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Puppet 2024 State of DevOps Report: A Catalyst for Platform Engineering in Salesforce Devops

Puppet 2024 State of DevOps Report: A Catalyst for Platform Engineering in Salesforce Devops

The world of software delivery is evolving with better automation, but the Salesforce ecosystem seems to be missing out on some of the latest trends. As companies strive to deliver innovative applications faster and more reliably, the devops paradigm has become an essential part of the IT landscape. However, the next frontier in this evolution is already upon us: platform engineering.

Puppet’s 2024 State of DevOps report, a comprehensive survey of IT professionals globally, sheds light on the transformative potential of platform engineering. The report highlights how platform teams are enabling developer productivity, streamlining workflows, and embedding security and compliance into the software delivery lifecycle.

These findings have profound implications for Salesforce Devops. While the Salesforce ecosystem has made significant strides in adopting devops practices, it has yet to fully embrace the principles of platform engineering. Salesforce Devops vendors and practitioners are still largely focused on point solutions and specific capabilities, rather than the holistic, end-to-end approach that platform engineering represents.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for the Salesforce community. By adopting platform engineering best practices, Salesforce teams can unlock new levels of efficiency, agility, and innovation. They can empower developers with self-service tools and automated workflows, while ensuring greater governance and alignment with business objectives.

In this article, I will explore the key takeaways from the Puppet report and what they mean for the future of Salesforce Devops. We’ll examine the current state of the Salesforce Devops landscape and identify the gaps and opportunities for platform engineering adoption. Finally, we’ll chart a path forward for Salesforce teams and vendors looking to embrace this transformative approach to software delivery.

The thesis is clear: for Salesforce Devops to reach its full potential, it must adopt the principles and practices of platform engineering. Only by taking a holistic, automated, and empowered approach to Salesforce delivery can organizations truly achieve the speed, quality, and agility they seek. Let’s explore how to make this vision a reality.

What is Platform Engineering?

Gartner, the technology research firm, highlights platform engineering as a key strategy for streamlining software development and delivery. They define it as the discipline of designing and building internal developer platforms (IDPs). These IDPs provide self-service capabilities, standardized tools, and pre-configured environments, aiming to substantially reduce friction within the developer workflow. A leading platform engineering IDP in widespread use is Backstage, which is an open-source project published by Spotify, the Swedish music steamer.

The emphasis of platform engineering lies in velocity and consistency. By providing a paved path for development teams, IDPs minimize time spent on repetitive setup and operational tasks. This enables greater scalability, adherence to security standards, and improved governance across an organization’s software development processes. Gartner’s prediction that 80% of software engineering companies will establish dedicated platform engineering teams by 2026 underscores the growing significance of this approach.

Key Takeaways from the Puppet Report

Puppet’s 2024 State of DevOps report offers a wealth of insights into the rise of platform engineering and its impact on software delivery performance. Let’s dive into some of the key findings and what they mean for Salesforce Devops.

Platform Engineering Enables Developer Productivity and Innovation

One of the central themes of the report is how platform engineering teams are empowering developers to do their best work. By providing self-service tools and automated workflows, platform teams are freeing developers from the toil and friction of manual processes. This allows developers to focus on writing code and delivering value, rather than getting bogged down in infrastructure and operations concerns.

For Salesforce teams, this highlights the importance of providing developers with a seamless, efficient experience across the entire lifecycle. From managing sandboxes and scratch orgs to deploying changes, every step of the process should be automated and accessible through self-service interfaces. By abstracting away more complexity and providing guardrails, platform teams can enable Salesforce developers to innovate faster and with greater confidence.

Successful Platform Teams Take Ownership of End-to-End Solutions

Another key finding is that the most successful platform teams are those that take a holistic, end-to-end approach to service delivery. Rather than just focusing on specific tools or stages of the lifecycle, these teams own the entire workflow from development to production. They provide opinionated, integrated solutions that abstract away complexity and enable teams to work more efficiently.

