Salesforce DevOps is increasingly being seen as a smart business investment. By adopting the tools needed to increase the speed, frequency and quality of their releases, teams are able to deliver more value to the business. But there are many reasons why companies that rely on the Salesforce platform seek out powerful DevOps tools and adopt agile DevOps practices.
The benefits of Salesforce DevOps are enterprise-wide, spanning many technical and operational areas. This article draws on key findings of The State of Salesforce DevOps 2022 industry report to give you a list of the top ten benefits to businesses.
DevOps adoption has a transformative effect on the work of Salesforce teams, resulting in a whole raft of business benefits that help companies get even more value out of their Salesforce investment. Businesses benefit because the work is done faster, with fewer admin and developer hours spent on deployments, tracking changes, keeping development environments in sync with production and fixing errors in releases.
Individual companies will unpack and tease apart the added value in different ways because each of the benefits of DevOps unlocks or contributes to further advantages across their Salesforce-driven operations. Different industries and sectors also have their own unique concerns that determine which benefits they value most.
The following isn’t a definitive or exhaustive list but summarizes the key positive impacts of DevOps highlighted by respondents to our survey.
1. DevOps maximizes your Salesforce ROI
Empowered by DevOps, teams spend more time on development work and less on managing the process. When asked whether DevOps increases Salesforce ROI, 85% of respondents said yes. And half of the remaining 15% haven’t begun adopting DevOps, so aren’t really sure.
The full ROI of DevOps is hard to calculate because it’s not just about cost savings — DevOps also translates into financial growth for the company through gained opportunities. But savings thanks to the efficiencies and process improvements DevOps offers are a good place to start because they’re relatively easy to calculate. Of the respondents who were able to attach a value to their savings, over 37% reported returns of $10,000+ per month, and of those almost 10% said they saved more that $50,000 per month.
2. Rapid release cycles lead to more business agility
A flexible DevOps process allows release pipelines to contain multiple workstreams and support parallel projects at different stages of completion. New features are continuously tested and released thanks to well-honed DevOps workflows that remove conflicts, bottlenecks and blockages.
Just under half of the 2022 survey respondents release at least once a week, with elite teams deploying to production daily or even multiple times a day. Companies that use DevOps are more agile; their teams are faster and better able to respond to business challenges and opportunities as they arise. Salesforce teams can easily switch between workstreams and incorporate stakeholder feedback. As a result, they’re better able to pursue an iterative development strategy that delivers continual improvements into the hands of their end users.
3. Faster deployments slash turnaround times
Traditionally, deployments along a Salesforce pipeline were error-prone and time-consuming, as teams relied on suboptimal manual tools like change sets to migrate changes from development to testing environments and on to production.
The adoption of complete DevOps solutions like Gearset has enabled teams of both developers and admins to boost their deployment success rates dramatically. Just on deployments alone, the time savings are substantial, especially in the case of teams who previously relied on change sets.
Looking at the survey results, 41% of respondents reported an average deployment time of less than 1 hour, which represents a significant reduction in the time required for new apps, features and customizations to be tested and made available to users.
Faster deployments also contribute to shorter cycle lead times, meaning that, once built, the work progresses quickly from completed development to release. Teams’ cycle times correspond to their release cadence. Most teams have a weekly or biweekly release, but high performers have cut cycle times to within a day. The report found that 56% of teams release new features within a week and of these, 15% have got their cycle time down to just a day.
4. Higher-quality releases deliver better features
DevOps incorporates quality assurance and relies on automated approaches to moving work through the pipeline, pulling from and merging into version control as a source of truth. Testing and release governance procedures can be built into the process at every stage, making sure that new features work properly and match business requirements. New work can then be deployed at any time without breaking existing functionality or causing critical issues in production.
Among our survey respondents, elite teams found errors or bugs in fewer than 10% of their releases. The reduction in the number of issues is partly due to continual testing earlier in development process. But it’s also a consequence of the iterative process, which results in frequent releases of smaller changes that reduce the risk of any one release.
