The Kubernetes Current Blog

The Kubernetes Crystal Ball: Predictions and Expectations for 2023

2022 was a huge year for Kubernetes. We witnessed significant growth in adoption of the open-source container orchestration system within enterprises given its ability to rapidly scale and manage modern applications. However, Kubernetes still holds its reputation for complexity, which has led to persisting challenges across organizations that struggle to manage the increasing time, cost and resources needed to adopt Kubernetes at scale.

What’s on the horizon for Kubernetes? Here’s what I predict 2023 will bring:

Kubernetes will be Managed Similar to how VMware Environments are Managed by vCenter

Kubernetes has seen tremendous growth and maturity since its inception in 2014, having introduced a new era for software deployment and management. In fact, 96% of global organizations are either using or evaluating Kubernetes. However, this growth has come with some growing pains. Deploying and managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters in a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure is a multi-step, multi-system process that often involves repetitive, time-consuming, inconsistent and error-prone work. Moreover, enterprises with a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure typically require resources with additional skills per infrastructure that are difficult to find.

As enterprises scale and expand to support multiple applications across multiple business units and a variety of infrastructure offerings, the difficulty and risk involved with managing the lifecycle of these Kubernetes clusters grows exponentially. We’ve seen this wave before. Similar to how VMware’s vCenter enables the management (read: automation and governance) of VMs across multiple VMware hosts, enterprises need a vCenter-like experience for their Kubernetes cluster fleets: an automation and governance framework that IT teams can leverage to deploy and manage Kubernetes across on-premises and cloud environments.

2023 will be the Defining Year for Platform Teams

According to Forrester, more than three-quarters of high-performing organizations are instituting platform teams. Gartner also predicts that 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams by 2026, and that 75% of those will include developer self-service portals. 2023 will be the year that platform teams will establish themselves as the backbone of the cloud innovation engine for any company. With the ability to deliver efficiency and abstract complexity, enterprises have recognized that platform teams are a cost effective and much needed springboard towards Kubernetes adoption. Platform teams are in a unique position where they can provide the ability for internal and downstream application teams to leapfrog towards Kubernetes adoption without the burden of steep learning curves.

Platform Teams and Developers will be the Yin-Yang of Kubernetes Automation and Governance

In 2022, technology leaders recognized that their developer productivity was being mired by the complexities of Kubernetes and cloud infrastructure. Many leaders started considering the institution of platform teams to address these complexities in a holistic, enterprise-wide fashion. In 2023, platform teams will become the norm in enterprises, and will develop self-service capabilities that abstract these complexities from developers, allowing them to get back to what they do best – rapidly deliver new application capabilities to customers. These self-service capabilities will allow developers to move fast via automation, but will also enforce guardrails through tools and workflows that enable enterprise-wide standardization.

Organizations without a platform team will be punting the management of application infrastructure to developers, which means developers are spending a lot less time innovating than they should. With the platform team paradigm, enterprises can reduce their total cost of ownership for modern infrastructure, while empowering developers to focus on innovation.

After witnessing Kubernetes adoption taking place across so many enterprises in 2022, I expect the proliferation of Kubernetes to accelerate this year. It’s evident that platform teams delivering developer-friendly automation with the right level of governance and control is key to reducing Kubernetes complexity for users.


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