February 9, 2023

Five Key Technologies Shaping the Future of Software Delivery

Table of Contents

Key takeaway

Improving software delivery is a never-ending journey of continuous improvement. Technologies that underpin software delivery are rapidly evolving to make processes faster, easier, and more efficient. If you’re ready to take your software delivery to the next level, consider looking into these five key concepts that are quickly becoming essential to modern software delivery. 

#1 GitOps 

What it is: GitOps is an approach for companies looking to simplify deployments of cloud-native applications. Whether it’s adding a firewall rule, defining a VPC, or fixing a UI bug, all of it comes from a central plane of source control. 

Why it matters: In GitOps, the Git repository serves as the authority on the desired state of the application. Every change or rollback is funneled through Git pull requests, Git reverts, and actions oriented around the version control system. 

Benefits to the business: GitOps allows developers to have their version control system as the authoritative source to look for answers about every configuration they care about. The benefits of this include faster onboarding, an enhanced developer experience, and increased productivity due to less “context switching,” or having to shift attention between different tasks, apps, or projects.   

#2 DevSecOps

What it is: DevSecOps is short for development, security, and operations. It’s a methodology in which engineering teams run security scans throughout the entire software delivery lifecycle (SDLC), so they can find and fix vulnerabilities before code makes it to the end user. 

Why it matters: Traditional application security approaches are no longer adequate given today’s rapid pace of software delivery, so companies have begun to use security practices that implement DevOps concepts. Using this approach, development teams can achieve high velocity software delivery with developer-first security and governance baked in.

Benefits to the business: DevSecOps is far more than just getting developers to run security tests. It's a practice and methodology to reduce security risks for the end user by automating security processes and expanding information security beyond a small team of security experts. With DevSecOps, security is a part of the development process, not an afterthought. 

#3 Chaos Engineering

What it is: Chaos engineering is the science behind intentionally injecting failure into systems to gauge resiliency. Chaos experiments go beyond traditional unit, integration, and system tests and more closely represent random failures in a real-world production environment. These experiments equip teams with an understanding of application and infrastructure weaknesses to proactively create resilience and prevent costly downtime. 

Why it matters: The cost of unplanned downtime along with an increase in systems-level complexity have created a heightened need to evolve how we test cloud-native systems. 

Injecting chaos through CI/CD enables developers to build greater reliability into applications earlier in the SDLC. 

Benefits to the business: Unplanned downtime can have significant financial, brand, and reputational impacts. Chaos engineering allows companies to identify weak points in applications and environments earlier in the SDLC, helping them deliver more reliable systems.

#4 Feature Management Combined with CI/CD

What it is: Feature management, or feature flags, give developers the ability to wrap different versions of code in conditional statements that can be turned on and off at will. Combining feature management with CI/CD gives developers end-to-end control and visibility from build to deploy and release. 

Why it matters: As developers push the boundaries of CI/CD, they’re running into problems at the deployment end of the process stemming from a lack of control in production. That’s where feature management comes in to allow developers to push code into production behind a flag, so features can be tested before they’re rolled out to all users.

Benefits to the business: Combining feature flags with CI/CD minimizes risk by giving a unified view of metrics, audit logs, governance, and security. Because feature flags decouple deployment from release, the business is given control over when users or customers will see a feature. For the business, it means shipping features faster, incurring less risk, and keeping both internal developers and external customers happier.

#5 Policy-as-Code

What it is: Policy-as-code allows users to codify policy decisions in software. It decouples decision logic from business logic in services. Treating policy as code allows for automated decision-making, giving developers and engineers the independence to manage feature-defining work without sacrificing compliance.

Why it matters: When governance is decentralized, development teams can miss quality checks or approvals, introduce vulnerabilities, or break compliance. Organizations need to balance autonomy and governance, so they can empower teams with the confidence that they are adhering to all compliance standards and security policies – all without slowing down innovation.

Benefits to the business: Treating policy as code allows for automated decision-making, giving developers and engineers the independence to manage feature defining work without sacrificing compliance. It’s a win for developers AND a win for the business. 

Learn More

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