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In recent years, enterprises have observed that a holistic approach to agile information systems development and a close integration of information systems operations is essential to maximize the probability of success, leading to the emerging DevOps phenomenon. While first studies have delivered first preliminary insights about DevOps, a foundational understanding of DevOps implementations and theoretical grounding of DevOps is still missing. To close this gap, we conducted a multiple-case study to explore a variety of characteristics of DevOps, and how these different characteristics influence its implementation in different contexts. We find that variations of DevOps implementations are gradual transitions on what we call a DevOps continuum. Based on this insight, we propose a conceptual model which fosters our understanding of the DevOps phenomenon, relates DevOps to existing theories, and identifies new paths for future research.



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