IT organizations that have adopted software-as-a-service (SaaS) application platforms from Salesforce in part to jumpstart their digital business transformation initiatives are experiencing some DevOps growing pains.
A survey published this week of 230 executives, managers, and members of Salesforce delivery teams conducted by Beagle Research on behalf of Copado, a DevOps platform for IT teams building custom applications, shows that while 82% have increased or maintained the size of their Salesforce development teams, the change fail rate jumped from 23% last year to 33% in 2020 when compared to a similar survey conducted a year ago. The survey also notes time to recover increased from 110 hours in 2019 to nearly 196 hours in 2020.
Andrew Leigh, chief marketing officer for Copado, said those results generally reflect the nature of the more complex application initiatives being launched on top of Salesforce applications. The survey also noted 55% of respondents don’t consistently automate their Salesforce deployments, with less than a quarter of respondents (23%) having a way of automatically deploy a configuration from development through testing to production.
In fact, in teams with fewer than 10 members, only 28% of survey respondents automated Salesforce deployments compared to 56% of teams with more than 100 developers that have automated their deployments, the survey found.
The survey also noted that more than a third (34%) of respondents said features that development teams create may not be adopted. That issue suggests there is more work to done in terms of better aligning development teams with the goals of the business, Leigh said.
Organizations building applications on top of Salesforce don’t typically embrace DevOps best practices until development teams have 25 or more members, Leigh noted. Salesforce environments generally require their own DevOps platform, because applications are constructed using a set of objects and tables unique to the platform. Those objects and tables are most often invoked using a set of low-code application development tools. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) employed at least one commercial Salesforce development tool.
Overall, the survey finds 82% of organizations have increased their budgets for or effort toward digital transformation, with 53% reporting they have exceeded their performance goals for the year. The survey also identifies a set of elite DevOps performers that are reporting 30x shorter lead times; 46x more frequent deployments; 5x lower change fail rate; and 37x shorter time to restore. Elite performing teams are 65% more likely to have adopted continuous integration than low performing teams, the survey notes.
More than half of respondents (53%) said that they found it easy to find people who have DevOps experience in a Salesforce environment, with salaries typically in the $90,000-$140,000 range.
The survey also finds the majority of organizations (82%) expect the systems integrators they contract to build applications to help define their DevOps processes.
As organizations continue to adjust to new business realities in the age of COVID-19, there’s no doubt more custom applications will be built and deployed on top of SaaS application platforms such as Salesforce. The challenge is finding the best way to accelerate the development of those applications in a way that consistently produces the desired result.