Why Does Salesforce Need DevOps? Industry Leaders Break it Down

By Susmitha Vakkalanka

While Salesforce and DevOps are not new tools or topics on their own, Salesforce DevOps is a trend that is picking up steam. So, how do the worlds of DevOps and Salesforce collide? The definition of “DevOps” can vary, but at its core, DevOps combines tools, people and processes to streamline software development and delivery. DevOps aims to tear down silos in technology organizations to speed up release cycles, improve efficiency and reduce costs and risks. According to DORA, the highest performing DevOps teams deploy 208x more frequently and spend 50% less time fixing security issues.

Salesforce has grown in complexity over the years especially for large organizations with hundreds of users and developers. Not to mention growing business complexity, integrations in the Salesforce ecosystem, faster release cycles and lack of end-to-end visibility in the software delivery lifecycle. When it comes to Salesforce releases, most enterprises are performing manual steps without proper version control for code and objects, with code quality and security lacking. Research shows that 40% of these steps are done manually causing significant overhead and delays to the deployment process.

Salesforce DevOps, then, is meant to help Salesforce Developers and Teams release faster with more quality, security and control.

Recently, leaders in Salesforce DevOps came together for a CrowdChat to discuss some of the emerging themes, challenges and opportunities with Salesforce DevOps. Hosts of the discussion included: Vernon Keenan, Garima Bajpai, Tracy Bannon, Chandra Ranganathan, Kumar Chivukula and more. Let’s highlight some of the top questions and discussions during the chat.

One of the first questions posed was, “Has the Salesforce ecosystem been a bit slower in the uptake of DevOps? If so, why?” Most of the hosts agreed, that yes, it has been slower and stated the reason being that it is the way Salesforce is built. Bannon said: 

“Much of the original DevOps hype focused on ‘traditional’ coding. Salesforce is a platform-based ecosystem.”

Keenan added, “It is because of the complexities of dealing with a live organization. In ‘regular DevOps’ people always build from source, where in Salesforce it is slower.”

Salesforce is also a part of a larger trend happening in DevOps, which is the SaaS market boom. During the chat, it was asked how this boom has been impacting DevOps initiatives. From Keenan:

“I think we are seeing a blossoming of SaaS or Application DevOps, of which Salesforce DevOps is a subset, to deal with multiple SaaS system integrations, this type of tooling is becoming more necessary to assemble the bits.”

Chivukula added, “Most SaaS applications are built on a cloud native and DevOps mindset and customers are expecting a cohesive release management platform to help solve the end-to-end release management across multiple SaaS applications (Salesforce, AEM, Apigee, Servicenow, Workday etc).”

However, while Salesforce DevOps is still ironing out some kinks, there is also a great opportunity for Salesforce DevOps to provide value for organizations moving forward. A question posed was, “How does Salesforce DevOps provide an opportunity for better alignment between business and IT?” The word “continuous” was the theme of most of the responses. From Bajpai:

“Creating a continuous product canvas while utilizing customer data, breakdown of the relative value.”

Chivukula also mentioned that Salesforce can “enable enterprise companies to go to market faster, faster release cycles, automated release management across multiple Salesforce orgs, and deliver software with quality and security.”

There were many other great questions and discussions that happened during the CrowdChat. For all of the great insights, read the full transcript here:

The Author

Susmitha Vakkalanka

Susmitha Vakkalanka is VP of Marketing at Opsera.

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