DevOps for Business Leaders 101: What is DevOps?

John Doyle
John Doyle
CEO, Technical Architect, Drupal SME, Open Source Champion
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In our DevOps for Business Leaders 101 series we will discuss the importance of DevOps for business leaders and change agents in the throws of digital business transformations. We will aim to answer questions such as "What is DevOps", "Why is DevOps important for my organization", "How do I implement a DevOps Culture in my organization", and more.

What is DevOps?

Let's start out with breaking apart the two components of DevOps: Development and Operations.

  1. Development - The team and process of building a solution.
  2. Operations - The team and process of taking a solution and releasing it to the world.

In traditional organizations, that may still be following 20th century business models and processes, the development and operations teams are separate entities. Each team is siloed, planning and operating independently. Often there is tension between the teams, each one fighting for their perceived best interest.

Two businessmen pulling a rope in opposite directions isolated on white background


This tension creates rifts between teams, it slows down productivity, and ultimately blocks your organization's ability to deliver continual value to your customers. In the end, everyone loses.

To answer the original question of "What is DevOps" lets take a look at definitions from leaders in the industry:

“DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.”


“DevOps is a set of practices that works to automate and integrate the processes between software development and IT teams, so they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably...At its core, DevOps is a culture, a movement, a philosophy.”


“DevOps is the practice of operations and development staff participating together in the entire service lifecycle operate rapidly changing resilient systems at scale. (GSA)

“DevOps is a mindset, a culture, and a set of technical practices. It provides communication, integration, automation, and close cooperation among all the people needed to plan, develop, test, deploy, release, and maintain a Solution...Without DevOps, there is often significant tension between those who build Solutions and those who support and maintain those solutions. SAFe enterprises implement DevOps to break down organizational silos and develop a Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP) —a high-performance innovation engine capable of delivering market-leading solutions at the speed of business.”

Scaled Agile

While the definitions are slightly different, the underlying trend is the same. DevOps is the culture, the mindset, and the tools and practices which enable the Development and Operations teams to align on a set of shared goals and to work seamlessly together to deliver better, faster, and higher value to customers.

Stay tuned for more in this DevOps for Business Leaders 101 series. Our next post will talk about "Why DevOps is important for my organization".