The notion of DevOps serves to accelerate time to market through greater cohesion in the release management life cycle.
So called ‘service virtualiation’, such as offerings from IBM and CA LISA, enables modular testing practice by learning typical behavior patterns of defined systems. The effect is a more tightly focused testing process that reduces the dependency on external (inert) services.
Release Automation, such as in the newly acquired Nolio solution, allows the testing process to be further streamlined by providing cohesion through the multistage process. The benefits are most highly felt where complex dependencies and configurations add magnitude to setup and teardown for QA.
Agile methods need agile release management processes, and this is the whole point of DevOps. However the risks in this agile thinking come in end- to-end performance.