Cloud Metrics for Everyone!

November 16, 2012 Nick Hamm

By Nick Hamm (@hammnick), Bipin Nepani (@bnepani) and Naoki Tsukamoto (@nikes63)

If you’re like us, you likely still have one last clock in the basement that needs to be turned back by an hour from daylight savings. This is also the time of year that you’re reminded to change out the batteries in smoke alarms, the baking soda in your fridge, along with other things that should be done a few times each year. The same practice of regular maintenance can be applied to the health of our business applications.
Phil Wainewright recently blogged about how Cloud Metrics is an essential tool to keep track of the technical debt in your Salesforce org.  Launched to the public at Dreamforce 2012, Cloud Metrics from Appirio helps you measure the most critical factors driving complexity and cost of managing your Salesforce environment. (See a sample Cloud Metrics report.)

During the past several years, Cloud Metrics has been run by some of the largest and most innovative companies including those in automotive to financial services to pharmaceutical industries. These companies have found that Cloud Metrics provides concrete data to make informed trade-off decisions, and having a proactive process to measure the state of a Salesforce org ensures educated planning as they take on new initiatives like activating newly released features, onboarding new areas of the business, merging multiple orgs, or expanding the footprint of the application to increase ROI.

We’ve seen several instances where the report has been used to provide the proof of what some may suspect is a problem but have no data to formally prove or disprove their hypothesis.  For example, in one report we saw that the org was heavily customized with an above average number of custom objects and fields, but very few users were actively logged in during the last 30 days. During further discussion with the customer, it became apparent that the administrative team was purely reacting to a large backlog from their business stakeholder for more than a year without assessing the business impact of all these change requests. These metrics made it very apparent to the business stakeholders that a stricter governance and change control process was required, and in turn resources were focused on a prioritized set of customizations that were tied to driving toward the primary business goals.

Cloud Metrics can also help you determine where to fund necessary platform and process investments to ensure the environment is cost effective and agile enough to keep pace with the speed of business change.  For example, on another report we observed a high count of custom lines of code but low count in validation and workflow rules.  We worked with this client to find opportunities to reduce the amount of custom code and take advantage of the configuration (non-code) options that the Salesforce platform provides in order to reduce additional testing and support needed to manage a ton of technical debt for each new release.

In another report, we found a customer using a very large number of profiles but no permission sets. This led us to asking if they had considered permission sets, and it turns out they did not. This small feature could help them significantly reduce time in maintenance efforts every time profile related changes occur (CRUD permissions, page layouts, record types, etc…).

We’re happy to announce that Salesforce Admins can now sign-up for their free Cloud Metrics report directly from our website.  We only look at the org metadata, so there is no risk in running this report. In fact, the only risk is not knowing what you need to know about the complexity of your org.

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