Chief Revenue Officer
As an IT manager, you probably want to implement Salesforce ALM due to its advantages for the development process. But did you know it also offers significant business benefits? They include cost efficiency, better use of resources, reduced risk, informed decision making, and improved maturity.
An important part of your job involves keeping costs under control. When you implement a robust ALM process in Salesforce, it supports this endeavor. You can more effectively manage licenses and subscriptions—plus, you can use third-party tools with consumption-based pricing models. You can also use automation to eliminate costly manual work.
Salesforce ALM facilitates the cost-efficient management of software licenses and subscriptions by giving you visibility over your release pipeline and how it’s used. Because this prevents the outflow of funds to unused licenses, it directly impacts your bottom line.
In Salesforce, you have the flexibility to build your ALM process with the third-party tools you prefer. Many of these tools employ consumption-based pricing models so you only pay for the resources you use. When you use third-party tools like this, you can let go of the “all-or-nothing” approach—and opt for a smarter, more cost-effective method, instead.
Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room—all the manual work involved with the Salesforce release process. It’s time-consuming and, more importantly, it can be quite a drain on your budget.
ALM uses automation to streamline development, testing, deployment, compliance, and communication. This minimizes—or even eliminates—the costs associated with manual processes.
When you implement a robust application lifecycle management process in Salesforce, you can make better use of your resources. ALM enhances operational efficiency and gives you more resources for strategic work.
ALM promotes operational efficiency through communication, collaboration, and iteration. It breaks down the barriers that traditionally separate business and development teams. When all stakeholders involved can communicate clearly and easily with each other, you can strike a balance between the expertise and demands of both teams.
This ensures that every change you make and every app you build are both necessary from a business perspective and clearly defined from a development perspective. Cross-team collaboration like this ensures business users aren’t sitting around waiting for a change that’s not a priority. At the same time, it also makes sure that your development team understands the requirements of the app and can determine the most efficient way to build it.
Iterative development is the process of making small changes frequently based on user feedback. With iteration, you can quickly and easily fine tune apps based on real-time business needs. This promotes efficiency and reduces waste.
Earlier, we discussed the value of automation for cost efficiency. Automation has another significant benefit: It improves resource utilization by minimizing manual efforts so your team can focus on higher-value, more strategic work.
How long does it take your developers and admins to seed sandboxes, make deployments, track changes, or perform other tasks manually? This type of work is tedious, but it has to be done. But whenever a developer or admin has to prepare a dev environment manually, for example, that work could instead be completed with automation. And then your team could start working on the changes right away.
In addition, the use of integrated tools in your Salesforce ALM process significantly reduces the time you spend on tool management. As a result, you can increase the time you spend on value delivery.
ALM in Salesforce facilitates compliance and reduces your risk by advancing security, compliance, and a streamlined development process.
Salesforce ALM best practices involve regular security reviews of your release pipeline and environments. Depending on the regulations you need to comply with in your industry, these reviews can involve infrastructure security, data security, and the integrity of your pipeline.
We advise establishing a process for security reviews. When you regularly conduct reviews according to this set process, you can expect to see a dramatic reduction in the risk of breaches and noncompliance.
As we’ve seen, ALM principles include the use of automation. Fortunately, there are several third-party vendors that offer automated compliance tools.
For instance, Prodly provides version control, which is critical to change tracking and documentation. It also offers data masking and redaction capabilities to ensure data privacy. On top of that, Prodly helps you enforce segregation of duties by setting access controls at the environment level.
A streamlined development process might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of risk reduction. However, it plays a key role because a smoother release process reduces the chance of bugs and downtime—and the potential for loss of revenue.
Salesforce ALM encourages the use of scratch orgs and version control to streamline the release process.
You can give every developer their own dev environment by providing them with a scratch org. With a separate environment for every team member, developers don’t overwrite each other’s work.
Last, but not least, version control is a powerful tool when it comes to reducing the risk of code conflicts. It also minimizes the impact of bugs because if an issue occurs in development, you can simply roll the software back to its previous state.
Salesforce ALM improves decision making by providing visibility into your processes, resources, and velocity. You can plan and forecast more effectively, which makes it easier to meet business requirements, manage expectations, and stay within the budget.
Adherence to ALM best practices also improves the maturity of your Salesforce instance. The more mature your org becomes, the more stable and reliable it will prove to be. As a result, you’ll experience fewer issues and bugs—and most importantly, less unplanned downtime.
At the same time, a mature system is more scalable. In other words, it can grow with the needs of your business. It can accommodate more users, applications, and data—all while maintaining its performance.
It takes an investment of time and money to build a robust Salesforce ALM process. But as you’ve learned, ALM offers significant benefits for the business as a whole. And now you know what those benefits are, you’re in a better position to propose enhancements to your ALM process to your CFO.
What is Salesforce ALM?
Salesforce application lifecycle management is a systematic process you use to manage the entire lifecycle of an application. It includes the following stages: plan, develop, test, deploy, monitor, and retirement. Learn more about Salesforce ALM.
What are some challenges associated with implementing ALM in Salesforce?
You might encounter several challenges when you implement ALM in Salesforce. These include the difficulty of managing a culture change, as well as the costs of the tools and training you need.
What do I need to keep in mind when implementing ALM in Salesforce?
Salesforce ALM can be a big shift away from how you previously worked, so it’s important to keep several things in mind: