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4 Salesforce governance myths debunked

Hayley Coxon

VP of Marketing

November 5, 2020

Whether it’s George Washington chopping down a cherry tree or believing that lightning can’t strike the same place twice, there’s no shortage of myths and untruths in the world.

Even as society becomes increasingly dependent on technology — which is driven by logic, fact, and reasoning — long-standing misguided beliefs still exist. For years, Salesforce administrators and operations managers have faced an uphill battle in quashing misguided or unsubstantiated beliefs of their colleagues around the platform.

Given the role Salesforce plays in today’s enterprise, all technology organizations should have a Salesforce governance framework — a standardized set of policies and procedures for people and processes required to optimize and extract maximum value from your technology investments.

Governance frameworks are vital for companies to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, minimize risk to essential data and systems, and improve both the efficiency and velocity of their future business evolution.

Against that backdrop, here are 4 myths about governance in Salesforce that need to be addressed and debunked.

Myth 1: Governance is only necessary for large companies

The bigger they are, the harder they fall is a common misconception about the value of governance. That is, many people still mistakenly believe that governance is only important for large companies because they have much more data and more moving pieces to manage.

The truth: Companies of every size benefit from governance

The reality is that while the impact of messing up a critical system from a poorly-designed or tested Salesforce app will be larger for a big organization when looking at raw numbers, the time, productivity, and revenue losses may be even more severe and disproportionately disastrous for a smaller company.

For example, if an enterprise manually data loads a CPQ update that includes an extra space in the data set, it could cause simple (but important) default fields — say, standard category discounts — to stop applying appropriate discounts on quotes that can erode a customer’s confidence in the company or drive a potential customer elsewhere in search of a better deal while the internal team scrambles to manually patch the issue.

Larger organizations typically have the resources to absorb a hit and get by with a manual workaround until an issue is resolved, something that’s simply beyond the means of most smaller companies.

Myth 2: Governance will slow you down

For many teams, the idea of following certain rules, policies, and standards feels like unnecessary friction that prevents them from adequately doing their jobs and supporting the general needs of the business.

The truth: Governance brings order the chaos so projects can move faster

In fact, robust Salesforce governance — and IT governance as a whole — can help companies reduce IT spending by up to 10% through improved project prioritization, and lower total cost of ownership by as much as 15% by providing a structure for your team to make enhancements faster, more frequently, and more reliably.

Instead of awarding top priority to projects whose owners and champions yell the loudest, a Salesforce governance framework will help align your current backlog of jobs with organizational objectives to simplify prioritization and prescribe specific processes for implementing changes or deploying new releases.

Myth 3: Governance is the responsibility of the IT team

On the surface, this myth seems to make sense. Salesforce is a technology, and your IT team is responsible for everything technology in your organization.

The truth: Governance helps decentralize control

Companies of all sizes, across industries and geographies, are increasingly decentralizing their IT operations, especially when it comes to software development and management.

Today, the average enterprise uses more than 130 apps in their organization and nearly two-thirds of them will be developed and managed with low-code platforms outside of the IT department in the next four years because it can accelerate development speed by a factor of 10.

The meteoric rise in low-code apps means that business units outside of IT are taking on the administrative responsibilities of maintaining and changing Salesforce apps. And while the IT department has the expertise to initially create a governance strategy and policies, it’s incumbent upon Salesforce admins and line of business owners to make sure everyone’s following the guidelines to protect the business and advance its objectives.

Myth 4: End users don’t have to care about governance

With IT and Salesforce administrators firmly in control of a Salesforce instance and related apps, there’s no need for end users to think much about governance. Right?

The truth: End users stand to benefit the most from governance

A well-designed Salesforce governance framework actually puts end users at the center of its policies and strategies because they’re the ones using it every day to do their work. There are few people with better knowledge and insight or stronger opinions of how to improve Salesforce than those in the system each day.

However, end users have to be mindful of and understand the company’s Salesforce governance framework — and take an active participation role in it — if they want to influence future applications, features, and capabilities that will make their jobs easier and more fulfilling.

Governance strategies are vital to the success of the modern enterprise. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach — frameworks will vary based on a company’s size, objectives, and tolerance for risk — all good governance strategies must be firmly rooted in the reality of today’s business environment to improve operating efficiency, data security, and the ability to rapidly adapt to changing business demands.

Contact us to learn more about implementing a Salesforce governance framework in your organization.