How Salesforce Uses GitHub Enterprise On-prem

At GitHub universe 2018, members of the central IT team at Salesforce paired up with an Enterprise Solutions Architect at GitHub to present how Salesforce has operationalized GitHub Enterprise On-prem. While GitHub Enterprise does not meet the strictest definitions of a Modern On-prem application (it is delivered as an OVA rather than Kubernetes application), it is a great deep dive into the process that organizations can use to roll out software.

Maybe more interesting than the details of the talk is the meta question of “Why, in 2018, did Salesforce, the vocal leader in multi-tenant SaaS, decide to use GitHub Enterprise on-prem vs GitHub.com as a hosted SaaS service (even going to the extent of moving some internal teams already using GitHub.com to their GitHub Enterprise Instance)?” It seems that if multi-tenant SaaS was truly the best way to consume software, that this wouldn’t be necessary. Without being in the room while the decision was made, we can infer that the Salesforce IT team saw benefits to deploying GitHub Enterprise on-prem vs using GitHub.com that outweighed the costs of operating the service themselves (even without the reduced operational benefits of Modern On-prem!).

There is actually a somewhat well-known trope amongst smaller SaaS vendors that some of the original SaaS vendors actually require many of their vendors to deliver software on-prem vs using the hosted version (which seems a bit like “do as I say, not as I do.”) However, we should commend the IT teams at these organizations, despite the pressure created by their marketing teams to paint the world as black and white when it comes to on-prem vs SaaS, these teams are able to recognize and identify the gray areas.

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