What Comes after DevOps? Two Possibilities

Source – devops.com

People have been talking about the “post-DevOps” world since at least 2014. But have we actually arrived in the post-DevOps era? If so, what comes after DevOps? Let’s explore those questions.

The DevOps concept is more than a decade old. DevOps has seen widespread adoption across companies large and small. “DevOps engineer” is now a common job title for tech folks.

At a minimum, these developments mean that DevOps is now very mature and mainstream. They may even signal the end of DevOps, depending on your point of view.

Even though DevOps remains a useful concept, the fact that DevOps is now so mature means it is no longer as novel and dynamic as it once was.

That begs the question: What comes after DevOps? I think there are two distinct possibilities.

A Reaction Against DevOps

One possibility is that we’ll see a backlash against DevOps, and an attempt to replace DevOps processes with alternatives that are designed to do the opposite.

Indeed, there has already been a fair amount of outspoken criticism of DevOps for years. It has mostly remained under the surface.

But in an era when almost everyone is doing DevOps, it seems reasonable to expect that some organizations will find it doesn’t solve their problems after all. Those organizations most likely will return to earlier ways of doing things.

In this scenario, DevOps is unlikely to disappear entirely. But we probably would end up in a hybrid world where software delivery teams mix DevOps principles, tools and practices with those from earlier eras.

DevOps-ifying the Whole Organization

The other main possibility for the post-DevOps world is that we’ll see DevOps extended into more and more parts of the business that are not directly related to the two core areas of DevOps practice, development and operations.

This trend has already been playing out to a certain extent for years. Concepts such as DevSecOps (which extends DevOps into the security realm) and DevQAOps (which integrates Quality Assurance with continuous delivery) have been around for at least several years.

Still, there is room for DevOps concepts to establish deeper roots in areas outside of dev and ops. Most organizations could benefit from doing more DevSecOps, for example. And as I’ve written in the past, even PR, legal and other departments could be integrated more tightly into the software delivery process.

To date, few organizations have sought total DevOps-ification by applying DevOps principles to all business units. But this could be the great innovation of the post-DevOps world. If this scenario plays out, DevOps won’t go away; rather, organizations will double- or triple-down on their investment in DevOps.

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