DevOps and agile are two of the most popular ways businesses try to stay ahead of the market, but put them together and they provide even more benefits. A new report, Accelerating Velocity and Customer Value with Agile and DevOps, from CA Technologies revealed businesses experienced greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty when integrating agile with DevOps.

“What’s particularly interesting in this research is what it’s revealed about the compounded effect of using both agile and DevOps practices, especially as it pertains to employee engagement and customer satisfaction,” said Angela Tucci, general manager for agile management at CA. “Agile and DevOps practices lead to happier, more productive employees…which in turn leads to happier, more satisfied customers. And when agile and DevOps are practiced together, the benefits are even better.”

(Related: Using DevOps best practices to solve mainframe challenges)

According to the report, about 75% of respondents reported improved employee recruitment and retention when using agile with DevOps, compared to 30% who only used agile. In addition, businesses saw a 45% increase in employee productivity, a 29% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 78% increase in customer experience when using the two.

“Because agile and DevOps are tightly linked around delivering value to the customer faster, we often see better success when the practices are paired,” said Tucci. “Agile needs DevOps to achieve the software delivery speed and effectiveness needed for digital business strategies, and DevOps typically isn’t successful without agile. You can’t truly do DevOps without agile.”

Outside of customers and employees, businesses that adopted both agile and DevOps also reported new business growth, increased operational efficiencies, and improved IT-related costs, Tucci explained.

Another key finding was that only a third of organizations are realizing the maximum rewards of advanced agile and DevOps adoption. Tucci explained that this is because of a maturity gap between businesses. Advanced organizations are considered to have moved beyond the team level, and are expanding agile and DevOps broadly across IT and outside their development organizations. The benefits of advancing agile and DevOps include velocity, greater acceleration, and the ability to act on new opportunities and deliver more value, according to the report. However, security, budgets, techniques and tool challenges stand in the way of businesses reaching that maturity.

In order to successfully achieve the benefits of DevOps and agile, Tucci suggested businesses remember the big picture, measure business impact, and address skills gaps early.

“To build the right products and deliver them with the quality/predictability customers expect, enterprises must scale agile and DevOps beyond IT,” she said. “The wider benefits of fully integrating DevOps are clearly evidenced, and organizations cannot afford to ignore the important role these practices play within successful digital transformation plans.

“While the challenges might be wide ranging, planning and implementing a clear action plan that enables organizations to fully leverage the business benefits will soon attract returns that far outweigh the initial investment—both in terms of efficiency and cost.”