The longest running Salesforce DevOps report shows teams rebounding to pre-pandemic levels for change fail rate and time to recover
Research shows how high-performing teams use commercial low-code DevOps tools to release more often, recover faster and achieve business value
Chicago – June 28, 2022 – Copado, the global leader in low-code DevOps, today released the findings from its third annual “State of Salesforce DevOps” report, which collects data and insights on the key trends in low-code software delivery. Based on thousands of data points collected from over 450 global Salesforce customers using DevOps to accelerate and improve the speed and quality of their implementations, the report highlights the improvement in quality, examines the possible causes of the decline in velocity, identifies the qualities of the teams that are thriving, and makes recommendations on how teams can maximize their development resources.
Adopting key principles from DORA, the report analyzed performance across Salesforce teams in terms of the dual goals of innovation velocity and release quality and security. Using the four metrics of lead time for change, deployment frequency, change failure rate and mean time to recovery, the report categorized respondents into four performance profiles that can be used to identify and measure the characteristics of both high and low performance. Key takeaways from the Copado 2022 State of Salesforce DevOps report include:
Quality-first DevOps is increasing
The 2021 report found a significant reduction in quality and stability as evidenced by increased change failure rate and mean time to recover. Copado attributed that to the 2020 COVID pandemic and the ensuing disruption to team workflows. In 2022, that trend seems to have reversed, with stability returning to the 2019 levels. Teams showed 8x shorter time to restore (96 hours in 2021 compared to 12 hours in 2022) and reported 50% lower change fail rate (38% in 2021 compared to 20% in 2022). In 2022, the change failure rates and recovery times were roughly the same as in 2019.
Salesforce teams tapped the brakes in 2022
Teams may have overcompensated for stability over the last year by reducing their velocity. This year’s report shows a reduction in deployment frequency which dropped by half compared to the two previous years, from 475 per year to 230 per year on average. Elite performers continue to release faster with an average lead time of 8 days, compared to 50 days for low performers. Since 2019 the percentage of teams with lead times less than a week has declined from 69% to 49% and the number of users able to deploy on demand has shrunk from 23% to 10%.
Overall, compared to low performers, elite performers have:
- 4x shorter lead times
- 46x more deployments, 94% of elite performers release at least weekly vs. only 13% of low performers
- 5x fewer production failures
- 8x faster time to recover, less than four hours for elite performers and more than 18 days for low performers
“The last three years of research has taught us a lot about the challenges that Salesforce teams face and where they excel,” said Andrew Davis, senior director of research and innovation at Copado. “Last year, the report showed the impact of a global pandemic and shift to remote work on the ability to ensure quality and stability. This year we’ve seen quality and stability trends bounce back. This points to the resilience and commitment of the community of Salesforce developers, admins, and business users who find a way. We’ve reached a point in time where the level of customization that can be built into the Salesforce platform makes it necessary to adopt DevOps tools and practices to manage software delivery well.”
Salesforce teams continue to grow in size and complexity
For the second year in a row, Copado found that Salesforce teams are growing. This year, 46% of respondents report that their teams have grown, 41% have remained steady and just 13% report their team decreased in size. The continued growth in the size of development teams means a continued increase in the complexity of the Salesforce orgs they are building. For the third year in a row, Copado found a strong correlation between team size and lead time. This year, there was also a correlation between team size and change failure rate and time to recover. All of these metrics worsened as teams grew in size. Traditional use cases for low-code application development have been largely for internal business applications with limited business impact. In 2022, 72% of respondents use Salesforce for building internal applications, but now 60% are using the platform to build business-critical apps, and 66% are using the platform to build customer-facing apps, while 37% are building all three types. A much more rigorous release process should be applied to customer-facing and business-critical applications than needs to be applied to internal business apps. It should also be noted that these types of apps are usually much more sophisticated than internal apps.
Performance improves with commercial low-code DevOps tools
Low-code application development on Salesforce is the fastest way to translate ideas into innovation, but without enterprise software delivery capabilities in place, the power of low-code is undone by quality issues, manual processes and orchestration challenges. The report found that teams using DevOps tools designed specifically for Salesforce release 50% more frequently than teams using build-your-own platforms like Jenkins. Copado also found that those who are highly involved in Enterprise Agile Planning (74% of respondents) and also use a commercial Salesforce tool for DevOps are 39% more likely to work at a company that is exceeding its goals. Given the current economic environment and growing importance of proving ROI and value realization for technology investments, teams that are investing in process improvements are better able to ensure that they’re getting the greatest benefit.
Change failure rates can be reduced with automated testing
Teams need to shift to faster, more automated ways of ensuring quality. Automated testing of Salesforce applications is an opportunity area now that the Salesforce platform is used more often for external customer-facing and business-critical applications. Yet if there is any testing in the development process, manual testing is the most common method. One-third of Salesforce development teams use manual testing, 29% have minimal to no testing and 21% automate critical tests, while only 19% are practicing test-driven development.
“In combination with the power, scalability, and robustness of enterprise cloud platforms like Salesforce, DevOps gives organizations a competitive edge in delivering compelling capability, safely, while still achieving and maintaining winning speed,” said Peter Coffee, of Salesforce. “Building software without the aids, and the practices, of DevOps will be like trying to compete in a Grand Prix while rebuilding the transmission for every shift of gears. Additionally, the expectations of software safety and reliability have hugely grown since the time when ‘computer error’ was a routine and tolerated excuse. There is growing demand for making consistent and thorough testing of software as automatic and effortless as it can possibly be.”
The full report can be found here.
Copado surveyed over 450 executives, managers, and members of Salesforce delivery teams to learn about their development lifecycles. Conducted in April 2022, the survey included companies ranging in size from one employee to more than 1 million employees. Sixty percent of these companies have more than 500 Salesforce users. The goal was to better understand the challenges of innovating on the Salesforce platform. The analysis was done on the Tableau Analytics platform including data visualization, cross tab analysis, and core BI.
Copado is the leading DevOps and testing solution for low-code SaaS platforms that run the world’s largest digital transformations. Backed by Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures and SoftBank Vision Fund, Copado accelerates multi-cloud, enterprise deployments by automating the end-to-end software delivery process to maximize customers' return on their cloud investment. More than 1,000 companies rely on Copado to drive digital transformation with speed, quality and value including Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, Fair Trade, Linde, MassMutual, Schneider Electric and Shell. Copado DevOps 360™ processes over 50 million DevOps transactions per month and is rated with a 100% score on the Salesforce AppExchange. More information can be found at: http://www.copado.com.