DevOps Transformation: How much does adopting DevOps cost? Is it worth it?

July 14, 2020
min read

In recent times, there is an increasing buzz surrounding DevOps and its adoption. Many IT organizations are looking towards adopting this structure and make their development practices better and more profitable.

For many individuals, it is just a hoax, probably a new name given to a different style of development practice, but for others it is gospel. In truth, DevOps refers to a change in the engineering culture, adapting the practices that help in enhancing the delivery speed. It is regarding the adoption of lean and agile practices which offers a system-oriented approach. All the work is done to improve the collaboration among operations and development teams.

However, the DevOps culture comes at a cost and not everyone is willing to pay for it. Therefore, you have to consider the pros and cons, weigh it in terms of return on investment, and make sure the undertaking is worth the time and effort it will take to produce measurable results.

Expected costs of DevOps model

There was a survey conducted by the KMS which led to the conclusion that the transition from a traditional model to DevOps costs around $100,000 to $500,000. While that number is subjective, it paints a picture of what can be expected, even as the ecosystem provides a large amount of free, open source tools to be used. Moreover, a significant amount of the budget is spent on the expenses related to DevOps that include the development, testing, and support services before spending any Opex on software or tools.

Keep in mind that quality is not cheap. If you are looking to invest in a transformation, you should be prepared to make the investment.

Expected return from DevOps model

So, you may express interest in adapting the DevOps approach. But as you plan on investing, there has to be some return or else the investment will end up a waste. However, it must be realistic and it should be relevant to your model.

Considering the DevOps model, keep in mind that all the return is not given to you in the form of financial assets. There are instances when other aspects exceed the financial costs and make your investment great. For instance, you can expect a measurable improvement in your CSAT scores along with an overall lower cost of engineering development and toil.

Where should you invest?

The important thing to consider is where you should be investing when it comes to DevOps. As listed, a good share of your budget will be spent on the culture and organizational transformation, not strictly on tools and technology.

Culture and organizational investment will lead to changes in leadership and thought process, which may trickle down to investments in training.  While some forms of training might be in person and instructor led, theres has been an increasing number of online and remote based knowledge sharing sessions that are available, a lot of which are free of charge.  Attending meetups and sponsored events is another great way of coming up to speed on what other companies are doing in this space.


These are a few costs associated with DevOps transformation and where you can expect to invest. Moreover, the return on investment is also important to calculate and as listed it will not be completely measurable with hard dollars. Lowered development costs and better productivity along with higher services on offer will make up for the ROI and it may take you a while to get going with the model. Thus, once you implement the DevOps structure, make sure you have a framework to measure your progress, and identify opportunities that may not be as apparent.

written by
Team RapDev
We're engineers by profession and open source learners/contributors at heart. Here to give you the full rundown on DevOps - What we've learnt, what we're experts at, what we're exploring.