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DevOps / Security

3 Trends That Will Define Digital Services in 2021

The momentum will build behind autonomous cloud operations, digital experience management, and application security in 2021.
Dec 30th, 2020 6:00am by
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Dynatrace sponsored this post.

Ajay Gandhi
Ajay is VP of Product Marketing at Dynatrace.

In December 2019, few could have predicted COVID-19 and the havoc it would wreak on 2020. While the pandemic might make the idea of yearly predictions seem futile, there were a number of trends forecasted for 2020 that proved true even with the pandemic — and in many cases, because of it.

This past year saw a sudden and massive shift to digital services, in lieu of face-to-face interactions. From remote working and telehealth, to virtual education and curbside grocery deliveries, millions of people digitally transformed their lives. And for those organizations that had already built their capacity for robust digital services and experiences — trends we saw coming years before any pandemic — 2020 became a proving ground for their investments in digital transformation and complementary technologies, including those providing AI-assistance and continuous automation of manual tasks.

Anything can happen in 2021. However, as with 2020, some trends run so deep that even a pandemic can’t stop their momentum. Here are three trends that we will see continue their momentum in the new year.

  1. Autonomous, self-healing cloud operations will become mandatory to tame cloud complexity.

With organizations increasingly adopting cloud native architectures, IT leaders are becoming more aware of how the complexity of these environments is disrupting operations and intensifying the demands placed on their already stretched teams.

To relieve some of this burden, DevSecOps teams will seek solutions enabling them to automate operations as well as problem remediation. These will include:

  • Integrated AIOps and application security capabilities, to help organizations quickly adapt their operations to model modern software development and delivery processes.
  • Automatic anomaly detection and auto-remediation, to significantly ease the demands put on already-stretched IT teams by taking over tasks in which complexity has grown beyond human capacity to manage.
  • The ability to automatically trigger incident workflows, and streamline and automate DevOps toolchains, as provided by solutions including ServiceNow, PagerDuty, xMatters, and JIRA.

These capabilities will transform how teams work and how companies can leverage technologies to dramatically improve their customers’ experience; enabling teams to collaborate on more innovative and impactful work that simply isn’t achievable when mired in manual, repetitive tasks.

  1. A new wave of digital transformation that precisely maps digital experiences to user needs will advance solutions toward true predictability.

It’s not enough to just adopt cloud native technologies. To stay truly connected to customers, organizations need to ensure their solutions are responsive and usable: predicting what a user needs and delivering on it with more precision and agility.

A new wave of digital transformation, one that puts user experience front and center, relies on a few bedrock principles:

  • Deep, real-time visibility into user experience to provide an outside-in perspective on the availability, functionality and performance of all applications, services and infrastructure.
  • Synthesizing data that details app performance, real-user behavior, and business KPIs (such as revenue, conversions, and third-party metrics including App Store downloads) to pinpoint performance issues and their impact on business outcomes.

Increasingly, teams will look to solutions mapping digital experiences to user needs, and integrating AI-assistance to help teams understand as well as predict performance and optimize the full stack to ensure optimal user experience.

  1. Application security and run-time app self-protection (RASP) integrated into a platform-approach to DevSecOps will become an even more critical part of digital transformation. 

Cloud native environments and applications such as mobile, serverless and Kubernetes are constantly changing, and traditional approaches to app security can’t keep up. Despite having many tools to manage threats, organizations still have blind spots and uncertainty about exposures and their impact on apps. At the same time, siloed security practices are bogging down teams in manual processes, imprecise analyses, fixing things that don’t need fixing, and missing the things that should be fixed. This is building more pressure on developers to address vulnerabilities in pre-production.

In 2021, we’ll increasingly see organizations adopt DevSecOps processes — integrating security practices into their DevOps workflows. That integration, within a holistic observability platform that helps manage dynamic, multicloud environments, will deliver continuous, automatic runtime analysis so that teams can focus on what matters, understand vulnerabilities in context, and resolve them proactively. All this amounts to faster, more secure release cycles, greater confidence in the security of production as well as pre-production environments, and renewed confidence in the idea that securing applications doesn’t have to come at the expense of innovation and faster release cycles.

For as much uncertainty as there is in the year ahead, one thing we’ve learned in 2020 is that digital transformation and migration to cloud native applications and infrastructure is a trend that can transcend massive disruptions. We’re sure to see more of this momentum build behind autonomous cloud operations, digital experience management, and application security in 2021.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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