With 2019 on its way, what new tech trends are on the horizon?
As we bid adieu to 2018 and welcome in 2019, it’s only natural to wonder what kind of progress we’ll see and what new advancements will soon be at our fingertips. In the past few years the development of tools and techniques around DevOps have seen changes that outpace what most organisations can keep up with, but the impact of these changes can be felt for years. This fast pace of change is unlikely to slow any time soon, so what can we expect in the coming year?
Concentrating on the customer
The customer will become a much larger focus in 2019. All organisations should be prioritising their customers and developing a strategy to demonstrate to them the key steps in the value stream process, while also showing which steps actually offer real value. As organisations struggle to find a way to work faster while also handling these growing customer needs, competition will continue to rise. Part of learning how to put more focus on the customer will be how to find the time to do so. Organisations will need to undergo a self-assessment to determine areas for improvement as well as areas that aren’t as crucial.
Taking advantage of AI
In terms of the more tangible business changes we’ll see, machine learning and AI will become bigger factors for the software development field in 2019. It’s time to move on from the outdated way of viewing AI and machine learning in the delivery process and begin looking forward to what these technologies can accomplish. To fully embrace the benefits of AI and machine learning, organisations need to understand that the opposite of waste is value, and take the glass-half-full view that becoming more efficient means increasing value, rather than reducing waste.
Once that viewpoint becomes ingrained, we’ll be able to set our sights on getting better through continuous improvement, being quicker to react and anticipating customers’ needs. As we further integrate and take advantage of machine learning and AI, however, we’ll realise that improving value requires predictive analytics. Predictive analytics allow simulations of the delivery pipeline based on parameters and options available so you don’t have to thrash the organisation to find the path to improvement. You’ll be able to improve virtually, learn lessons through simulations and, when ready, implement new releases that you can be convinced will work. Progressive organizations will be proactive through simulation. If they can simulate improvements to the pipeline, they will continuously improve faster.
Making the most of MTTR
Alongside implementing new technologies, paying attention to mean time to recovery (MTTR) should also be at the forefront of companies’ minds not only for the busy holiday season but all year round. If companies only experience downtime once every year, but it takes an entire day to recover, consumers won’t care that the issue has not happened at any other time. All that will be talked about is the long recovery time. But if the site goes down five times on one day for less than one second, it would hardly be noticeable.
To ensure a lower MTTR, organisations should incorporate failure planning into every level of service delivery – creating redundancies in every layer of the application delivery stack. Plan for failures anywhere and everywhere. There are even open source toolsets created to induce chaos into the infrastructure such as the Simian Army. Reduce time of delivery for software updates utilising continuous deployment with significant automated tests so that patches are less likely to introduce further problems.
Prioritising your people
Finally, 2019 will be the year of up-levelling in the development process in order for teams and organisations to maximise the efficiencies and benefits of their value stream. While the highly advanced tools we currently use are still vital in performing cutting-edge tasks, our focus is shifting from the tool itself to what follows the implementation of the tool. Anyone can purchase and use a tool, but we can make the biggest impact by being there after the tool has served its purpose. This means efficiently delivering the most value to the customer and clearly demonstrating the value of managing the people, processes and technologies of software delivery pipelines.
With each new year comes new challenges for the technology world to face and overcome, not just for its own benefit, but for all industries. In 2019, we’ll see some of the latest technology trends, such as AI, being paired up with stronger teams of experts to ensure that customer needs are being fully met and, hopefully, exceeded.