform their approach from reactive to proactive. 

DevSecOps 

With security being one of the most significant concerns in the digital age, companies have been integrating DevSecOps into SDLC. The idea that DevSecOps stands for is the shift-left approach that security should follow instead of being an afterthought, e.g. security checks are integrated into every phase of the development process. Companies use DAST and SAST testing, static code analysis, and vulnerability scanning to identify and address security issues early on.   

Going Serverless 

Serverless computing is a way to develop and run services and applications without taking servers or even containers into consideration.  There is business logic and there are events that trigger it, that’s it.  The DevOps process has greatly benefited from the serverless computing approach. With added operability, it has successfully bridged the gap between development and operations and enabled the “build, run, own” approach without thinking of the complexity of the underlying execution environment and runtimes and maintenance.

Has anything surprised you in your technology this year? 

A significant number of projects, teams, and companies adopted HashiCorp Terraform as the main tool to manage various kinds of assets in a reliable declarative way. Due to its ease of usage, extendable architecture with multiple providers and plugins that are developed by vendors and community it was brought as the standard. And all this happened due to its open-source nature of development.  That is why HashiCorp decision to switch the Terraform license to BSL was very controversial and led to many discussions on how to use it with new licensing terms especially when a company needs to pass various audits.     

The rationale for the decision from HashiCorp was explained by CTO:  

“There are other vendors who take advantage of pure OSS models, and the community work on OSS projects, for their own commercial goals, without providing material contributions back. We don’t believe this is in the spirit of open source. As a result, we believe commercial open-source models need to evolve for the ecosystem to continue providing open, freely available software,” – wrote HashiCorp co-founder and CTO Armon Dadgar in a blog post

In response, the Terraform community announced OpenTF, a fork of Terraform born of frustration with HashiCorp’s decision. 

What are your tech predictions for 2024? 

We think there is a clear trend for businesses to switch to “ready” solutions that address their business needs and challenges, and not just create their applications and services and build their infrastructure and platforms. This is especially a request from “non-techy” businesses that need to transform/adopt constantly their processes and yet don’t have the capacity and strictly say the need to write and maintain their own software for that. So, these are “business” platforms like Shopify where we see significant growth in the number of their clients. And there is demand for consultancy agencies who can help “move” business to such solutions.    

Close to this is the low-code approach which enables agility and could provide organizations with a competitive advantage in the demanding and fast-paced business environment. Low-code platforms help companies to build applications without expert coding knowledge and non-technical professionals to also have a hand in “developing software” via a visual interface that entirely manages the app development process.  We expect that demand for these low-code approaches will grow significantly. 

On the other hand, for a business that is on the path to “nurture” their own IT and development departments (but not service providers in this area), there is a trend to create an “Internal Development Platform”, comprising preconfigured environments, tools, templates, libraries and approaches that are created and evolve on top of cloud provider services, logging and monitoring, alerting solutions, etc. So, when the team starts developing a new business service it follows standards, uses templates, and deploys it to “ready-to-use” environments with a CI/CD process that is also templated. So, all is available for the team as “building” blocks. The DevOps or Platform team here is responsible for developing and maintaining the Internal Development Platform and defining all standards and tooling. Still, there will be plenty of work for DevOps engineers.