Utilizing Automation to Optimize Salesforce DevSecOps in Healthcare

By Tim Van Ash, SVP of AutoRABIT

DevSecOps has been gaining traction over the last couple years, and for good reason. In fact, development teams have shown a 50% increase in utilizing DevSecOps methodology over the last three years. Salesforce development continues to grow in popularity but the systems available to developers leaves a lot to be desired.

DevSecOps aims to streamline development processes while introducing a focus on data security throughout the pipeline.

The healthcare industry faces a lot of unique challenges. Unfortunately, one of those challenges is being a frequent target of cybercriminals. There is a lot of sensitive information floating around healthcare systems that can be very valuable to unscrupulous individuals. An optimized DevSecOps pipeline allows healthcare companies to introduce timely applications and updates to address emerging security issues.

But not all DevSecOps pipelines will see the intended results. Automation is an essential aspect of an optimized DevSecOps strategy. Failing to utilize it will only hinder your development team by maintaining needlessly tedious manual processes.

Here are 4 ways automation can help healthcare companies optimize their Salesforce DevSecOps efforts:

  1. Faster Release Cycle
  2. Heightened Code Quality
  3. More Successful Deployments
  4. Increased Data Security

1. Faster Release Cycle

The ability to quickly introduce development projects to market offers a few benefits. First, it positions you as a leader in the healthcare industry when customers learn they can look to you first for new applications and updates. Second, it allows you to address emerging concerns in real time.

Automation enables higher release velocity because it reduces laborious, time-consuming manual processes.

Static code analysis, continuous integration, and other types of automated quality checks speed DevSecOps projects through the pipeline toward deployment. More releases aren’t necessarily better if the quality takes a dive. Automation ensures both quality and speed are maintained.

2. Heightened Code Quality

Speaking of quality, even the most talented developers are going to make mistakes. Mistakes are unavoidable and the later these mistakes are found in the pipeline, the more expensive they become to rectify. In fact, bugs and errors that aren’t found until the production stage are 150 times more expensive than if they were found in the code writing stage.

Automated tools like static code analysis provide instant alerts to coding errors, ensuring bugs and vulnerabilities are caught long before production.

High code quality has some obvious benefits such as a better experience for the end user. But did you know coding errors can also create data security vulnerabilities? Healthcare companies need to protect their system data in every way they can and maintaining high quality code is an essential part of this.

3. More Successful Deployments

Failed deployments can create a series of costs for healthcare companies. First, the labor time spent producing a DevSecOps project without a working final product equates to wasted money. Second, the development team is then tasked to redo their work, creating redundant tasks, and leading to more wasted money. And all the while, the issue your team was trying to address continues being a problem.

Automated testing at various stages of the DevSecOps pipeline alerts your team to problems before they grow into large, costly issues.

Many development teams integrate the work of multiple developers. This is great for producing more projects but introduces many potential points of failure. Lines of code that are structurally sound in their own environment can produce errors when combined with the work of other developers. Automated solutions like continuous integration test for these types of issues and raise alerts as soon as they are found.

4. Increased Data Security

Proper data security requires constant attention. It’s easy to focus on the more salient types of threats like cybercriminals, but that is only one aspect of securing your Salesforce environment. Even something as simple as an accidental deletion by a team member or a natural disaster knocking out your system can have wide-ranging effects.

A current and reliable data backup is essential because you’ll never be able to guarantee complete continuity of your system.

And the best way to ensure a recent backup is to automate your snapshots. Not only is this good business practice, but it is also an aspect of remaining compliant with data security regulations for healthcare companies. 

However, the backup is only the first aspect of this consideration. Your system must also have the ability to restore this information. An automated recovery tool will map out your data to the correct section of your Salesforce system so you can get back to providing the important services your customers have come to rely upon.

Automation is an essential aspect of an optimized Salesforce DevSecOps strategy. Healthcare companies provide incredibly important services. They need to be confident in their ability to produce quality work, and automation is an integral part of accomplishing this.