GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Solutionsv3.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. GitOps Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook

1. Executive Summary

GitOps is an approach to supporting continuous software delivery that aims to simplify, accelerate, and improve the way organizations apply application code and infrastructure changes to deployment environments.

In the GitOps model, application code and declarative infrastructure artifacts are stored, managed, and applied to target environments using a common set of tools, workflows, and automations. Storing everything in codified form in common repositories and using automated delivery tools make an organization’s source code management system a reliable control plane for the desired application and infrastructure state. Simple code management commands, such as merge or tag, are translated through automation into corresponding actions against target environments.

Depending on their starting point, organizations seeking to adopt GitOps may follow different paths. A source code management system—most commonly Git—is the basic technical prerequisite. Although frequently associated with cloud-native infrastructure generally and Kubernetes specifically, GitOps is equally applicable to virtualized infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and hybrid environments. Beyond these scenarios, GitOps capabilities can be found as integrations with some continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD) suites and container platforms. General-purpose infrastructure as code (IaC) automation tools are also useful building blocks for implementing GitOps. Increasingly, container repositories and cloud vendor marketplaces are core to GitOps, providing the base images that applications are built on.

Organizations already using some of these tools will find the effort to adopt GitOps to be more procedural or cultural than technical, and focused solutions are likely to meet their needs better than platform offerings can. Organizations with none of these tools can expect a non-trivial effort in technical, procedural, and cultural dimensions of adoption. These organizations may find that offerings with a broader scope than GitOps can give them the technical capability to help evolve their practices on several fronts simultaneously.

Business Imperative
The GitOps model makes the collaborative benefits of using code management tools, such as working together via pull or merge requests, available for infrastructure artifacts. In alignment with DevOps, this approach helps to bring the often disconnected domains of development and operations closer, improving overall efficiency, visibility, and reliability. Traceability is also improved, and changes to environments are easily audited and followed, from the originating code change, to the approved code, to deployed objects in the target environment.

Moreover, GitOps can reduce security risks by restricting the way changes may be applied to deployment environments and who may make them, while at the same time reducing cycle times through automation.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a GitOps solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of a GitOps solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 3.8 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that a GitOps solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for GitOps are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for GitOps

This is the third year that GigaOm has reported on the GitOps space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective GitOps solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading GitOps offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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