Difference Between CI/CD And Devops

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Jun 14, 2023

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The difference between CI/CD and Devops has been a never-ending debate. Despite being linked, these differ in many respects. Understanding the fundamental difference between CI/CD and DevOps is essential especially to make an informed decision on which one, why, and when to prioritise it. This article covers all those grounds!

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development approach between development and operations teams for

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Integration.

DevOps brings developers and operations together to produce high-quality software. For example, a team of data scientists is working to build a recommendation system for an e-commerce platform. Here,

  • Data scientists are responsible for developing the recommendation models and writing the necessary code. They work closely with the developers, who provide the infrastructure and automation tools to train and test the models.
  • The developers ensure that the code is integrated and deployed in the system.
  • The operations team also plays a crucial role. They ensure the scalability and performance of the recommendation system. Thus, they identify issues and make necessary adjustments to keep the system running smoothly.

So, DevOps is used to streamline the collaboration between all these teams in building and maintaining the recommendation system. Moreover, they can deliver frequent updates and recommendation systems, providing better-personalized recommendations and improving customer satisfaction.

What is CI/CD?

CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment/Delivery. It is a set of practices and tools that automate the software development process. This also includes building, testing, and deploying code changes. 

For example, a data science team is working on a sentiment analysis model for a social media platform. With CI/CD, 

  • Once the team completes a code change, it is automatically integrated into the main repository. This leads to automated tests to test the model's accuracy. In other words, it checks the ability to classify positive and negative sentiments correctly. 
  • If all tests pass, the updated model is deployed to a staging environment for further testing with real-world data samples. 
  • If it performs well in the staging environment, it is automatically deployed to the production environment. This allows users to enjoy improved sentiment analysis capabilities. 

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Continuous Integration and Deployment Process ensures that the sentiment analysis model remains up-to-date and delivers accurate results to the platform's users. It enables the team to quickly iterate on improvements, address issues promptly, and ensure the best possible user experience.

Understanding the Difference Between CI and CD

The following table lists the differences between CI and CD.


Continuous Integration (CI)

Continuous Deployment (CD)

Automates code integration and testing to catch errors early in the development process.

Automates the deployment of code changes to production environments.

ObjectiveEnsure code changes are integrated smoothly and frequently tested to maintain code quality.Enable rapid and automated deployment of code changes to production.
    • Early detection of integration issues
    • Reduced code conflicts
    • Faster feedback loops
    • Faster time-to-market
    • Improved release management
    • Reduced manual intervention
Key Tools
    • Jenkins
    • Travis CI
    • CircleCI
    • Kubernetes
    • Docker
    • AWS CodeDeploy

Difference Between Ci Cd Vs Devops

Here are the differences between CI/CD and Devops.

FocusDevOps focuses on collaboration, shared responsibility, and holistic software development. It aims to improve product quality and customer satisfaction.CI/CD emphasises automation, rapid feedback, and continuous delivery. It aims to accelerate development, reduce time to market, and enhance product reliability.
CollaborationEmphasises collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. This promotes shared responsibility and efficient software delivery.Focuses on automating the integration, testing, and deployment processes. It enables frequent and reliable software releases.
Team RolesEncourages cross-functional teams where developers, operations professionals, and testers collaborate closely. These teams work together to achieve shared goals and improve product quality.Involves developers and testers working together. They ensure code integration, quality assurance, and continuous deployment.
ScopeThese address cultural, organisational, and technological aspects, aiming for cultural change, improved processes, and tool adoption across the software lifecycle.This narrows its scope to continuous integration, testing, and deployment. It helps streamline the development process for faster and more reliable releases.

Fosters a culture of shared responsibility, accountability, and continuous improvement. Thus, it concentrates on collaboration and efficient software delivery.


Follows the philosophy of automating key stages of the development process. Thus, it tries to execute faster feedback, continuous integration, and reliable deployments.
Time Frame

It is an ongoing approach emphasising continuous improvement and collaboration throughout the software lifecycle, from planning to maintenance.


