With the introduction of GenAI and extensive DevOps platforms, software development is going through an unprecedented speed of change. While the most advanced organizations stay vigilant, adopting new tools and practices, more traditional businesses are slowing in comparison.

In this blog post, I will walk you through the five trends advanced organizations are taking today to decrease time-to-market and react to market changes and customer feedback faster.

Trend 1: Business Agility enables faster value streams

The best companies align themselves according to their value streams, making sure speed is not restricted by internal friction, handovers, or unnecessary bottlenecks. Effective businesses continuously align their strategy with daily operations, allowing them to react to both internal and external changes.

Organizations often think change should happen on a team level or, at best, on a product or departmental level. Interestingly, the correct level of change usually occurs through an external force, such as an acquisition, a radical market change, or from novel innovations, such as those introduced by GenAI.

When the current market is considered a changing force, the transition happens on an organizational level (as it should).

Trend 2: Toolchain consolidation reduces maintenance burden and improves collaboration

In Gene Kim's Tech Leadership Summit, Michael Vormittag from Daimler reported that after a carve-out from Mercedes-Benz, their toolchain was consolidated by more than 40% during the first two years. This is following the market trend, where the big cloud and tooling vendors are capable of providing enterprise-level platforms where organizational specialties can be quite easily integrated.

According to GitLab’s DevSecOps research from 2022, 69% of developers spend more than one-fourth of their time on toolchain maintenance and configuration. The best companies will have already identified various toolchains within their organization and the amount of developer burden in the configuration and maintenance. They are integrating their toolchains under one operating environment and consolidating the internal tooling ecosystem.

This process leads to initiatives such as Platform Engineering and decreasing the cognitive load of developers. In the bigger picture, this improves Developer Experience and gives employees more bandwidth to work on the core business value.

Combining this with business Agility, organizations gain momentum by reducing waste and speeding up their time-to-market by improving the value streams.

Trend 3: DevOps Safety Net improves quality and reduces time to market

Through the experience collected from our clients, we've seen that a healthy DevOps culture radically changes two aspects of a business: Time-to-market and reduced risks. Even though DevOps is often considered a very technical practice, it actually creates a fundamental change in the way organizations operate.

Imagine that you have a culture that enables you to continuously know if every single version of your digital assets is working as expected—secure and compliant. We call this the DevOps Safety Net because it best describes the feeling when your organization can safely release faster and more often. You already know your products or services fulfill their requirements.

When you combine this with business Agility and reduce the tooling burden by consolidation, you create a system that accelerates your organization continuously.

Trend 4: AI-driven development speeds up an organization, but only if it’s ready for it

With the introduction and democratization of Generative AI, we have seen rapid change and more unpredictably than what could have been imagined.

Research has already shown that developers’ work will be irreversibly changed and that the speed is only increasing. The best estimates are around 50-60% in the improvement of pace for individual developers.

If your organization is not ready for the change presented by AI-driven tooling, you will not become faster. Let's say your R&D organization spends only 10% of its time on actual development work, a 50% improvement will only boost your organization by 5%.

AI tooling will indeed reveal bottlenecks quite quickly, but without a fundamental change in the organization, you will not be able to benefit from the tooling or the opportunity to change.

Trend 5: ITSM connects the users with the developers, closing the development loop

Successful organizations have been able to build trust with their customers based on mechanisms that ensure feedback is collected, analyzed, and acted on as quickly as possible. Modern ITSM is based on tooling that integrates fluently with the development flow and toolchains and introduces processes that make sure issues, incidents, and releases are properly handled.

Successful ITSM closes the development loop, making sure that each action in the development cycle is connected. With the four other trends this gives organizations the possibility to understand and develop their culture and processes even faster and more accurately.

Over the next few years, many aspects of ITSM will be augmented and accelerated by Generative AI. By creating functional ITSM practices and integrating the tooling into the development toolchains, you will be ready to implement GenAI-based solutions as they are developed and introduced in the market.

Key takeaways

  • Change almost always happens too low in organizations; to enable a fast flow of information, you need to consider the whole organization’s value streams.
  • The current market environment forces continuous change. Without a culture of continuously reacting to change and novel innovations, your organization will keep getting slower by staying as it is.
  • Implement GenAI governance and guidelines and attach extensive automation through DevOps.  Introducing new tools alone will not make your organization better, but making sure you can reliably accelerate your pace while still continuously releasing will.
  • Healthy ITSM practices close the development loop, connecting all processes and accelerating the feedback loop. Many aspects of ITSM will be augmented with Generative AI, and it is vital to be ready.

Published: May 23, 2024