Salesforce DevOps in the tech sector

David Runciman on

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Exploring the data from our State of Salesforce DevOps 2021 survey, we've discovered how DevOps adoption, performances and levels of maturity compare across Salesforce teams in different industries. We're looking forward to sharing these extra insights with you, starting with this post on the tech sector.

Respondents to our 2021 survey work across all main industry sectors and verticals. At 28%, the tech sector accounted for the most survey responses, with Salesforce professionals at tech companies making up the largest sample size for any industry. The companies they work for range from startups to global enterprises, but often share certain characteristics when it comes to their Salesforce DevOps performance.

Faster than other industries

Tech companies release much more frequently than organizations in other industries. Their Salesforce teams are 50% more likely to be in the elite category of performers, who release to production on a daily basis or even multiple times a day. Across all sectors, only 8% of companies were able to achieve such an impressive release cadence. At the other end of the scale, tech companies are 40% less likely to release less often than once a month.

This clear difference in release frequency represents the main characteristic that distinguishes the tech sector from others: they move at pace! A good example of a high-performing company here is Intercom, the messenger-based conversational relationship management platform. The Salesforce team at Intercom uses Gearset to release multiple times a day, continuously shipping improvements to end users and keeping lead times at an absolute minimum.

Illustration of technology

It's possible that some tech companies are sacrificing quality for the sake of speed. On average, Salesforce teams in the tech sector ship bugs and errors more often than teams in other sectors. Across all respondents to the survey, 13% admit to finding bugs in more than a quarter of their releases. That figure rises to 17% for the tech sector.

But tech companies seem confident to take a 'fail faster' approach to development and releases, finding and fixing problems sooner - even if they're first identified in production. It's easier to pinpoint bugs and errors when each release is making small, incremental changes. And with higher release frequency comes an enhanced ability to roll forward and fix any bugs quickly.

Strong performance in terms of backing up and restoring orgs might also be giving these teams the confidence to release frequently. Tech companies are more likely than companies in other sectors to have adopted a data backup solution for Salesforce. They also outperform the Salesforce ecosystem's average time for restoring orgs, being 20% more likely to be able to restore in under an hour. This performance is made possible by implementing a backup and restore solution that safeguards Salesforce data and metadata.

Solving the challenge of source control

As the Salesforce ecosystem moves to adopt DevOps, there are common obstacles for all teams. While the challenges identified by the tech sector align with those of the ecosystem as a whole, Salesforce teams at tech companies are 17% more likely to view the adoption of source control as a key challenge. This is something of a surprise, given that most tech companies could be drawing on internal expertise to address this obstacle.

It's unclear why it is that Salesforce teams at tech companies in particular are finding source control a struggle, but difficulties with source control usually come down to two things: training less technical team members to use Git, and implementing the right Git-branching strategy. These are both things we've been keen to address. Find out how admins can use Git without touching the CLI, and sign up to DevOps Launchpad for courses on branching strategies and all things Git.

Ahead of the curve with CI/CD

Especially for large teams working on multiple projects with countless environments, automating deployments along a release pipeline with continuous integration is the only way to achieve daily releases. Most survey respondents say they are working with source control already and are now looking to implement CI/CD. Once these automated workflows are set up, teams will really begin to reap the rewards of DevOps: less time spent on deployments and better quality releases with fewer bugs.

The tech sector is ahead when it comes to adopting CI/CD for Salesforce. 78% of all survey respondents currently use CI/CD or plan to adopt it this year. For the tech sector, that figure is slightly higher at 83%. This pattern lines up with the faster release cadences being achieved by companies in the tech sector. But all industries are looking for the agility that comes from fully fledged Salesforce DevOps to give Salesforce teams the capabilities they need to stay ahead, keep meeting business requirements and deliver more value to their end users.

Reducing ramp-up times for DevOps adoption

The main challenge for the tech sector, and indeed for other industries, has been the time needed to implement new DevOps tools. Breaking away from valuable development work for months in order to reinvent processes, integrate solutions or set up toolchains, and adapt to completely new ways of working is all deeply unattractive. This is why we've made sure that setting up an entire DevOps process in Gearset can be done in under 30 minutes. Gearset has the flexibility to support and build on your existing workflow, and the app is intuitive enough for teams to feel completely comfortable with their new process within weeks.

Get more insights into the state of Salesforce DevOps

You can download our full survey report to find out more about the State of Salesforce DevOps in 2021. If you'd like to try Gearset for yourself, get started on your 30-day trial. And, as always, do get in touch with us to ask any questions you may have.

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