It is more focused on specific stages of the development process. These include integration, testing, and deployment.
FlexibilityDevOps is quite flexible. It accommodates different tools, technologies, and workflows, allowing organisations to choose the best fit for their needs.CI/CD is comparatively less flexible. But it is flexible in adapting to project requirements and technology stacks, enabling customised deployment pipelines.
DeploymentDevOps goes beyond deployment. It encompasses monitoring, maintenance, and addressing operational challenges to ensure software reliability and performance.Primarily focuses on automating the deployment process, delivering code changes quickly and reliably.
AutomationDevOps emphasises automation to streamline processes, reduce errors, and enhance efficiency. It automates tasks like configuration management, testing, and deployment.Relies heavily on automating code integration, testing, and deployment processes for rapid and error-free software delivery.
ScalabilityDevOps has to address scalability challenges in both development and operations. It ensures systems can handle increased demand and growth.CI/CD supports the scalability of development, testing, and deployment processes, allowing efficient handling of larger workloads.
Risk ManagementDevOps mitigate risks through collaboration, automation, and monitoring. It promotes early detection and resolution of issues.CI/CD implements continuous testing and deployment to minimise risks associated with code integration. It ensures stable and reliable software releases.
Feedback LoopEmphasises continuous feedback and communication among team members and stakeholders. It helps in identifying areas for improvement and optimising processes.Establishes feedback loops by providing immediate feedback on code quality through automated testing and deployment. This enables rapid iteration and improvement.

Implementing DevOps may face challenges related to cultural resistance, organisational silos, and tooling adoption. Overcoming these challenges requires 

    • Cultural change
    • Effective communication
    • Investment in automation and collaboration tools.

Implementing CI/CD may encounter challenges related to infrastructure management, automated testing, and establishing a reliable deployment pipeline. Addressing these challenges involves building

    • Robust infrastructure
    • Implementing comprehensive testing strategies 
    • Designing efficient deployment processes.
Overall Goal

Aims to improve collaboration, communication, and software quality by breaking down barriers between teams and fostering a culture of shared responsibility.


Aims to achieve frequent and reliable software releases by emphasising rapid feedback, continuous integration, and delivery without focusing on broader collaboration or cultural transformation goals.


DevOps vs CI/CD: Which is better?

While both have merits, determining which is better depends on your needs and goals. For instance, if the organisation values frequent releases and rapid feedback, CI/CD in DevOps is more suitable. If the focus is on streamlining collaboration and communication across teams, DevOps will help.

For example, a software development company aims to deliver new features quickly. So, the company might prioritise implementing CI/CD pipelines to 

  • Automate testing and deployment, 
  • For a faster time-to-market. 

But, if the company has a complex infrastructure and multiple teams, it might prioritise DevOps practices to

  • Help cross-functional collaboration
  • Improve overall operational efficiency. 

Ultimately, the choice should align with the organisation's requirements and objectives.

Let's consider another example.

A mobile app development company wants to enhance its software delivery process. If the company focuses on implementing CI/CD practices, it can 

  • Automate the testing and deployment of new app versions. 
  • Quickly address bugs, 
  • Introduce new features, and 
  • Release updates to users. 

However, if the company emphasises DevOps principles, it can 

  • Foster better collaboration between developers, testers, and operations teams, 
  • Ensure smooth coordination
  • Can efficiently handle app deployments. 

Thus, the choice depends on speed, collaboration, quality, and other factors that the company considers.

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Final Words

Although there is a considerable difference between CI/CD and DevOps, companies prefer to use both to achieve efficient collaboration and high software quality. Many leading brands prefer to hire candidates with DevOps training as skilled professionals guarantee the best results. To boost your career, enrol in StarAgile’s Industry Oriented DevOps Course delivered by industry experts with 20+ years of experience, industrial projects, and 6 Months of Certified Project Experience.


1.How does DevOps improve software delivery? 

DevOps improves software delivery by 

  • Encouraging better collaboration, 
  • Automated and continuous feedback loops among teams,
  • Guaranteeing faster, more reliable releases.

2.How does CI/CD ensure code quality? 

CI/CD ensures code quality by

  • Automating code integration, 
  • Running tests and performing code reviews at each code change,
  • Identifying issues early

3.How does CI/CD support agile development?

CI/CD aligns well with agile development principles by 

  • Enabling frequent code changes, 
  • Automated testing, 
  • Continuous deployment, and
  • Enabling rapid software development cycles.

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