New Research Shows Increased Velocity and Virtual Development Create Fresh Challenges For Salesforce Delivery Teams in 2020

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Copado’s 2021 State of Salesforce DevOps Report Finds that Digital Transformation Accelerated, Software Teams Moved Faster and Quality Suffered During the Pandemic

Copado, a leading DevOps platform powering the world’s largest digital transformations

Copado’s report found that software delivery performance declined and system stability suffered in 2020 as teams took on more projects, more apps and shifted to 100% remote work.

Copado, a leading DevOps platform powering the world’s largest digital transformations, today released the findings from its second “State of Salesforce DevOps” report, which provides insight into the development practices that lead to high-performing organizations. The report, sponsored by Copado and executed and analyzed by Beagle Research, is based on thousands of data points collected from over 230 global Salesforce customers using DevOps to accelerate and improve the speed and quality of their implementations.

Adopting key principles from the Accelerate State of DevOps Report, 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 2021 State of Salesforce DevOps report include:

Digital transformation is accelerating
In 2020, the pandemic had a dramatic effect on development teams. Despite the heavy burden of this year’s challenges, Copado’s research confirms that digital transformations are accelerating:

82% have increased their budget or effort towards digital transformation
53% have exceeded their performance goals for the year
82% have increased or maintained the size of their Salesforce development teams

Elite performers widen the digital gap as teams move faster
There are still four distinct performance profiles this year and the differences between these cohorts are dramatic. Elite performers vastly outshine low performers. Compared to low performers, elite performers have:
30x shorter lead times
46x more frequent deployments
5x lower change fail rate
37x shorter time to restore

The practice of version control is becoming standard, as is the use of continuous integration. The benefits of this are clear. Elite performing teams are 65% more likely to practice continuous integration than low performing teams.

Salesforce implementations are becoming increasingly sophisticated, as applications like Salesforce CPQ, Salesforce Industries, Veeva and nCino gain significant traction. These apps allow companies to develop solutions for industry-specific needs far more quickly than custom development. But organizations struggle to move their configuration data between environments. Only 23% of companies that use these tools have a way of automatically deploying that configuration from development through testing to production.

Recognizing that the cumulative benefits of such high performance compounds, Copado expects the gap between elite and low performers will become steadily greater.

Consulting partners are critical and DevOps talent improves
Copado’s research found widespread adoption of commercial tools for Salesforce development, yet the organizations surveyed said they rely heavily on consulting companies for at least some aspects of their development processes and they are looking for consulting companies to lead the way on DevOps.
81% said they expected system integrators to help define DevOps processes for their company as part of the engagement
73% of respondents used at least one commercial Salesforce development tool

It’s also becoming easier to find Salesforce DevOps talent, which may reflect the proliferation of training materials over the last two years.
53% of respondents said that they found it easy to find people who are skilled in Salesforce DevOps
Salaries in developed countries typically fall between $90,000-$140,000, with some as high as $200,000

Virtual teams are struggling with quality
Copado’s report found that software delivery performance declined and system stability suffered in 2020 as teams took on more projects, more apps and shifted to 100% remote work. Declines were most pronounced in the increased change fail rate and increased time to recover. These challenges point to an underlying gap in automated quality controls and the struggle to adjust to a new virtual world. Although a large number of teams report using developer tools in their projects, they may not be used consistently or integrate end-to-end processes. Larger teams were increasingly likely to automate their deployments.

Change fail rate jumped from 23% in 2019 to 33% in 2020
Time to recover surged from 110 hours in 2019 to nearly 196 hours in 2020
55% of respondents don’t consistently automate their Salesforce deployments, instead relying on making changes manually
In teams of 10 or less, 28% automated Salesforce deployments; in teams 100 or more, 56% automated their deployments

Longer development lead times decrease adoption rates
This year Copado also assessed the level of feature adoption. More than one-third (34%) of features that development teams create may not be adopted. This represents a real opportunity for better alignment between business and IT. There also was a strong correlation between development lead time and adoption. The data shows that delivering capabilities soon after they’ve been created is one of the most powerful things teams can do to ensure they actually bring value.

“As challenging as 2020 has been across many fronts, this research confirms that companies are successfully moving forward -- digital transformations are accelerating and the impact of DevOps practices on organizational performance continues to be strong,” said Ted Elliott, chief executive officer for Copado. “Yet we see the classic tortoise and hare fable in play. If teams go fast without regard to quality, they will actually fall farther behind. Companies must focus on building high quality software right the first time. Quality and compliance will remain an important area of focus for organizations in 2021 if they want to outperform and drive value in a digitally hybrid world.”

The full report can be found at:

Beagle Research surveyed over 230 executives, managers, and members of Salesforce delivery teams to learn about their development lifecycles. Conducted in Q4 2020, the survey included companies ranging in size from 500 employees to more than 50,000. Sixty percent of these companies employ between 500 and 1,000 Salesforce users. Specific roles included 20% C-level executives; 12% managers of development teams that use code; and 12% Salesforce Administrators who develop using clicks. 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.

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About Copado
Copado is the leading DevOps platform enabling the world’s largest digital transformations on Salesforce. Copado accelerates digital transformation projects by automating the release process, increasing developer productivity and maximizing return on cloud investments. Copado DevOps 360™ includes Value Planning, Continuous Delivery, Automated Testing and Compliance. Backed by Insight Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures, more than 1000 of the world’s largest digitally transformed companies run on Copado including Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, Fair Trade, Linde, MassMutual, Schneider Electric and Shell. Copado 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:

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