The community’s insatiable appetite for faster and better ways to manage application delivery is what drives interest and investment in Salesforce DevOps. The demand for Salesforce architects to manage application delivery seems endless.
In 2021, using Salesforce DevOps became a way to efficiently leverage scarce resources, while helping teams to perform at a high level. Salesforce DevOps also helps to manage the application delivery pipeline faster and more efficiently. Let’s take a look at how rapid growth will influence Salesforce application delivery this year and beyond.
7-Fold Growth in Investment
There is plenty of data to show that Salesforce DevOps is expanding rapidly – the explosion in venture capital invested is perhaps the best hard evidence for this. In a recent post, I noted that $38.5 million of equity investments in Salesforce DevOps companies were made in 2020. In 2021, that figure jumped 7-fold to $275.5 million, the bulk of which went to Copado.
There were also several Salesforce DevOps business deals in 2021. In terms of mergers and acquisitions, Codescan was acquired by AutoRABIT, and Copado acquired New Context and Qentinel. Vendor distribution and integration deals were also announced. These deals included Opsera working with HashiCorp Vault, and a Copado integration with the DigitSec S4 cybersecurity platform.
Salesforce DevOps Trends
As we look forward to the rest of the year, what important trends should Salesforce app producers, architects, platform owners, admins, and job seekers be tracking? To answer that question, here are my top Salesforce DevOps trends for 2022.
1. Increased DevOps Platform Demand from Regulatory Compliance
DevOps platforms will grow faster to address SOX and other regulatory requirements as Salesforce becomes a system of record.
In the United States, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a financial fitness law designed to protect public company investors (the European Union has a similar set of regulations). Abiding by the Act, otherwise known as SOX compliance, is a rather complex matter. Data used to create pharmaceuticals and other products also has similar regulations. Central to this complicated data compliance is the ability to document the stability and cybersecurity of IT systems that handle vital company data.
When a company is gearing up for regulatory compliance, and there is a Salesforce org in the mix, this is usually the time the company goes shopping for a Salesforce DevOps solution. In most cases, the company does not have cloud-native DevOps talent to craft customized solutions. At this stage, they need a packaged solution from a leading Salesforce DevOps vendor like Blue Canvas, Copado, Flosum, or Gearset. In 2022, AutoRABIT, with its Veeva and nCino integrations, is particularly well-positioned to meet Salesforce DevOps demand from regulated industries.
2. More Cloud-Native Influences
More cloud-native goodness makes its way into the Salesforce DevOps ecosystem in the form of better testing and observability.
Gains in testing will increase the confidence to deploy quicker and will allow for better governance of application errors. Better observability and app metrics will allow app producers to measure usability and improve app quality.
In Salesforce DevOps, testing and observability are special categories which require some explanation. Testing refers to all types of testing that occurs during development, user acceptance, and deployments. Running tests during the DevOps cycle ensures that any changes being made do not create unanticipated changes or errors in the target Salesforce org. Tests range from unit tests to screen-based tests that ensure end-to-end system functionality.
Screen-based tests are notoriously hard to create and use, which limits their utility. Second-generation testing automates this process better. Examples of existing second-generation testing tools that should make strides in 2022 are testRigor and the robotic application testing service from Copado that was acquired from Qentinel. I’d recommend looking out for more second-generation cloud native crossovers to test Salesforce in 2022.
Observability is the process of instrumenting, emitting, and analyzing raw performance data from an application. Instrumenting refers to installing signaling code that is invoked during certain events. The signaling code then emits a log entry, which is subsequently analyzed. Salesforce is already instrumented for system-wide exceptions, like Apex error messages, but higher-level application activity metrics are generally unavailable in Salesforce.
One independent software vendor, Pharos, currently offers a platform for observing and managing errors emitted from custom applications. And Salesforce is doing a little better on metrics and observability with the introduction of Performance Assistant and Scale Center, which is now in pilot. More cloud-native observability and application performance monitoring companies like Datadog should offer better Salesforce integrations in 2022.
3. SaaS DevOps Emerges
Salesforce DevOps platforms extend to other SaaS systems.
SaaS systems like Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and SAP S4/HANA need the same capabilities that Salesforce DevOps brings to corporate governance. Copado, Opsera, and others have already begun a multi-cloud approach to their low-code Salesforce solutions. And Salto has a different approach to multi-cloud configuration management using code. As this trend continues, Salesforce DevOps vendors will use metadata intelligence capabilities to extend DevOps to managing all SaaS applications.
Also look for Salesforce DevOps platforms to offer better coverage of other Salesforce cloud systems. Good examples of this in 2021 were AutoRABIT, Flosum, and Gearset, who offered DevOps for Industry Cloud, and Prodly who focused on Salesforce CPQ and e-commerce. Blue Canvas also recently added support for Salesforce CPQ. Explore all the DevOps platforms to fill the gaps in Salesforce cloud coverage in 2022.
4. The “DevOps Plus Agile” Evolution
High-performing teams will focus on agile management techniques enabled by DevOps metrics.
DevOps is essential to high-performing teams because it provides a framework for measuring progress. You know the old Peter Drucker quote: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure?” Mr Drucker was talking about using a scientific methodology to measure the value of a system, and then systematically changing that system to measure the impact. Facilitating measurable, continuous improvement is what DevOps is really all about.
With talent scarcity, knowing what you want to build (and building it efficiently) matters more than ever. Existing tools such as Atalasian’s Jira already provide application lifecycle management for Salesforce app production teams. In 2022, teams that have not yet adopted agile methodologies will move in that direction, partly because Salesforce DevOps Center will feature work item management. Some independent software vendors like Elements.cloud, who already offer agile-inspired ways to practically manage complex app production teams, will continue to gain increased attention.
High performing app production teams are focused on DevOps metrics. There is a standards group called DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) which establishes key metrics for measuring DevOps activities. In 2021, Flosum made several advances in adding DORA metrics to Salesforce DevOps – more DORA metrics need to be emitted from Salesforce DevOps products to facilitate better platform management. In 2022 look for more Salesforce DevOps platform vendors to advance agile management with better integration of the four DORA metrics with value stream mapping.
There’s excitement ahead for Salesforce DevOps. The combination of regulatory pressures, cloud native influences, the SaaS DevOps emergence, and agile management advances will put DevOps front and center for Salesforce platform owners, architects, and developers in 2022. The complexity of the Salesforce platform, especially with the ongoing integration of Slack and the Salesforce Customer 360 data platform, actually provides more opportunities than ever for the DevOps industry.
Keep a look out for advances in managing data ingestion and off-platform configuration databases that accompany Salesforce deployments. It’s also worth noting that Gearset is currently gathering responses to its State of Salesforce DevOps 2022 survey. Anyone involved in building on Salesforce can participate, enter the prize draw (for a chance to win a $1000 Amazon voucher), and contribute to the overall understanding of the Salesforce DevOps landscape in 2022.
Thanks for checking out my Salesforce DevOps trends outlook for 2022. To get more in-depth analysis and news, be sure to check out SalesforceDevops.net for updates!