Emerging trends in Cloud, DevOps and Governance

The cloud landscape has an immense impact on how we think about IT and DevOps. With revenues in the cloud infrastructure market increasing at a rate of 35% to 40% annually, there’s a pressing need for leaders to think strategically about where to deploy resource. This shift is technological, but it’s also financial, operational, and strategic. Here are the key trends reshaping the cloud and DevOps landscape.

With increased adoption, FinOps maturity needs to increase

Since cloud computing is becoming more integral to business operations, IT leaders should concentrate on the maturity of FinOps. Currently, according to the FinOps Foundation, a staggering 62% of organisations are at a ‘crawl’ stage in their FinOps journey, reflecting a nascent understanding and implementation of financial management in cloud environments.

This is slowly changing. It’s in every team’s best interest to evaluating releases based on cost deltas, signalling a deeper integration of financial acumen, cloud knowledge, and new tooling into the development process. Monthly bill forensics, treating FinOps as a compliance exercise, and the outdated notion that cost management is solely the business side’s concern being replaced by this more inclusive approach.

Product-centric platform engineering is emerging to help improve Developer Experience

The Developer Experience is being improved by product-centric platform engineering. By 2026, a staggering 80% of software organisations will have established dedicated platform teams.

The core of product-centric platform engineering lies in creating internal platforms built by product experts; they embody the best operational practices, ensuring that every aspect of development is streamlined and efficient. A well-designed platform removes the burden of understanding every nuance of the cloud from app developers, freeing them up to do what they do best: Write features. This is a departure from the traditional, more fragmented methods. Outdated practices such as raising endless tickets, dealing with opaque errors, and the repetitive, manual workload are becoming obsolete. The shift also drifts away from reliance on boilerplate code and the often-limited institutional knowledge behind it.

Governance will digitise to keep pace

The digitalisation of governance is happening as a response to a growing concern in the software development field — approximately 70% of developers say cannot release software as frequently as they desire. The crux of this issue lies in the traditional governance models, which are increasingly unable to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements.

Leveraging digital metadata to attest to quality, security, and provenance, as well as the implementation of pattern libraries and ‘paved roads’ — pre-defined best practices and guidelines that streamline development processes — enhances governance by providing a framework that supports faster and more secure releases, without compromising on the quality of compliance.

The goal is to reduce manual, tedious tasks while keeping human oversight and decision-making in the loop. It’s about using technology to enhance, not replace, human judgement and expertise.

Hybrid cloud is here to stay

By 2025, $94 billion will be invested in on-premises IT, while cloud revenues will be an astounding $372 billion. This means that the hybrid cloud must be a foundational element of modern IT strategies going forward.

There is a recognition of the limitations of a single cloud or greenfield approach. What’s ‘in’ is multifaceted: Mainframe migrations, which were once sidelined, are now getting the attention they deserve. The ‘Supercloud’ emphasises portability and the flexibility of ‘bring your own cloud’ models, complemented by hyper-converged infrastructure — offering operational expense pricing and a cloud-like experience, even in on-premises environments.

Simultaneously, there’s a shift from basic ‘low-hanging fruit’ solutions and single-cloud dependency to more strategic, nuanced approaches due to dissatisfaction with public cloud programs not meeting expectations quickly. This trend also emphasises containers and higher-level abstractions for enhanced portability across on-premises and multi-cloud environments.

Cloud security is evolving to provide a holistic app & infra threat model

In recent years, we’ve observed a startling 742% year-on-year growth in software supply chain attacks and by 2026, it’s predicted that organisations prioritising a continuous exposure management program will be three times less likely to suffer from a security breach.

The focus should now be on a comprehensive examination of software supply chain risks, deploying next-generation Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPP) and adopting ‘as-code’ methodologies for implementing controls. This approach leverages cloud policy and Open Policy Agent (OPA) to enforce security measures, ensuring a more responsive security posture.

The industry must take a strategic, informed approach to managing these trends. Whether it’s adapting to the nuanced financial management of cloud resources, embracing the potential of product-centric platform engineering, or navigating cloud security, each demands a deep understanding and proactive stance. It’s essential that business leaders and decision-makers take what resonates and consider how each approach would impact their customers, always keeping their organisation’s best interests at the forefront.

Paul Jones
+ posts

Senior Director, Cloud & DevOps Practice lead at Synechron. Typically working on projects with Cloud, DevOps & Digital Transformation themes.

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