This has important implications for Salesforce Devops. Rather than just focusing on point solutions for specific problems like deployment or testing, Salesforce platform teams need to provide an integrated, opinionated workflow that spans the entire lifecycle. A full lifecycle should include linking efforts in the IT department to business KPIs or other metrics. This means taking ownership of everything from developer experience to deployment pipelines to monitoring and observability. By providing a cohesive, end-to-end solution, platform teams can help Salesforce teams deliver faster and with higher quality.

Security and Compliance Are Now Core Platform Engineering Priorities

Finally, the report emphasizes the growing importance of security and compliance in platform engineering. As organizations face increasing regulatory scrutiny and cybersecurity threats, platform teams are taking on greater responsibility for ensuring the security and compliance of software delivery pipelines. This includes providing secure development environments, automating security testing, and embedding compliance checks into deployment workflows.

For Salesforce teams, this highlights the need to integrate security and compliance into every stage of the lifecycle. From secure coding practices to automated vulnerability scanning to real-time monitoring of production environments, platform teams need to provide the tools and guardrails to ensure Salesforce applications are secure and compliant. By making security and compliance a core part of the platform, teams can reduce risk and accelerate delivery while still meeting regulatory requirements.

These key takeaways from the Puppet report paint a clear picture of the future of software delivery. Platform engineering is emerging as a critical enabler of developer productivity, end-to-end efficiency, and security and compliance. For Salesforce teams looking to stay ahead of the curve, embracing these principles and practices will be essential to unlocking the full potential of devops and achieving true delivery excellence.

The Current State of Salesforce Devops

While the Salesforce ecosystem has made significant strides in adopting devops practices in recent years, it still has a way to go to fully embrace the principles of platform engineering. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of Salesforce Devops and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Salesforce Devops as a Forerunner of Platform Engineering

Salesforce Devops platforms have always been at the forefront of embracing comprehensive, integrative approaches to application development and deployment. The platform vendors include AutoRABIT, Copado,, Flosum, Gearset, Opsera, Prodly, and Salto. These platforms all fulfil aspects of the internal developer platform (IDP) as envisioned by Gartner, with one major additional feature. By focusing on the meticulous collection and management of metadata, these platforms have inherently adopted a platform engineering mindset. This is particularly evident in their use of Digital Twins to mirror and manage the complex Salesforce environment.

The Digital Twin: A Keystone of Platform Engineering in Salesforce

The Digital Twin stands as a pivotal innovation in Salesforce Devops, enabling an unprecedented level of precision and foresight in deployment and management processes. This framework doesn’t just mimic the Salesforce environment for better visualization; it facilitates a deeper understanding of the interdependence and potential impacts of changes within Salesforce instances. In doing so, Digital Twin technology addresses a critical need for a holistic, end-to-end management solution that is at the heart of platform engineering.

Fragmented Vendor Landscape Focused on Point Solutions

However, despite having been built as a platform to support developers, most Salesforce devops vendors have failed to deliver fully comprehensive solutions. One of the defining characteristics of the Salesforce Devops landscape is the fragmentation of the vendor ecosystem.

There are a wide variety of tools and solutions available, each focused on specific aspects of the devops lifecycle such as version control, testing, deployment, observability, application lifecycle management, and value stream management. While these point solutions can be powerful, they often lack the integration and cohesion needed to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience for delivery managers, developers, admins, and end-users.

This fragmentation can lead to several challenges for Salesforce teams. Developers may need to navigate multiple tools and interfaces to get their work done, leading to friction and inefficiency. Handoffs between different stages of the lifecycle may be manual and error-prone, slowing down delivery and increasing the risk of failures. And without a unified view of the entire pipeline, it can be difficult to identify bottlenecks and optimize performance.

