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DevOps Takes Agile Further—and Across the Software Life Cycle

Thriving in the digital age requires levels of efficiency, agility, and quality in software development that can be delivered only by fully embracing DevOps practices, which combine development and operations in IT.

Agile methodologies have afforded many companies a much-needed tool in the digital era: a collaborative and flexible way to develop software. Cross-functional teams, quick and frequent iterations, and continual testing and feedback are powerful agile practices that have enabled companies to improve their development process. But businesses can realize even greater transformative change—and greater success—by implementing a second set of practices known as DevOps.

What Is DevOps?

Introducing DevOps

DevOps combines the development and operations activities of an IT organization to increase collaboration and automation along the entire product lifecycle.

Specifically, the approach breaks down the walls within IT to embed employees from IT operations onto cross-functional agile teams working on software development. New processes and tools are used to align the IT and software development work.

This set of practices is not an alternative to agile but a complement. A DevOps approach takes agile a step further and applies it beyond the plan, design, build, and test stages of software development to the rest of the software lifecycle: deployment, release, operation, and monitoring.

The efficiency and speed gains that DevOps can deliver are particularly critical in today’s environment, when customers as well as technological developments are demanding ever-shorter development cycles and ever-increasing quality.

The Elements and Application of DevOps

In combination with agile, DevOps delivers six key elements that serve as the building blocks of a holistic transformation of software development. Each improves the efficiency of the IT organization and the development process in valuable and tangible ways.

Learn more about DevOps

Featured Experts

Andrew Agerbak



  • Leads BCG's global work as a steering patron of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI)
  • Large-scale digital transformation
  • IT Capability Maturity Framework, IT-CMF
  • Postmerger integration (PMI)
  • Leads BCG's global work in software and agile
  • Digital banking and insurance
  • IT operating model and organization
  • Agile transformation