Development and operations teams are under more pressure than ever to deliver software faster, more efficiently and at higher levels of quality, according to a new research report from IT and data management research and consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates.

While every IT organization has an opportunity to make a real difference in overall business success, the study says, taking advantage of this opportunity requires the ability to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure and applications.

The report, “DevOps and Continuous Delivery; Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery,” is based on research criteria defined by Julie Craig, EMA research director for application management, and examines the factors that make DevOps continuous delivery agents of change within enterprises.

Evolving DevOps and continuous delivery practices is not a simple matter, the report notes. IT organizations need to balance business demands with the realities of day-to-day production support.

They’re confronted with the “ultimate in dueling objectives”: to keep production systems running flawlessly while absorbing constant, increasing levels of potentially disruptive change.

“This report is the first of its kind to make a connection between DevOps, continuous delivery and revenue growth,” Craig said. Among the key findings of the study are that industry compliance demands and business-focused demands for more competitive products and services are today’s top drivers for continuous delivery.

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