Importance of DevOps in 2021 Current Industry Trends

In 2021, the scope for automation through DevOps is huge; be it in deployments, testing, or in infrastructure. Overall, by breaking down the silos, teams can be empowered to build themselves both faster and leaner.

Accelerated remote work and hastened cloud migration during the pandemic have turned DevOps from a best practice to an essential part of every business. However, even as the digital transformation provided organizations with a greater level of maturity, it has also created challenges for dev teams. Thus, going forward, your organizations should focus on DevOps automation and efficiency to support your digital transformation initiatives as well as accelerate the development of applications in a way that consistently produces the desired result.

To truly leverage the benefits of the new digital ecosystem, the need for an improved DevOps strategy in 2021 and beyond is critical in helping to identify new patterns as well as uncovering new revenue streams.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is actually about the people involved. It promotes coordination between the team building the product and those that are maintaining your app. DevOps also governs the policies around the environment, deployment, practices, and tools so that the project is delivered efficiently. When it comes to DevOps, technology isn’t the hardest part; it’s the processes and the cultural changes that are the key to DevOps’ success.

DevOps spans design, through the development process to production support and aims to minimize the lead time between a code commit and deployment to production.

Why DevOps for Salesforce?

DevOps enables you to operate Salesforce at scale. The massive adoption of the Salesforce platform across industries requires enterprises to operate Salesforce at scale. In turn, that demands an increase in the innovation velocity or the speed at which you get the innovations out of the production orgs and into the hands of the user quickly, while simultaneously increasing the level of quality, experience, and trust of the innovation delivery.

Achieving this requires a loop cycle of planning, testing, deploying, releasing, and real-time monitoring and agile improvisations. And since there is no structured release process built within Salesforce, dev teams often face challenges such as identifying and managing and merging the conflicts, version control, keeping sandboxes in sync while at the same time getting the growing development team on the same page can be a lot to handle for your Salesforce dev team.

Additionally, the need to add a layer of security and compliance to the innovation delivery cycle to meet the ever-growing threat of cybersecurity and ransomware makes DevOps critical to the success of your Salesforce enterprise. DevOps thus helps break down the silos that may otherwise hold your team back.

What Benefits Does Salesforce DevOps Bring?

You need to have the right tools for the job! Thus, integrating DevOps and CI (continuous integration) in an automated process that allows developers to push changes out continuously, results in seamless faster releases, fewer bugs, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction. Reducing manual deployments and freeing the developer’s time so they can focus on higher-quality tasks are some of the main benefits. This broadly means that your business and developers can both have more confidence in deploying software.

Broadly, the benefits include:

  • Faster delivery time
  • Better collaboration between teams
  • More secure and stable releases
  • Early defect detection
  • Continuous release and deployment
  • Optimize salesforce performance

Top 3 DevOps Trends to Watch in 2021

  • Infrastructure as Code

A core tenet of DevOps in the cloud, Infrastructure as Code (the management of computers, databases, and other assets as code whether they are located in the cloud or on-premise) allows a company to automate and simplify its infrastructure.

With tools like Hashicorp, Terraform and AWS Cloudformation, teams can remove manual interaction with systems and truly create reusable building blocks of infrastructure. It helps provide a clear source of record, ephemeral architecture, seamless cloud-native adoption, and drive high efficiency during the entire software development cycle.

  • Edge Computing

Gartner defines edge computing as “a part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge – where things and people produce or consume that information.” Considered to be the next destination for cloud computing, edge computing is likely to gather steam as demand for better performances and innovation grows.

  • DevOps Evolves Into DevSecOps

Cloud-native security will gain prominence with the security-first approach to the DevOps process. As a real ‘security shift left’ approach becomes the norm, DevSecOps will integrate security and compliance into development pipelines for quick detection of vulnerabilities and bugs in code

Top 3 Salesforce Native Deployment Tools & Challenges

Truth be said in one sentence – Salesforce deployments are a pain! Salesforce developers and solution architects find it frustrating that the platform does not have a powerful set of deployment tools. There are three major Salesforce native deployment tools include Salesforce Change Sets, ANT, and Metadata API. However, these present significant deployment challenges for the DevOps team.

  • Delivery Chains can’t be maintained

Secondly, since the delivery chain can’t be maintained, i.e. they are independent and there is no chain or no track between them, you cannot use your existing changesets. Instead you have to build a new changeset from scratch and again deploy it to the UAT. For instance, if you have three environments: Dev, QA, and UAT, and you are deploying a certain package from dev to QA, you will need to build a changeset and once it is deployed and tested, you’ll have to move it upstream (that is UAT) but at that time, you will not be able to use your existing changesets. Instead, you will have to build a new changeset from scratch.

Moreover, Salesforce changesets are clunky and despised by Salesforce developers since they neither comply with the modern software deployment practices nor provide robust risk analysis while also increasing the deployment time.

  • Rollbacks are not possible

Thirdly, back deployments or rollbacks are not possible in native deployment tools and you simply can’t undo them! For instance, suppose you have developed a solution and the client has either updated their requirement or requested to partially hold off the requirement or probably some bugs are occurring in the higher environments.

In such cases, to ensure that your external users don’t get affected, you have to undo all the changes on your target org. While earlier, before DevOps, you would have to manually and delete all those codes and redeploy the previous checkpoint state of that target org, now, with DevOps, you have one-click rollback.

  • Component Changes are hard to track

Native deployment tools also make it a significant challenge to track component change. So in the case of a specific component being deployed three times, you would not know what changes have been executed in which deployment –  all you have is the last version of the deployment.

How Flosum Can Help?

Flosum is an all-in-one DevOps solution that is 100% native to Salesforce and offers a complete end-to-end solution from ideation to retirement. Flosum features full integration with Salesforce DX and Scratch Orgs.

More importantly, since Flosum is native to Salesforce, the customer is the owner of the org. This means that whatever the data or code that you have built will not be moved out of your Salesforce Org and there will be no external intervention or third-party tool that gets backdoor access to your org or data.

Curious to know more on how Flosum establishes a continuous customer feedback loop and improves the quality of the application and your business agility?

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