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While everyone is talking about Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation and IoT/AI/ML/Data Science, having the right understanding is important. Based on the above quotes and the snapshot of one of the slides from a video of Carlota Perez, we need to understand that there is a big change happening and we are in the middle of it. We need to be ready for the Paradigm shift as mentioned above. The organizations need to be ready and agile enough to adapt to the changes that have come and the changes that are yet to come.

From the above snapshot, we can see some key points that each organization needs to build-up:

  • Flexible adaptable volume production – It means that we are looking at faster delivery and volume delivery of customized solutions
  • Treating Products as Services – Here we have to start looking at Platforms as Products and look at it end to end. We will also see a shift towards building up a product’s cherry-picked features and then scaling those using Data/Decision driven models
  • Open Network/Platforms from local to Global – We have to be able to design something locally but can be used globally. It talks about great loosely coupled architecture.
  • Continuous Improvement – We have to be a flexible learning organization
  • Value Network Partners – Moving from Vendor Mindset to Partner mindset
  • Adaptive strategies/Central guidelines with local flexibility – Governance with autonomy
  • Globalization (Global economy/local shaping policies) – We need to work with a distributed team and our processes and governance to be suitable for such with the flexibility of accommodating local requirements
  • Environment as a guide to innovation – Environment is also a key factor in designing new solutions
  • Human Capital – Giving the right value to the human aspect

All these are possible with a change in the way of working and using DevOps and SRE together helps us in achieving the above requirements and make the organization ready, agile, resilient.

We will be able to see a lot more automation and free up the people to do work that machines cannot do. Thus, reducing TOIL. We need to focus on having a better work-life balance and thus reduce burnout. Along with automation, change in the policies and processes needs to change to provide the environment and psychological safety to people. This also helps in innovation. We will be expecting many more new tools and startups coming up with these tools for using AI/ML/Data Science. Data is going to be a big focus area and proper DataOps will be practiced. New tools would evolve with minimalistic configuration engines i.e. the capsuled version of heavily featured tools would be the next big thing in tools

Talking about tools, we will see more usage of the technology available to deliver faster, better, safer, and happier using Cloud-native, Containers, Kubernetes, Low Code, and Edge Computing. This works well with the expectation of globalized teams and centralized policies and provides the necessary local autonomy to incorporate local needs.

Reliability and Observability will be of prime importance. We need to make things reliable and have more observability till the last mile from the end-user perspective. We will see lot more self-service products available for end-users as well as the providers. The focus of building monitoring solutions for 2021 & beyond would be more on evaluating resiliency autonomously. Emerging sets like AIOps etc. would be a great pivot in that direction.

With such digitalization and globalization, we will see more increase in vulnerabilities and that will need baking Security in the pipeline through DevSecOps. We will need to take it forward and see more Security Chaos Engineering being practiced. We will see more SCE tools coming up.

Enabling remote collaboration with an evolving agile-based delivery culture, this would be a perfect time for enterprises to standardize the same for their delivery pods.

Learning will be of prime importance. We will have more hypothesis-based experimentation and hence need for Dojos. As we will see globalized teams, people will be distributed. Hence, Virtual Dojo will be the order of the day. People should be able to collaborate and experiment with collaboration tools and cloud-based services. Innovation will be key and short success frequently will be the way to go.

We also will see a change in the Customer – Supplier relationship. Suppliers/Vendors have to be treated as Partners and Vendors also need to start looking at having a shared objective of co-creating value for the customer. This will need a change in the way the current contracts are being created. Customers also will need to bring in the process of breaking down the silos across multiple Partners and get them to work together for the common objective. SLO, SLI, Error Budget will be the KPIs rather than the component-based SLAs and other productivity and cost. The end-to-end flow will be considered for each product.

By 2021, DevOps enabled pods would focus more on extreme automation i.e. standardizing their latest configurations, etc. using IaC to minimize configurational drifts – developing long-term solutions.

By 2021, advanced pods would look forward to building an assembly lines model of their custom CD solutions. An enterprise-grade DevOps solution designed to scale autonomously.

We will see a major change in the way work will be done and organizations need to move towards it. Merging Agile, DevOps, SRE initiatives for achieving the business value will be the need.

We have to embrace the Customer Value centric approach and remove the various boundaries created by various frameworks to achieve the New Normal.

~ Dr. Niladri Choudhuri

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