Dominant Players Prioritizing Specific Capabilities

While the cloud native world surveyed by Puppet is cozying up to platform engineering, some of the dominant players in the Salesforce Devops space, including Salesforce, Copado, Gearset, are still largely focused on specific capabilities.

This reflects a broader challenge in the Salesforce Devops market, where the emphasis is still largely on solving specific pain points rather than providing a cohesive, integrated experience. While this approach can deliver value in the short term, it may not be sufficient to keep pace with the growing demands of Salesforce teams for faster, more efficient delivery.

To truly unlock the potential of devops and achieve the kind of performance gains that platform engineering enables, Salesforce teams and vendors will need to shift their focus to a more holistic, platform-oriented approach. This means investing in the integration and automation capabilities needed to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience for developers, while still maintaining the depth and sophistication of individual tools and solutions.

The current state of Salesforce Devops presents both challenges and opportunities. While the vendor landscape is fragmented and many players are still focused on point solutions, some vendors are presenting a more cohesive vision. One vendor, Opsera, has pioneered a low-code console that includes both Salesforce metadata management and cloud-native devops. By embracing a more platform-oriented approach and investing in the integration and automation capabilities needed to support it, Salesforce teams and vendors can unlock new levels of efficiency, agility, and innovation in their delivery practices.

Charting the Path Forward

As the Salesforce ecosystem looks to embrace the principles and practices of platform engineering, there are several key steps that teams and vendors can take to accelerate their journey and unlock the full potential of devops. Let’s explore some of the ways that Salesforce organizations can chart a path forward to a more automated, aligned, and innovative future.

Evangelizing the Platform Engineering Vision to Salesforce Devops Buyers

One of the first steps in driving adoption of platform engineering in the Salesforce world is to educate and evangelize the vision to key stakeholders and decision-makers. This means articulating the benefits of a platform approach in terms that resonate with Salesforce Devops buyers, such as faster time-to-market, higher quality releases, and greater developer productivity.

Salesforce Devops vendors and thought leaders have a critical role to play in this evangelism effort. By showcasing success stories and best practices from other industries and ecosystems, they can help Salesforce teams understand the transformative potential of platform engineering and build a compelling case for investment and adoption.

Encouraging Vendors to Articulate Roadmaps Aligned with Platform Principles

To truly drive the adoption of platform engineering in the Salesforce ecosystem, vendors need to do more than just pay lip service to the concept. They need to articulate clear roadmaps and investment strategies that align with the principles and practices of platform engineering.

This means going beyond point solutions and focusing on the integration and automation capabilities needed to provide a cohesive, end-to-end experience for developers. It means investing in self-service provisioning, automated testing and deployment, and real-time monitoring and observability. And it means providing opinionated, pre-configured solutions that abstract away complexity and enable teams to focus on delivering value.

Salesforce teams should look for vendors that have a clear vision for platform engineering and are investing in the capabilities needed to deliver on that vision. They should prioritize vendors that are focused on providing a seamless, integrated experience across the entire devops lifecycle, rather than just solving specific pain points.

Integrating Best-of-Breed Point Solutions Into Platform Workflows

While the long-term goal should be to move towards a fully integrated, platform-oriented approach to Salesforce Devops, the reality is that many teams will need to start by leveraging best-of-breed point solutions. The key is to ensure that these solutions are integrated into a cohesive, automated workflow that aligns with the principles of platform engineering.

This means investing in the integration and automation capabilities needed to stitch together disparate tools and processes into a seamless, end-to-end pipeline. It means establishing standardized workflows and best practices that ensure consistency and repeatability across the organization. And it means providing developers with a unified, self-service experience that abstracts away the complexity of underlying tools and infrastructures.

Sharing Success Stories and Best Practices from Platform Engineering Pioneers

Finally, one of the most powerful ways to drive adoption of platform engineering in the Salesforce ecosystem is to celebrate and share the success stories and best practices of pioneers and early adopters. By showcasing the tangible benefits and outcomes achieved by organizations that have embraced platform engineering, the Salesforce community can inspire and motivate others to follow in their footsteps.

