DevOps is a set of steps organizations can take to boost the efficiency of the software's operation during development. Learn how it differs from traditional IT.

3 Key Differences Between DevOps and traditional IT operations

In this article you won’t read about how teams utilizing DevOps methodology work 41% more efficiently than traditional IT departments. We at know that adopting the set of practices that make up DevOps is difficult but when done with the right personnel and set of tools, it’s the way towards more efficient work, faster value delivery and more stable products. The goal of this article is to explain and address the impact on your team’s operation both on an everyday and a broader scale.

Although it’s been around us since the 90s, it was only over the last couple of years when DevOps has been adopted by some of the largest companies in the globe. Despite this movement, some organizations and decision makers are still unaware of the advantages their companies can gain by going the DevOps way.

It’s not a surprising tendency. As with everything, change can be scary. Especially when it comes to a lengthy process that requires the conscientious efforts of everyone on board. Moving your organization’s established operations to something new holds many challenges, some risks you probably aren’t even aware of yet. Therefore, shifting to DevOps is a risky path – that pays off big time when it’s done right. In this blogpost, we detail the different ways your company can benefit from DevOps adoption.

DevOps thrives on collaboration

The core difference between DevOps and traditional IT is the cultural shift.

Compasses point in different directions in traditional IT, but DevOps aligns them. In traditional IT, each team has different objectives set. Meaning that departments responsible for, let’s say, development, likely have separate goals in mind when developing the products compared to the operations or maintenance department. This feeds off the fact that sometimes these groups of people get involved in the SDLC at completely different times – leaving them unaware of the phases the product goes under, the reasons how the product is being developed in a certain way when team members aren’t present. The conflicting goals and the lack of information between the departments can lead to longer downtimes and costlier operations.

This specific nature of traditional IT leads to knowledge black holes, which DevOps methodology irons out through the entire lifecycle of the product. Applying the set of practices that represent DevOps leads to have every stakeholder on board through all the phases. This creates a common ground between the departments that’ll reduce the time and costs of software development and operations. This will create a mutual goal between departments that comes with a deeper understanding of the operation of the product.

In this section, we summed up the fundamental differences between the traditional IT and DevOps approach. Let’s jump into the 3 key differences organizations can experience after adopting DevOps!

Difference #1: DevOps cherishes failures

You know the feeling when you order something online and can’t wait to unpack your stuff after delivery. The same goes for DevOps. After developing a new feature, it’s time to test right away. This not only helps the discovery of problems with the software but also supports quality assurance efforts, which indirectly lays groundwork for customer satisfaction.

The continuous stream of feedbacks can validate that the developed software functions properly. In case it doesn’t, there’s still time to adjust – this might alter business and release planning based on the outcome of testing. In order to properly test the software, virtualization is required to simulate the environment where users are going to use the software.

This approach is a key enabler of small but frequent updates getting released to the users. This is a fundamental difference from traditional IT that prefers large and occasional updates. To keep operational challenges caused by the higher volume of deployments manageable DevOps utilizes continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines.

Difference #2: DevOps turns limitations meaningless on the cloud

Sometimes organizations with the traditional approach face troubles caused by local limitations. These are usually infrastructural bottlenecks that are costly to resolve due to either the lack of local access or technical reasons. Costs and waiting times could increase by sticking to the traditional IT solutions, compared to taking advantage of the cloud.

In order to eradicate the limitations that are difficult to traditional IT to handle, DevOps processes utilize cloud technologies. In fact, DevOps and cloud technologies are mutual enablers of each other. Mainly because the cloud can be adjusted to the needs of the client or an inside team. That’s a key difference maker when it comes to testing the software in a product-environment, the most efficient way to gain relevant feedback on the performance of the software.

Virtualized environments are also crucial because they can be tailored to the technological ecosystem of the client.

Another reason why DevOps flourishes by employing cloud solutions is because it can maintain a continuous stream of data about the software. Due to this reason, automations can be developed to avoid downtimes when there aren’t any technical personnel around to handle problems about functionality.

Difference #3: DevOps enables scalability with ease

Scalability is what makes organizations fit to provide the ever-changing needs of their users. It’s every stakeholders’ mutual goal to develop a product that’s ready to serve an increased number of users. Ask one developer if he’d like to build something that nobody uses. Their answer will be in sync with this point.

IT systems are vulnerable to traffic. If the going gets rough, they break eventually. But not under DevOps practices. By adopting DevOps, organizations gain the flexibility required to always fit their configuration to the current level of usage.

This wouldn’t be possible without every stakeholder being on-board from the beginning. Fully transparent communication between every team member is the only way to get all the people have a better understanding of the product. This element of collaboration holds great importance when it comes to software operation.

Due to this reason, scalability doesn’t come with downtimes. As mentioned before, DevOps prefers fast and small deployments compared to large and slow ones. This approach not only ensures that the minor changes are secure but at the same time the product’s operation isn’t disrupted.


DevOps is much more than just a technical approach. It’s a complex set of practices that’s unable to adopt without a cultural shift within the organization. Collaboration is the key principle to embrace DevOps, in order to deliver value to your customers faster, operate your product more efficiently and provide better scalability depending on the client’s needs.

This blogpost was written by the team of is an open-source continuous delivery & deployment platform with version management.

Find the project on GitHub.

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