The Direction DevOps Teams Will Take in 2022

These trends will help software developers reach new levels of security, efficiency, and profitability.

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DevOps goals include improving service and software quality and controlling costs and trends heading into 2022 confirm that DevOps teams are serious about making progress in those areas. Consider the outlook from these eight industry thought leaders as you make plans to guide your software development company or ISV toward success in the coming year.

DevOps Teams place an even higher priority on security and compliance

Fei Huang, the Chief Strategy Officer at NeuVector:

In 2022, DevOps teams will increasingly pursue security automation to ensure that their container and Kubernetes environments can consistently meet increasingly rigid compliance requirements. For organizations with microservices infrastructures under the purview of PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR or other strict regulatory frameworks, automation offers the only realistic approach to implementing fully effective data security controls at scale.

Look for DevOps teams in 2022 to introduce automated scanning of Kubernetes YAML files and other resources to proactively resolve misconfigurations before they can impact security. DevOps will also increasingly leverage zero-trust models at run-time, using security policy-as-code and CRDs that block all unauthorized network, process and file activities by default.

Nikhil Gupta, founder and CEO of ArmorCode:

Eventually, DevOps as a separate entity will no longer exist. Instead, it will evolve into DevSecOps. This is because application security is increasingly becoming non-optional in the face of rising cybercrime.

Additionally, there will be a rapid adoption of “Zero Trust” DevSecOps in which organizations don’t inherently trust their subnets and therefore create smaller micro-segmented applications. With “Zero Trust” DevSecOps, security teams deny access by default, introduce governance layers and guardrails, and follow the principle of trust but verify.

AI and machine learning will also have an increasingly important role, largely because DevSecOps teams are inundated with false security alerts, which leads to alert fatigue.

Chaos Engineering goes mainstream

Nicholas Benjamin, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Nintex:

I’m expecting Chaos Engineering (and its close relative, Site Reliability Engineering) to become a mainstream DevOps discipline. Pioneered by Netflix and other organizations, Chaos Engineering seeks to increase a team’s confidence in a system’s ability to withstand a variety of unpredictable failure modes that are otherwise difficult to prove through traditional testing methodologies. I think we’ve reached the tipping point where there’s a sufficient ecosystem of tooling (e.g., Azure’s chaos engineering toolset has just gone into preview) and DevOps engineers with the right mindset and skills that it’s going to become a mainstream practice in many technology-led organizations.

Also, fueled by the improved quality and reduced toil that automation brings to engineering teams, I think Infrastructure as Code is evolving and will continue to evolve into “pretty much everything as code”—we are seeing this with increased and improved support for provisioning, tuning, configuring of almost any type of cloud resource.

DevOps teams will optimize developer experiences

Bruno Andrade, CEO of Shipa.io:

Hiring and retaining developer talent is more difficult and expensive than ever, and something has to give in 2022. While not every organization can compete on salary, DevOps teams will increasingly take steps that improve the developer experiences they can offer.

To that end, a big trend among DevOps teams in 2022 will be tapping into the benefits of GitOps (and AppOpps) models. Already a powerful tool for infrastructure automation, 2022 will see GitOps become a more structured and viable strategic solution for application deployment and security policies as well.

Gleb Mezhanskiy, Founding CEO of Datafold:

Heading into 2022, I predict that DevOps KPIs/OKRs focused on data quality and observability will continue to increase, with tools expanding to match. Until tooling becomes more mature in the data space, manual work will continue to be the biggest frustration for data teams—a trend that I think will drive more teams to discover alternative vendors in 2022. As a result, I anticipate a rise in data reliability engineering as a new model for improved data quality and reliability through automation and tooling.

Shomron Jacob, Engineering Manager – Applied Machine Learning, at Iterate.ai:

In 2022, low-code technologies will provide increasingly greater (and welcome) abstraction for DevOps teams. The technical complexity of tasks such as setting up a firewall will be replaced by simple and seamless low-code processes, allowing a single software engineer to do what once took multiple specialized experts. Similarly, ML engineers using low-code will be able to go from CPUs to harnessing GPUs with the click of a button, again eliminating the need for deeper DevOps involvement. Low-code will also serve as a common language, improving communication among experts and software engineers. Also, importantly for 2022, low-code will be empowering far more DevOps teams to integrate code they don’t have to write themselves.

Brendan O’Leary, Staff Developer Evangelist, GitLab Inc.:

In 2022 we’ll see many enterprises that find themselves at various phases of the DevOps lifecycle. I believe we’ll find a number of companies moving their teams towards platforms—either through DIY or through the adoption of a DevOps platform.

As cyber and ransomware attacks continue to rise, a consideration for companies is not only their own cybersecurity posture but the posture of every link along their supply chain. That supply chain security, the trust we place on open and closed source dependencies inside of our own environments, will be the crucial piece in protecting large enterprises and government systems.

DevOps teams find new ways to control costs

Stacy Tumarkin, chief of staff at Kubecost:

DevOps teams and developers will be empowered in 2022 to take real action against rising Kubernetes costs. Overprovisioning as a result of poor visibility—especially across multi-tenant environments—has made it hard to know where and how to cut back. The recent FinOps for Kubernetes report from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation paints a clear picture of how the absence of effective Kubernetes cost monitoring has affected this skyrocketing cloud spend.

In 2022 DevOps teams will increasingly introduce cost monitoring methods (including showback, chargeback, and hybrid strategies) that allow them to achieve markedly improved efficiency with real-time cost visibility and management.

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.


Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.