Continuous deployment of software intensive products and services: A systematic mapping study

Pilar Rodríguez (Corresponding Author), Alireza Haghighatkhah, Lucy Lwakatare, Susanna Teppola, Tanja Suomalainen, Juho Eskeli, Teemu Karvonen, Pasi Kuvaja, June Verner, Markku Oivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The software intensive industry is moving towards the adoption of a value-driven and adaptive real-time business paradigm. The traditional view of software as an item that evolves through releases every few months is being replaced by the continuous evolution of software functionality. This study aims to classify and analyse the literature related to continuous deployment in the software domain in order to scope the phenomenon, provide an overview of the state-of-the-art, investigate the scientific evidence in the reported results and identify areas suitable for further research. We conducted a systematic mapping study and classified the continuous deployment literature. The benefits and challenges related to continuous deployment were also analysed. RESULTS: The systematic mapping study includes 50 primary studies published between 2001 and 2014. An in-depth analysis of the primary studies revealed ten recurrent themes that characterize continuous deployment and provide researchers with directions for future work. In addition, a set of benefits and challenges of which practitioners may take advantage were identified. CONCLUSION: Overall, although the topic area is very promising, it is still in its infancy, thus offering a plethora of new opportunities for both researchers and software intensive companies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-291
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • continuous deployment
  • software development
  • systematic mapping study

Cite this

Rodríguez, P., Haghighatkhah, A., Lwakatare, L., Teppola, S., Suomalainen, T., Eskeli, J., Karvonen, T., Kuvaja, P., Verner, J., & Oivo, M. (2017). Continuous deployment of software intensive products and services: A systematic mapping study. Journal of Systems and Software, 123, 263-291.