Salesforce DevOps: Keys to Productivity and Compliance
Let's dive into the top challenges organizations face when it comes to Salesforce DevOps and how to solve them with effective processes and the right tools.
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Companies have had to accelerate their business and evolve their Salesforce DevOps strategies in response to the pandemic. Every industry is meeting increasingly complex workflows and customer needs.
What continues to be two major focus areas in Salesforce DevOps are - productivity and compliance. But many companies - whether early in their Salesforce DevOps journey or further along - are struggling to improve their efficiency and auditing capabilities.
Challenge is that in Salesforce DevOps, your team’s ability to produce faster without compromising quality and security is what steers the ship. It’s the benchmark organizations use to identify project success ratios, analyze software delivery and team performance, and figure out the issues in their existing workflow.
Without that speed and quality and security posture, you’re stuck with inefficient workflows and systems in silos - generally not a great route to repeated success.
To help you get ahead, we’re sharing the top challenges organizations face when it comes to Salesforce DevOps and how to solve them with effective processes and tools in place - insights drawn straight from industry leaders.
Top 4 Challenges in Salesforce DevOps
Salesforce teams are taking on higher volumes of work with more dynamic needs, more responsibility, and more competition for business success. But as flexible and efficient they are, they’re still struggling to keep up. Too many teams have bloated processes that lead to lost time and energy. This directly impacts the software's release velocity, productivity, quality, and security.
To put it in context: here are the top four challenges in Salesforce DevOps.
Aligning Release Velocity With Fast-changing Business Needs
IT teams are inundated and don’t have the capacity to keep up with rapidly dynamic demands for custom applications, especially when they’re not armed with the right applications and systems in place to support their internal functions.
Even with effective DevOps in place, the release velocity is often slower than expected because of its complexity. As a result, maximizing productivity amid rising business complexity and needs is a major challenge.
Too Many Manual Tasks and Handoffs at Every Stage
As your IT team’s digital toolbox continues to expand, they need to perform a host of manual, repetitive tasks. For instance, developers need to build their toolchains. This includes a range of manual sub-tasks: selecting the right tools and plug-ins, integrations, licensing, and versioning.
High-volume manual tasks slow down development and lead to longer release times. Also, your software is more prone to errors and issues. Lack of automation extends far beyond missed milestones, release timelines, or even failed launches – impacting the organization at large.
Complex Environments Make Release Management Tough
Salesforce DevOps teams work in complex environments that consist of various tools for source code management, release management, ITSM, collaboration, security, quality, visibility, and business apps. And managing a complex Salesforce org can be a daunting task.
Salesforce release management challenges include unexpected Sandbox refreshes, moving metadata between multiple environments, managing different Salesforce account types, Salesforce API version skew, and handling large numbers of metadata assets. Native tools like Change Sets, Force.com IDE, and ANT require a lot of time and aren’t the best choice to scale.
Poor Access Management Impacts Audit and Compliance
Without proper access management in place, you run the risk of users having inappropriate access, which may lead to unauthorized activities. This can severely disrupt your business operations and even incur a financial loss. Since it also impacts the accuracy of your financial statements, auditors will certainly test your access controls.
Moreover, it’s crucial to have evidence at the right time for your auditors. Organizations that handle IAM concerns like one-off projects often face a ton of barriers not only to get their data right but to contextualize it for auditors.
According to our findings, organizations spend almost 90% of their time providing evidence for compliance in Salesforce DevOps.
How to Ensure Productivity and Compliance in Your Salesforce DevOps Journey?
When managed right, Salesforce DevOps allows companies to build better products, transform internal business processes, and produce customer value. However, bloated systems and an unorganized structure can lead to a Salesforce org misaligned with end-user needs and expectations.
Here are some proven tips to ensure productivity and compliance in your Salesforce DevOps journey:
Adopt the Right Mindset and Tool
When answering, “Why do most Salesforce DevOps processes lack productivity and compliance?” many of the reasons can be traced back to poor mindset and tools. These are crucial parts of the software development lifecycle.
Of course, you might have DevOps tools, processes, and systems in your org, but is there a radical shift in mindset among team members? Do they have transparency in the pipeline? Do they have tools that make their work easier and let them handle complex projects seamlessly?
These are some critical questions you should ask of your Salesforce org. Having the right mindset of security and a powerful arsenal of tools can make all the difference to your release velocity, security, and quality.
One way to do this is to adopt a tool that offers accurate DevOps processes and makes it easier for teams to transition to the shift-left mindset.
Build No-Code Pipelines
Using no-code platforms is quickly becoming the de facto methodology for quickly delivering applications in a Salesforce DevOps environment. In the early days, developers could simply write code, choose a handful of tools and build a pipeline.
However, with layers of tools, stacks, integrations, environments, and hundreds of pipelines, it’s become impossible to maintain observability throughout all the stages of the development.
Data suggests that up to 40% of a developer’s time is spent building, integrating, and maintaining pipeline tools and connections.
Gartner predicts that by 2024, 65% of all applications will use some form of low-code or no-code application development. Moreover, low-code/no-code solutions have the potential to reduce the development time by 90%.
So, your Salesforce DevOps team can instantly start building the software without worrying about learning the ropes of various tools, integrations, and pipeline-building activities.
Unify Data and Logs From All Your Tools in a Single Dashboard
Different teams use different tools to collect their data and share their information. This leads to data fragmentation, and often teams duplicate work instead of making progress.
It’s essential to synthesize information from multiple sources, channels, tools, and platforms to make critical decisions faster. This is where a centralized platform comes in.
From a Salesforce DevOps perspective, adopting software you can extend across your applications and infrastructure stack is essential. Think of it as the hub of a wheel - it connects different tools and sources of information to help teams make better and faster decisions.
The benefits of a unified platform go beyond the direct operational needs of a Salesforce DevOps team - a unified platform is also vital for productivity and compliance. Especially in a remote, asynchronous environment, having a tool that acts as a single source of truth (SSoT) streamlines processes and keeps teams updated.
Industry leaders also say that having a consistent tool set for your IT teams is a recipe for long-term success. Without the right data accessible at the right time, it’s hard for teams to present evidence to auditors.
Ensure End-To-End Visibility and Radical Transparency
Ever go back to pull change logs, only to see that you don’t have access to it? Not having proper access management or information about why specific changes were made doesn’t make for a very transparent development workflow.
Companies that have streamlined development processes, including visibility of project progress and data, ongoing risk management, quality, security posture, and measurement of various KPIs and metrics,
consistently meet and surpass their goals.
Finding an enabler who can help you throughout your Salesforce DevOps journey is critical to your project success and organizational milestones and goals. Or else, you constantly need your DevOps engineers, quality analysts, and security experts to learn the ropes of new tools and invest time into manual activities - that can otherwise easily be automated.
Especially when it comes to productivity and compliance - two crucial aspects of Salesforce DevOps - you need a modern orchestration platform.
Published at DZone with permission of Vishnu Vasudevan. See the original article here.
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