Salesforce DevOps Maturity- Steps To Help You Level Up

Operating your business in the 21st century requires a serious combination of checks and balances to implement digital transformation. To succeed in this day and age, two qualities are key- a market-leading cloud platform and a modern DevOps strategy. To assess your score in either of these, you must start with reviewing your DevOps maturity. But first, what’s your choice of a cloud platform for your business? Salesforce has, over the years, proven itself as a completely reliable CRM platform for all businesses looking to transform their operations. As far as modern DevOps strategy is concerned, the best choice would catapult your ability to deliver more value faster, with minimal errors in production. However, the challenge remains that even with a strong DevOps strategy, DevOps on Salesforce is still in a premature phase, and it involves several challenges:
  • There is no structural release process
  • Native source repositories and version control are missing
  • Obstacles collaborating safely with others in the same environment
  • Built-in compliance enforcement is absent
A lack of tools for collaboration poses a huge challenge. DevOps is a team’s game, and you need a process, a set of tools, and the adoption of a collaborative culture. This will keep businesses, developers, admins, and architects working in unity. DevOps Maturity Having spoken to many of our enterprises about their DevOps processes, we discovered that every business is at a different stage of DevOps maturity. Systems of engagement can require small changes daily, but teams need to realize that this requires them to improve their internal systems to achieve consistent delivery.  We see DevOps on Salesforce as a five-stage process that varies a bit from the traditional model.  Plan, Create, Package, and Verify are the working standard. But, on Salesforce, Deploy and Release to users are separate concepts. As metadata is deployable, there is little need for the configuration step. Monitoring is left to Salesforce by most companies, but there are areas where digital enterprises require focus as well. The five distinct levels of DevOps maturity that we have documented below allow for an understanding of where your organization is within the journey, and what the next steps should look like to help you determine your next move.

DevOps Maturity: Level 1—Select and Deploy

Changes can be made in any part of an organization, not least of all in production. Unfortunately, these changes are made ad-hoc in one environment and then move into another. This approach is prone to frequent overwrites and work loss, thus denying teams of much of a quality process. Consequently, organizations are only left to handle or manage just 3-4 releases per year.

DevOps Maturity: Level 2—Version Control

The level introduces external repositories as the source of truth. Branch level management is a bit ad hoc and only works for developers; not admin. At this point, organizations begin to introduce quality control, but they are still only able to do monthly releases. The version control level brings with it a set of external repositories regarded as the source of truth. However, branch management is still a bit ad-hoc, making developers the only privileged group and locking out admins.  As a result, most organizations at this level can only react by introducing manual quality control, which limits them to monthly releases.

DevOps Maturity: Level 3—Agile Releases

Any ambitious company should aim to reach this level as soon as possible. The Agile Release level, though an intermediate state, organizations are urged to target reaching this level as fast possible. While at this stage, organizations are usually committed to the Agile Process and able to build release strategies focused around user epics and stories. These releases are delivered on time, and they are small with validation and Apex Tests enforced in all environments.
DevOps Maturity
Illustration courtesy of Copado
Manual code reviews are also replaced with Static Code Analysis. Back deployments allow organizations to keep environments up to date, although deployments are still rendered in manual fashion and accumulated in Pre-Production. One major challenge at this stage is that the Release to Prod is still a major event.

DevOps Maturity: Level 4—Intelligent Automation 

This is where your job begins to be exciting and enjoyable again. Admin now joins developers, using version control and scratch orgs, with third-party tools being used to hide complexities. Daily releases and back deployment are automated right up to Pre-production. Release and production are always reliable and predictable, but they are still a manual step, controlled by IT. Automated quality processes are used, and your organization can make reports on delivery metrics and business delivery with values.

DevOps Maturity: Level 5—Continuous Delivery

This brings us to perfection. Perfection means non-stop delivery and innovation right into production. To attain this standard of automation, not only is full automation required of those quality gateways, but there is always the requirement that Salesforce Apps are written the way Salesforce services are built. The deployment should not impact those users of the existing versions up to production. At the same time, releasing to users is orchestrated by the business on their scheduled timing. While the internal processes of DevOps maturity are the most critical aspect of development, you must work with a set of tools that can grow with you along the way. Choose a vendor that allows you to start at the level you are at presently, but can grow with you, providing complete satisfaction at all stages of the maturing levels. Your tools should not be a point of friction in taking your organization to the next level. As teams align their tools and resources, all factors come together to interact at each level of the DevOps maturity. At this point, organizations using DevOps are likely to find themselves at one of the stages. All stakeholders can now come into alignment for your growth and maturity. Plumlogix offers reliable, scalable and customizable DevOps solutions that are targeted at solving your immediate needs and, at the same time, charging the way forward to achieving the highest level of DevOps maturity.