Why Gitops isn’t ready for the mainstream (yet)

Since being coined in 2017, Gitops has emerged as a natural evolution of modern software development practices like devops, infrastructure as code, and CI/CD principles, specifically for organizations that are building microservices deployed across distributed containers and orchestrated by Kubernetes, as is the fashion these days.

However, there are still several significant cultural and technological hurdles for the industry to overcome to allow Gitops to truly hit mainstream adoption at the scale that agile and devops practices have so far.

What is Gitops?

Gitops extends devops primarily by treating infrastructure as code, so that both the application and its underlying infrastructure can be treated as code and stored in a version control system, most likely Git, providing a single source of truth for both dev and ops. Done right, this allows for all changes to be pushed through declarative code, with a set of automated steps that corrects any deviations from the desired state.

While that all sounds great in theory, among the enterprises known to be dabbling with Gitops practices—companies like Peloton, Volvo, Ticketmaster, and Just Eat Takeaway.com—none were willing to talk to InfoWorld at this stage. “I haven’t talked to any organizations that are rolling out a Gitops initiative, and most of the organizations I speak to probably haven’t even heard of it,” said Jim Mercer, a research director in IDC’s devops solutions practice.

“[Gitops] is still in the early stages of maturity,” said Mukulika Kapas, director of product management for the internal developer platform at fintech firm Intuit, an early Gitops adopter after it acquired the Argo CD creator Applatix in 2018.

Instead, smaller cloud-native organizations are starting to investigate the potential for Gitops to improve their software delivery processes, and larger organizations are most likely looking at Gitops in the pockets where cloud-native practices are more prevalent, like greenfield digital initiatives or research and development centers.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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