Depending on who you ask, either we’re entering a recession or we’re already in it. The ‘R’ word is a scary one: it brings uncertainty, a squeeze on our finances, and stress. The reality of where we are right now is that layoffs are happening and hiring freezes are in full effect. Businesses are looking to lower their operating costs while maintaining or growing customer numbers and profit — no mean feat in the middle of a recession. Because of this, it’s okay to feel unsure about what direction to take, or what you should do for the best. Which brings me to the big question: can a well managed Salesforce implementation and DevOps process make you recession-proof? In part, yes.
Why do we have Salesforce?
Having a great DevOps process isn’t going to make you recession-proof, but it will go a long way to helping your business pivot effectively. If we think about why a business buys Salesforce in the first place, we can start to understand how we can get the most from it.
A business doesn’t buy Salesforce to just be a glorified spreadsheet: they buy Salesforce so that they have a more holistic view of their customers. With this holistic view, they can use data to make informed decisions about their overall business strategy and how they can better serve their customers. Salesforce should be set up to provide leaders this information — which is crucial in challenging times — so that they can pivot to meet the changing financial landscape.
Businesses that can pivot quickly, set themselves up for success even in adversity. Take the COVID pandemic, for example. With Salesforce, numerous HLS businesses pivoted to provide critical care and community services. Financial Institutions also realigned to better serve the rapidly changing demands of their customers.
Businesses should be doing this anyway, whether they’re looking to grow or stay stable. But in times of economic downturn it’s imperative that business leaders have all the data they need to form a coherent strategy, and the ability to meet the customer where they are. During a recession customers need even more reassurance that your company is serving their best interests.
It’s all about building loyalty and trust, which is worth more than its weight in gold in hard times — though, the revenue will come. This is why we roll Salesforce out.
The role of the Salesforce delivery team
The Salesforce delivery team comes in once a strategy is in place. It takes a village: every BA, admin, developer, architect, and product owner is critical to understanding Salesforce’s capabilities and applying the business’s strategy around those capabilities.
Now, understanding what’s possible with Salesforce is just the first part. You still have to build the things that deliver on your strategic aims for efficiency and growth. Fortunately for most, the Salesforce team will meticulously plan and execute, and you’ll have all the adjustments made and new features created to enable the business to execute its strategy. CPQ tweaks? Sorted. New business logic to more effectively route customers to the right information or teams? Done. New Digital Experience Cloud to enhance customer experience and build brand loyalty? Built.
Whatever the strategic direction, your Salesforce team can build and deploy it.
How Salesforce DevOps plays a part
So, now we’ve invested time, effort, and expense in building the thing. Testing, iterating, and moving it through your sandbox environment is where, recession or not, Salesforce delivery becomes tricky. Delays releasing major projects, or business-as-usual updates, are common — arguably the number one thing any business should be looking to avoid during a make-or-break period. We can’t afford bugs, we can’t become obsolete, and we can’t be vulnerable if we break a release — or worse, suffer data loss.
A robust DevOps process is proven to provide faster time to value and accelerate the pace of delivery. Take Gearset customer Veolia, who’s saving 100+ hours every two weeks when it comes to Salesforce releases with a well-oiled DevOps process. They also reduced outsourcing costs by £3k per week, as well as saving their internal developers 3 hours a week to focus on other projects. Improving operating efficiency is always important, but in times of economic uncertainty, releasing new updates faster makes the difference between an incredible customer experience and a sub-par one.
Bringing it back to trust and loyalty: a good DevOps process will help foster them, both internally and with customers. By delivering on mission-critical objectives reliably and quickly — all while being protected with a robust Salesforce backup strategy — you’ll get a level of confidence from stakeholders that can’t be bought. And, providing the company business strategy is solid to get through the hard times, will continue to justify the investment in Salesforce as a platform.
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A good DevOps process alone won’t make a business recession-proof. But it will make sure that Salesforce teams have the strategic understanding, support and information they need to build the right things for your business. Those course corrections and new plans of action can be put to work faster. Hello customers, hello revenue! In tricky times, the ability to be agile is so important and your DevOps process will be the difference that sets you apart from your competitors.
If you’d like to know more about how you can improve your DevOps process and make sure you’re well equipped to handle the rapidly changing landscape, book a consultation with one of our DevOps experts.