Thank you to the entire Performance Engineering and Observability community for all your contributions. 2023 was a disruptive year.
Some businesses, such as Ticketmaster, learned that Performance is their most important feature after millions of Tailor Swift fans struggled to purchase tickets. These days, you can't no longer provide digitized services and neglect system performance. Below are a few trends I've noticed in 2023.
When systems break, and organizations can't detect their root cause, they move to observability platforms. These insights often help to speed up troubleshooting and enable proactive problem detection. However, the problem of performance troubleshooting on production, system tuning skills, and late detection of issues remains.
While the complexity of systems is increasing and the DevOps team has more and more duties on their agenda, the new platform engineering discipline is a movement towards standardization and simplification. Streamlined platforms should also include crucial aspects such as quality gates for Performance and security. Let's hope the platform engineering movement will free up developers for their actual work.
FinOps and DORA
Businesses are becoming more cost-effective these days and realize that hardware in their local and cloud data centers and the maturity of their DevOps teams are crucial. The FinOps movement brings the conversation about infrastructure costs to the executive board. This new transparency creates opportunities for optimization, but some aspects, such as Performance and security, are still untouched. DORA is the DevOps Research Assessment. It brings a maturity model and metrics to measure its adoption. It goes a step further than FinOps and focuses on adopting key processes and metrics to improve troubleshooting efforts and provide a better service to end users.
Another hard-to-overlook movement was the birth of large language models such as ChatGPT, which OpenAI initiated. We see a broad adoption of AI in many industries. AI solutions are more a productivity tool than a replacement for human intelligence, but the coming years will show how far we can go by adopting these new AI-powered tools.
Automation of Performance
If you think Performance is expensive, try lousy Performance! We had a long list of performance nightmares in 2023. Ticketmaster was at the forefront, followed by Government, public, and privately held organizations. They all lost millions after failing to design their IT services for speed and throughput—their business applications were down for hours, which resulted in a financial loss of millions of US dollars. The times are gone when you could ignore the Performance of your business services. We see an ever-growing need for speed, and to mitigate these risks, leaders make performance a continuous effort that is part of their core processes. Automation of Performance reduces risks and frees up your teams from troubleshooting and manual performance testing efforts.
For 2024, I wish everyone to remember the importance of performance from the early design stages through continuous testing and operations.
Keep up the great work! Happy Performance Engineering!