Automation is critical according to CircleCi 2021 predictions
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
CEO Jim Rose and CTO Rob Zuber from CircleCI give us their predictions for 2021, including the criticality of automation, applying a wartime mentality, focusing on sustainability, prioritizing teams and people, and the uncertainties ahead.
Expect the uncertainty that we experienced in 2020 to continue. When shelter-in-place orders hit, teams focused on prioritizing foundational systems to make work possible. 2021 will require prioritizing people. Leaders will need to take a close look at their organizations to build resilient teams and avoid burnout.
The rollercoaster of 2020 has highlighted the competitive differentiator that being a well-oiled software delivery team provides. Timelines for digital transformation were radically compressed in 2020 - often from years to mere months.
This idea of automation, the ability to move quickly and reliably, has become not just ‘nice to have’; it's become critical.
In 2021, we’ll see a focus on the human side of automation: how are the tools, processes, and platforms you’re putting in place setting your team up for success.
To succeed in 2021, leaders are going to have to operate with a wartime mentality.
The uncertainty of 2020 will not dissipate quickly. Leaders will need ruthless focus and prioritization on a very short list of items. Look for companies focused on long-term sustainability by investing in their people, platform, and process. We may not know what the “new normal” in business looks like for some time. It’s okay to acknowledge that you can’t see all the way through the end of the tunnel; what matters is that you know you’re going in the right direction.
2021 will require prioritizing people.
For businesses, the first phase of the pandemic was about systems: updating and building your tech stack so you could operate as fully remote. The next phase is going to be about teams and people. Leaders will need to focus on building resilient teams and preventing individual burnout. One method for doing this is building larger teams. Bigger teams are more flexible and can tackle new feature development, support healthy maintenance, and handle urgent issues without being swamped. Ambitious teams need both tools and people processes that can scale. -- Jim Rose, CEO, CircleCI
2020 has taught us that our best-laid plans don't matter in the face of rapid uncertainty and change.
Engineering leaders should take this to heart, and think about how to best position themselves and their team so that the cost of making changes and rapidly adapting to new realities of the market. We have ideas about how software delivery will evolve but the crystal ball is murky at best, so we need to better position ourselves to adapt as that future unfolds.
Unpredictable market trends mixed with a high level of agitation means that there will be problems to solve and the energy needed to solve them.
Things are going to move fast, so don't spend your time in stealth mode.
Don’t take your time making it perfect; build something imperfect and get feedback on it as quickly as possible. Get in front of your potential customers, fix fast, and keep moving.
We’ve seen some of today’s most innovative companies born out of uncertain times. The factors we’ve had to overcome this year, like social distancing and the lack of travel, will only further fuel innovation.
The teams that will come out on top in 2021 will be those that invest in their innovations in effective, sustainable ways.
Having insight into the deepest elements of your business, all the way down to the workflow of your code and what’s impacting it will be necessary to ensure you're making effective decisions in every step of your journey. -- Rob Zuber, CTO, CircleCI
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