DevOps is no longer just a trendy new idea. It’s now a familiar and proven approach to building applications that is being practiced by organizations large and small. Yet, it is also continuously evolving.

As new DevOps technologies like containers and orchestration tools have come on the scene over the past few years, they’ve further strengthened and extended the way organizations practice DevOps.

Let’s take a look at the top trends that will rock the world of DevOps in 2018, and consider where the world of DevOps is headed!

1. Enterprise DevOps Reaches Peak Popularity...and Difficulty

In a recent report, Forrester predicted that 2018 will be the year of enterprise DevOps. What this means in practice is that more enterprises than ever will be graduating from pilot and lighthouse projects to expanding DevOps practices to their core applications and workloads. They will begin to migrate from legacy platforms to modern cloud platforms, re-architecting whole swaths of applications as they go.

Enough time has passed since the early adopters of cloud and DevOps first made their transitions for the next wave to be able to what they gained and learn from their mistakes. The business case for DevOps has been proven over and over again. In fact, DevOps is now the new standard, or ‘table stakes’, as Google’s Kelsey Hightower puts it, for any organization if they want to compete in the modern economy of cloud-native applications.

But it’s not that simple! There are predictions that around 70% of digital transformation projects will fail due to outdated technologies and approaches. We will likely see a lot of planning, struggle and failure over the coming year. Why? Firstly, because transformation is very difficult, secondly, because each transformation journey is unique and, thirdly, because enterprises have never done this before - yet the pressure to transform is greater than ever.

This is a necessary step if enterprises are to keep pace with their younger, more agile rivals. With disruption coming from every side, enterprises need to leverage not just the cloud, but also the DevOps approach that makes the most of the cloud if they are to stay competitive.

2. You’re All Going to Get Hacked

In 2017, we saw a sobering number of cyberattacks:

  • WannaCry ransomware: this software infected over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries

  • HBO’s ‘Game of Hacks’: unreleased footage from Game of Thrones stolen and ransomed

  • NotPetya ransomware: hundreds of millions of dollars in losses caused to companies including shipping giant Maersk

  • Facebook and Google being defrauded of $100m by a rogue Lithuanian hacker

  • Equifax breach: a breach that affected 143 million consumers  

  • Deloitte breach: cybersecurity ‘experts’ at Deloitte had failed to adopt two-factor authentication allowing hackers access to their entire email system. Not at all ironic.

  • NSA: leaked reports of a breach in the main digital defense branch of the US government by North Korean or Russian hackers.

In 2018, high-profile hacks will continue to grow in number and gravity. And enterprises need to plan a proper response, not just prevention strategies, because it’s highly likely that they will get hacked and they need to know what to do when that happens. They can’t just assume that “it won’t happen to them,” or that their security will protect them always. Data security breaches will drive a more concerted focus on services auto-updating and test-data management tools advancing much further and faster than ever before.

3. Despite Increasing Competition, AWS Continues to Lead the Cloud Pack

AWS leads the pack today as the leading cloud vendor with over 30% market share, and its revenue continues to grow at a robust pace, quarter on quarter.

At re:Invent 2017, AWS moved beyond its infrastructure-as-a-service origins, climbing up the stack to focus on serverless deployments, data management, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Their goal is to bring infrastructure and development teams together so they can concentrate on delivering pure business logic - with non-differentiating work ruthlessly minimized.

In 2018, AWS will continue to innovate with new features, like even more powerful compute instances, additional artificial intelligence tools, and new features to existing services. In the meantime, Azure and GCP will be hot on their heels. Both were quicker off the mark in introducing managed Kubernetes services and are acquiring niches in which they are able to compete with AWS in certain industries and for certain workloads.

But AWS will maintain if not grow their market share as they become the indisputable platform of choice for innovation.

But with Alibaba joining the global cloud computing race, the battle between these four cloud computing giants is bound to heat up in 2018.  And you know who will win in the end? The customer!

4. Kubernetes Continues Its Dominating Streak

In 2017, we saw Kubernetes cement its lead over Docker Swarm and other rival container orchestration tools. Docker Enterprise has even announced that it will include support for k8s. As we move into 2018, we’ll see enterprise adoption increase as these managed k8s solutions make it easier for enterprises to get rolling.

In 2018, vendors are going to build out tooling around Kubernetes as discussions move from ‘containers versus VMs’ to ‘running containers at scale and in production’. Apart from the big cloud vendors, innovative startups like CoreOS, Heptio, and Platform9 are ones to watch out for. Both vendor platforms and service providers are essential to the growth and adoption of Kubernetes. The Kubernetes Certified Service Provider (KCSP) program which was recently announced is a big step towards enterprise adoption of Kubernetes. We’re proud to have recently become a KCSP!

5. Serverless Adoptions Increases Still Further

Serverless will move from the niche corners of the cloud estate into the spotlight as it addresses the three key areas that keep IT decision-makers up at night: speed, cost and risk. In fact, Amazon launched AWS Fargate at re:Invent, representing a monumental shift in the evolution of containers by removing servers, eliminating the infrastructure management required to run ECS clusters.

There is at least one major US bank that is now running enterprise consumer apps with a full-time Lambda-based infrastructure that addresses cost and scaling concerns. There will be an increasing number of stories like this where cloud-based stacks move more and more to serverless structures.

6. Container Security Brought to the Next Level

CNCF is enjoying the support of pretty much every organization in the container space, and it’s using all this support to solve critical container challenges like networking and security. The CNCF has taken on new projects like Notary & TUF, which provide security during the software update process.

Additionally, container security tools like Project Calico and Canal are ushering in a new approach to security that’s based on policies. This is especially appropriate for the kind of distributed systems being built and managed today.

2018: the Year of DevOps

The buzz around DevOps and cloud is set to intensify as cloud technologies become more accessible and the business case for digital transformation grows ever clearer.

Fancy checking out where you’re at with your DevOps maturity? is an free online self-assessment that gives you a sense of where you’re at in your transformation and where you need to improve.



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  • Benjamin Wootton

    Co-Founder and CTO

    Benjamin Wootton is the Co-Founder and CTO of Contino. He has worked with tens of enterprise organisations on DevOps transformation and is a hands-on DevOps engineer with expertise in cloud and containers.

    More Articles by Benjamin