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The DevOps concept: NoOps, DataOps and what comes next

Innovation and velocity run through the DevOps concept, and organizations that adopted DevOps years ago are reaping the benefits -- for now. But DevOps can't be the future forever.

The DevOps concept is nearly 10 years old. It's fair to say that DevOps has gone mainstream and is no longer particularly innovative. That begs the questions: What comes next? Where do we go after DevOps?

These are important questions, because organizations that want to keep innovating need to think beyond DevOps. Doing DevOps is no longer enough to set you apart from the pack or to gain a competitive advantage. Everyone else is already doing it.

So, let's imagine what the tech world might look like after the DevOps concept ceases to be innovative in any way. Here are some younger IT philosophies that stand to help organizations continue to innovate after they have finished their DevOps journey.

NoOps

NoOps refers to a world in which software deployment and management are so fully automated that IT ops is no longer necessary. Applications will build, test and deploy themselves. Services and infrastructure will selfheal with no need for human admins to intervene.

NoOps may seem like an unrealistic vision, but we're actually already part of the way there, thanks to tools and methodologies like orchestrators and infrastructure as code, which remove a lot of the traditional IT ops work from software delivery.

DevSecOps

Security experts have traditionally been left on the margins of the DevOps model. Security teams have remained siloed, even in organizations that integrate developers and IT ops. The DevSecOps movement changes this by bringing security teams into the rest of the DevOps concept.

DevSecOps is already increasing in popularity and, on its own, it won't revolutionize software delivery. But it will help to bring software security up a level. That may be just what we need to move beyond the seemingly endless string of headlines about major security breaches that have filled the news for years now.

DevOps against the odds

According to Gartner, 87% of organizations implementing DevOps are disappointed. Not all transformations will work, but with the right, flexible infrastructure, teams can evolve under a DevOps umbrella. Managing risk and responsibility can make all the difference.

DataOps

What do you get when you integrate data analytics teams with data management and storage engineers? DataOps.

DataOps does not mean that you make data operations part of your DevOps delivery chain. DataOps means breaking apart the silos that have traditionally separated the teams responsible for storing, managing and interpreting data. In other words, DataOps does for data what DevOps does for software.

DataOps remains a relatively new idea, but it stands to constitute an important innovation for organizations seeking a better and more reliable means of working with the huge volumes of data that drive business today.

Anti-DevOps

It's also possible that the DevOps revolution will be followed by a move in the opposite direction. DevOps already has its critics who complain that DevOps is "killing developers" or is only realistic for large organizations like Netflix and Google. If enough sentiment like this gathers, there could be pushback against the DevOps paradigm as organizations readopt more traditional modes of software delivery.

If you want to remain competitive and cutting-edge, it's time to start thinking beyond the DevOps concept. The list above represents just some of the philosophies and practices that organizations might embrace as they endeavor to discover new efficiencies and opportunities.

This was last published in August 2017

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