5. Automation enables reliable and continuous delivery
Automation results in huge time savings for teams on every deployment run and in reducing the amount of manual testing. High-quality code that’s validated and tested in advance of each release results in less time spent on resolving critical errors and bugs.
Above all, a successfully automated workflow gives everyone on the team the ability to release new features to users as fast as possible based on a well-oiled and robust process they know they can rely on. Of the Salesforce professionals that took part in the survey, 82% either currently use automated CI/CD workflows or are planning to introduce automation into their process this year.
6. All stakeholders drive business value
DevOps makes user-driven development a reality. Smaller releases with more relevant features get delivered faster because feedback loops are tighter. This reduces bottlenecks and means input from all stakeholders can flow into the iterative process. Oversight for all is aided by project tracking systems that integrate with complete DevOps solutions to offer useful collaboration features such as project updates and automated notifications.
7. A single process gives you scalability without the risks
DevOps is inherently scalable. Workflows based on branching strategies in version control allow teams to add multiple new development environments to grow with increased business demand and team expansions. A streamlined and efficient DevOps setup can accommodate any number of new workstreams with the same testing, review and quality assurance procedures baked into the single release process.
Adopting version control and implementing a DevOps tool makes it possible for hybrid teams of admins, declarative developers and programmatic developers to contribute within the one process — using the same convenient UI to avoid conflicts and team collaboration issues around release management. This underlines that teams increasingly recognize the importance of version control as a foundational tool for DevOps. It’s promising that 89% of teams either use source control already or plan to adopt it this year.
8. DevOps culture boosts team morale
Empowered Salesforce teams get more done and more satisfaction out of the shared responsibility of managing an efficient development and release process. Getting admins, declarative developers and programmatic developers to work together effectively was a major challenge for a number of our survey respondents. But version control and CI/CD — core pillars of modern DevOps — were cited by several respondents as the reasons why their process had become simpler and easier to manage.
9. Monitoring, rollback and backups ensure service reliability
Monitoring is an overlooked but vital part of Salesforce DevOps, necessary in order to keep teams informed of unauthorized and unexpected changes to their production environments. Gearset’s change monitoring tool warns of these changes via automated alerts, providing early detection of potential issues. Team leads can then decide on the right course of action.
For more serious incidents, Salesforce orgs also need backups. More than 50% of companies suffered data and metadata loss incidents last year, but many teams continue to have no meaningful way of protecting their business data or their investment in Salesforce configurations.
Data loss can occur for many reasons: developer error, Salesforce outages, a corrupted software integration or the actions of a disgruntled employee. A DevOps solution like Gearset offers integrated backup and restore capabilities to safeguard your orgs and your critical business data.
Among the survey respondents, only 37% have a third-party backup solution in place and a troubling 17% of teams don’t back up at all. But being able to restore data and metadata from these backups quickly in the event of a disaster is essential for building strong business resilience. Around 31% of teams are confident they would be able to restore their orgs in less than a day, but 18% say that it would take several days to get their orgs back up and running.
10. DevOps is a competitive advantage
Lastly, companies that put in place high-performing DevOps processes hold the edge over companies that don’t. Just a few years ago, DevOps was a relatively new approach to release management on the Salesforce platform. Many Salesforce professionals had never heard of DevOps, and even fewer understood what it might look like for their teams or had ambitions to adopt it for themselves. That situation has now been reversed.
Digital transformation is moving to the next stage with ever greater business demand on Salesforce teams to deliver. Faster releases, higher-quality features and tight feedback loops are key to unlocking future success and maximizing your Salesforce ROI.
Want more business insight into Salesforce DevOps?
Teams already have a strong understanding of the benefits they’ve seen from DevOps, and many of these benefits are important components of any ROI calculation. The time saving and increased productivity alone is worth it, with 45% of teams seeing a vast improvement in their release quality and cadence. And 44% say they are able to deliver more value to customers. The benefits of adopting DevOps can’t be denied.
To find out more about how companies across all industries are getting the most out of Salesforce, download our free The State of Salesforce DevOps 2022 report.
If you’d like to know how Salesforce DevOps could benefit your business, book a consultation with one of our DevOps experts today. We look forward to talking to you!