This means highlighting the improvements in delivery speed, quality, and efficiency that platform engineering enables. It means sharing lessons learned and best practices for overcoming common challenges and obstacles. And it means building a community of practice around platform engineering in the Salesforce world, where teams can learn from and support one another on their journey.

Charting the path forward to platform engineering in the Salesforce ecosystem requires a concerted effort from vendors, practitioners, and thought leaders alike. By evangelizing the vision, encouraging vendor alignment, integrating point solutions into cohesive workflows, and sharing success stories and best practices, the Salesforce community can accelerate its adoption of platform engineering and unlock new levels of innovation and value delivery.

Salesforce Platform Engineering

As we navigate the complex landscape of Salesforce Devops, it’s evident that embracing platform engineering principles and practices isn’t just beneficial, it is imperative for future success. The 2024 Puppet State of DevOps report underscores the transformative power of platform engineering, highlighting its role in enhancing developer productivity, streamlining workflows, and integrating security and compliance seamlessly into the software delivery lifecycle.

For teams and organizations within the Salesforce ecosystem, the message is clear: the path to achieving delivery excellence and staying competitive in a fast-evolving digital landscape lies in adopting a holistic, automated approach to devops. This journey involves more than just adopting new tools or methodologies; it requires a paradigm shift in how we conceive of and implement devops strategies.

Steps to Embrace Platform Engineering

Here are some thoughts on how to start your own Salesforce platform engineering journey.

  1. Educate and Advocate: Begin by fostering a deep understanding of platform engineering principles among your teams and stakeholders. Leverage success stories, whitepapers, and case studies to illustrate the tangible benefits and efficiencies gained from such an approach.
  2. Assessment and Plan: Evaluate your current devops practices and tools against the capabilities enabled by platform engineering. Identify gaps and develop a strategic roadmap for integrating platform engineering principles into your processes.
  3. Collaborate with Vendors: Engage with your Salesforce Devops solution providers to understand their roadmap towards supporting platform engineering. Prioritize partnerships with vendors that offer integrated, end-to-end solutions, aligning with platform engineering principles.
  4. Iterate and Integrate: Start small by integrating best-of-breed point solutions into a cohesive platform that supports your devops workflows. Focus on automating and streamlining processes, from code development to deployment and monitoring.
  5. Share and Scale: As you achieve success with platform engineering, share your experiences and best practices within and beyond your organization. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement, scaling successful practices across teams and projects.

Navigating the Future: Embracing Platform Engineering Principles

As we look at the future, it’s clear that the success of Salesforce Devops will increasingly depend on adopting and refining platform engineering principles. This means further enhancing the capabilities of Digital Twins to provide more predictive and adaptive tools, deepening the integration of development processes, and continually striving for a seamless, efficient, and cohesive development experience.

The journey of Salesforce Devops is a testament to the adaptive, innovative spirit of the Salesforce community. By recognizing Salesforce Devops platforms as early implementations of platform engineering principles, we acknowledge the sophisticated level of management and foresight already present in these systems. As we continue to evolve and refine these platforms, we not only enhance the Salesforce development experience but also contribute to the broader field of platform engineering, setting new standards for excellence and innovation in the world of enterprise application development.

To truly unlock the potential of platform engineering in the Salesforce ecosystem, teams and vendors will need to come together to evangelize the vision, align roadmaps and investments, integrate point solutions into cohesive workflows, and share success stories and best practices. This will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders, but the benefits are clear – faster time-to-market, higher quality releases, greater developer productivity, and improved security and compliance.

The future of Salesforce Devops is bright – and platform engineering is the key to unlocking its full potential. Let us come together as a community to chart this path forward, and to build a more automated, aligned, and innovative future for Salesforce delivery. The time for platform engineering is now – let’s seize the opportunity and lead the way.