How DevOps capabilities leverage firm competitive advantage: A systematic review of empirical evidence

Olivia Helene Plant, Jos van Hillegersberg, Adina Aldea

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DevOps is an agile software delivery approach which combines IT development and operation functions into cross-functional teams and promotes team autonomy and automation of processes. Many companies transform their IT departments according to the DevOps paradigm, hoping to increase their pace of software delivery and achieve a tighter collaboration between business and IT functions. Whereas reasons for adopting DevOps are often described in terms of operational efficiency, the paper at hand aims to investigate whether implementing DevOps can additionally contribute to the strategic advantage of companies. To this end, we have conducted a systematic review of 37 empirical research papers on DevOps capabilities and analyzed the results in the context of the dynamic capabilities theory. Our conceptual model proposes that DevOps teams can contribute to firm competitive advantage by building both business- and technology-related capabilities which enable them to sense market opportunities, make fast and targeted decisions and transform their assets in case of changing circumstances. This research aims to generate a deeper understanding of the impact which software delivery approaches like DevOps can have on firm competitive advantage and provides insight into the sources of dynamic capabilities in modern IT organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event23rd IEEE International Conference on Business Informatics: Leading the Digital Transformation - online, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 1 Sep 20213 Sep 2021


Conference23rd IEEE International Conference on Business Informatics
Abbreviated titleIEEE CBI 2021
Internet address


  • DevOps
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • IT capabilities
  • firm competitive advantage


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