NoOps (no operations) is the concept that an IT environment can become so automated and abstracted from the underlying infrastructure that there is no need for a dedicated team to manage software in-house.

Traditionally in the enterprise, an application development team is in charge of gathering business requirements for a software program and writing code. The development team tests their program in an isolated development environment for quality assurance (QA) and -- if requirements are met -- releases the code to an operations team who deploys and maintains the program from that point on. In a NoOps scenario, maintenance and other tasks performed by the operations team would be automated.

Forrester coined the term NoOps, which they define as "the goal of completely automating the deployment, monitoring and management of applications and the infrastructure on which they run." According to Forrester Senior Analyst Glenn O’Donnell, who co-authored the report "Augment DevOps with NoOps," it is more likely that although some operations positions will become unnecessary, others will simply evolve from a technical orientation toward a more business-oriented focus.

The two main drivers behind NoOps are increasing IT automation and cloud computing. At its most extreme, a NoOps organization is one that has no operations employees at all, however various other systems can be referred to as "NoOps" as well. For example, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendors such as AppFog and Heroku describe their offerings as NoOps platforms.

NoOps can be contrasted with DevOps, a concept in which the line between development and operations teams is blurred and members of each group assume some of the responsibilities of the other team.

This was last updated in July 2015

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