Our Take: Flux7 Engineers Highlight 2020 Technologies & Trends to Watch

Our Take: Flux7 Engineers Highlight 2020 Technologies & Trends to Watch

By Flux7 Labs
December 18, 2019

Working with enterprises across a wide variety of industries, we have the unique opportunity to see which new technologies and trends are not just ‘hot’ but have the opportunity to make real business-impacting change in the year ahead. To that end, we polled our DevOps engineering team to find out exactly which trending technologies they think enterprises should have on their radar for the year ahead — and just as importantly why they think so. Without further ado, we present the Flux7 engineering list of technologies and trends to watch in 2020. 

AI and ML
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) help us make sense of an ever-increasing amount of data, synthesizing in short order data points that would have taken humans an inordinate amount of time — or maybe never at all. To this end, “forty-four percent of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is providing data that can be used to make decisions.”

AI/ML should definitely be on enterprise’s radars for the year ahead because their competition is actively trying to understand the benefits of data analytics to increase their efficiency and outcomes (what they call digitalizing and transforming the world). This is helping them gain better insights into customer requirements —the reason business exists in the first place. Hence, companies that adopt AI and ML sooner than later will gain a distinct advantage that can be quickly fed back into business decisions that address customer requirements and customer satisfaction. This is at the forefront of any business and AI/ML accelerates it.
Vyshnavi Bandaru


Serverless computing more fully delivers on the promise of the cloud, offering a true Platform-as-a-Service that allows developers to avoid back end management and focus on coding. According to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report, serverless remains the fastest growing cloud service with an estimated 50% growth rate, tracking at 36% adoption (up from 24% in 2018).

Serverless technology has now reached a level of maturity which makes it a much stronger architecture candidate when designing new applications, compared to a couple of years ago. Serverless apps can now comply with security requirements we expect from large enterprises. And, if an enterprise is making contingency plans for a possible recession, serverless is a good technology to invest in now because it allows you to focus on delivering business value and innovation at a low operating cost. 
Matt Buchner


Automated Compliance
The process of continuously integrating and automating compliance requirements and regulatory controls — especially as they change — into infrastructure and services is automated compliance. It makes compliance simpler and more accurate and works to ensure continuous compliance, removing the need for spot checks.

In a report titled, 3 Steps to Ensure Compliance and Audit Success With DevOps, (available to Gartner subscribers) published October 11, 2019, Gartner analysts Hassan Ennaciri and George Spafford state, “Compliance automation is especially vital, as it removes manual execution steps, minimizes the potential for human error, and enhances consistency, traceability and auditability. As a result, the variability between audits is greatly reduced — providing auditors with valuable, consistent reports, and eliminating costly delays associated with fixing compliance problems.”

Good security and good compliance are inseparable. To reduce compliance-associated risk, enterprises should have consistent security across their environment and should be able to check their infrastructure and application compliance status at any point in time. Automated compliance helps achieve this goal while assuring regulatory compliance is continuously met. Most importantly, automated compliance is critical from a security perspective as it catches potential risks, helping companies reduce the likelihood of a compliance-related fine — or worse yet, a breach.

Mohit Kumar Sharma


Verification and Remediation
Trust but verify. This approach to compliance gives companies much-needed confidence in their systems, checking for everything from configurations that have drifted out of compliance to newly introduced regulatory controls. When a deviation is found, automated remediation can occur, automatically returning the system to a known, compliant state. In the process, verification and remediation help ensure continuous compliance, in turn growing security and reducing business risk.

A recent survey of more than 1,500 users conducted by Chef found that 74% of cross-functional application, infrastructure and security teams assess software for compliance manually prior to production. Once violations and vulnerabilities are discovered, half remediate manually. These processes result in teams’ detecting and remediating security issues in days (31%) or weeks (19%), instead of hours (18%).

While serverless and AI/ML should be at the top of the enterprise list for 2020, for those enterprises where regulatory compliance (e.g. HIPAA, SOX, PCI, etc.) is a factor, verification and remediation should round out the top three. This is still an unsolved problem for many enterprises. There are many different technology solutions in this area that are gaining significant traction — and for good reason. Choose a solution that works best for your environment and compliance needs and ensure you implement it correctly to automate the verification of your compliance status and automate remediation to help ensure continuous compliance and reduce risk.
Deric Miguel


Continuous Security
Real-time visibility means real-time system confidence. More than applying the right security controls, continuous security means building security into your base architecture, addressing security as part of the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, automating testing, and ensuring ongoing system monitoring. Yet, nearly 90% of respondents to a 2019 Security Leader’s Peer Report by Censuswide say they don’t have adequate visibility of the data that they are required to protect. And, only 20% of respondents to a 2019 Security Operations Maturity Report published by Cyentia Research define their organization as a mature security operation. (80% are either just getting started or are midway through the maturity journey.)

As the cost of a breach continues to swell in financial and reputational terms, getting security right can not be a one and done exercise. Rather, the cybersecurity journey is one without end and to remain one step ahead of emerging threats, the ability to see both the forest and the trees is exceedingly important. Hence, continuous security in which security teams have real-time visibility across systems is a business imperative in 2020 — and beyond. Working within a broader DevSecOps model, teams can ensure that security is built-in and continuously maintained and monitored throughout the technology stack.
Neal Bhatia


IoT, Digital Twins and Empowering Edge Computing

While IoT has the power to extend the Internet to all matter of things, it is the data that IoT extrudes that is pivotal. For example, empowering edge processing of device anomalies, or pairing virtual and physical devices via Digital Twins for system monitoring and data analysis allow for faster remediation. According to IoT Analytics, IoT technologies take “roughly 12 years to move from being ‘far on the horizon’ to becoming so mature and widely adopted that IoT Analytics considers them ‘mainstream’.” 

With 38% of enterprises having deployed IoT into production company-wide and another 84% expecting to do so within the next two years, according to research by Zebra, organizations who have not yet embarked upon their IoT journey may be behind the curve when it comes to building a competitive advantage. That’s why I think if the technology is a fit for your business, IoT initiatives should be on the enterprise radar for 2020. The amount of business-impacting data that can be collected — whether it be from manufacturing equipment or consumer behavior — will be vital to business success.

Mukesh Sharma


At the end of the day, many of the items on our 2020 trends list go hand-in-glove with one another. For example, AI and ML are closely tied to generating business advantage from IoT data, and a potential outcome of automated, best practice security is continuous compliance.

Whether you are building a strategic roadmap for the year ahead, or looking for help executing  digital innovation and operational excellence, our IT consulting team is here to help. Contact our team today. And, for additional reading on what to expect in the year ahead, download  Forrester’s research, Predictions 2020: Cloud Computing.

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Written by Flux7 Labs

Flux7 is the only Sherpa on the DevOps journey that assesses, designs, and teaches while implementing a holistic solution for its enterprise customers, thus giving its clients the skills needed to manage and expand on the technology moving forward. Not a reseller or an MSP, Flux7 recommendations are 100% focused on customer requirements and creating the most efficient infrastructure possible that automates operations, streamlines and enhances development, and supports specific business goals.