A typical Salesforce journey for a customer starts with a focus area such as Sales or Service or in other cases, automation of an internal process (eg. Project Management). With a positive impact on revenue, productivity and customer engagement after a successful rollout, other business units and departments are keen to come onboard and replicate the success for their own business areas.
Now comes the time to make an important decision, “to build on the same Salesforce org or use a separate org for each business unit or process”. The bigger the organization (or scale), the more important the decision becomes. Like other important decisions, this one also requires a review of several factors, many clearly visible but others may only come from experience.
Below are the key considerations to help with the decision making:
Data and Processes
For a business with identified linkages in data and processes across LOBs (Line of Business), a single org strategy is recommended to allow for data sharing, process standardization etc. Refer to the examples below:
- Centralized marketing strategy or customer service strategy
- Standard sales processes or methodologies
- Collaboration among LOBs (knowledge management, intelligence sharing etc.)
For businesses with no linkages, dependencies or future requirements around collaboration among business users, a separate org for each LOB may well be a good idea.
Businesses that require a consolidated reporting and visibility into data across LOBs should go with a single org. This may sometimes get tricky when each business units are given the freedom and independence to setup their own customizations. Such a scenario may require some element of definition on how data would map and roll up to a common reporting structure to ensure an element of comparison across business units. Such a structure will also allow for the ability to drill down into the data.
If LOBs operate independently and cannot be reported in a comparative view, a separate org for each LOB may be advisable.
Control and Governance
A single org strategy for multiple businesses will require setting up a control and governance model to ensure all system changes are centrally evaluated and executed after considering an impact to various LOBs.
For organizations with a central IT setup who would eventually own all governance of a Salesforce org, a single org strategy is preferred. This model will also help in reusing modules, integrations to other systems etc.
A setup where each individual LOB is looking at complete control and flexibility of making changes to the system and processes (without a dependency on another LOB), separate orgs for each LOB is recommended. Each org will be administered independently in this case.
A single org strategy for multiple LOBs may introduce complexity in administration and maintenance as each change may need to go through an impact analysis (how a change impacts other LOBs) before executed. System design, security setup etc. may be complex.
In summary, organizations with any linkages in data, process and collaboration among LOBs or requiring a centralized administration setup (IT) are recommended go with a Single Org setup. However, LOBs looking to keep their Salesforce setup independent, flexible and managed independently with no collaboration with other LOBs may go with a separate org.