Salesforce Architecture: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Single-Org vs Multi-Org

a woman standing next to a computer

Published on: November 15, 2022 Updated on: March 15, 2024 views Icon 323 Views

Share this article : LinkedIn Facebook

  • Salesforce

Reading Time Icon 9 min read

Author

Olympia Bhatt
Olympia Bhatt LinkedIn

Freelance Content Writer

Olympia Bhatt wears many hats, marketing and content writing being one of them. She believes a good brief writes itself like an AI tool.

Article Reviewed By: Rahul Saini LinkedIn

Table of Contents

A well-planned Salesforce architecture lays the groundwork for scalability and governance as your use of Salesforce matures. One of the key decisions you'll need to make is whether to use a Single-Org or Multi-Org strategy. This choice will impact your data model, security, and reporting capabilities.

In this blog post, we'll explain what single-org and multi-org mean in Salesforce and discuss the pros and cons of each approach. By the end, you'll better understand these two architectures so you can determine the right strategy for your business needs and set your instance up for long-term success. 

Single-Org Salesforce Architecture vs Multi-Org Salesforce Architecture 

A single-org architecture means using just one instance of Salesforce for your entire business, while a multi-org architecture involves having more than one Salesforce Org or instance. Here’s an overview.

Single-Org ArchitectureMulti-Org Architecture
OverviewOne Salesforce instance used for the entire businessMultiple Salesforce instances for different business units
Benefits- Standardization- Visibility into company-wide data- Seamless scaling and training- Avoiding data duplication- Customization for each business unit- Autonomy for different teams- Lower risk of hitting org limits- Simpler security model
Challenges- Complex to manage as it grows- May hit Salesforce limits- Code volume can slow performance- Integration complexity- Duplicated admin functions- Harder to unify processes
Best Use Cases- Standardized business processes- Merging data from acquisitions- Disparate business units - Unique division requirements

Benefits of Single-Org Salesforce Architecture

Single-Org Salesforce Architecture offers numerous benefits that streamline and enhance the efficiency of your Salesforce implementation. Here are some of the most notable ones:

1. Scalability

  1. It's easy to scale globally with a single org since the same standards apply across all departments.
  2. Seamless integrations since everyone uses the same system.
  3. Training is simplified as new users only need to learn one Salesforce environment.
  4. Uniform data practices make data governance and management straightforward.

2. Transparency 

  1. A single source of truth provides visibility into information, processes, and structure for all business units.
  2. Prevents data duplication.
  3. Tighter collaboration arises from synchronizing work across teams.
  4. Customer service improves with comprehensive access to each account.

3. Visibility

  1. Consolidated reporting and monitoring give managers enhanced oversight.
  2. The entire pipeline is visible in one place.
  3. A single pane of glass reduces cross-org complexities.

4. Standardization

  1. Singular workflows and systems enable consistency.
  2. Contact management and customer experiences are standardized.
  3. Opportunity planning is coordinated across the organization.

Disadvantages of Single-Org Salesforce Architecture

While Single-Org Salesforce Architecture offers several advantages, it is important to consider its potential drawbacks. Here are some of them:

  • Hitting Org Limits: The risk of reaching Salesforce-imposed limits within a single org hinders scalability and functionality.
  • Management Challenges: As the org grows, it becomes increasingly complex to oversee and regulate org-wide settings, such as security protocols and sharing rules.
  • Performance Issues: The sheer amount of code within a single org can affect runtime processing, potentially slowing down operations.

Multi-Org Salesforce Architecture Benefits

Single-org complexity could become challenging to manage over time and reduce flexibility for multinational or multi-divisional companies. And that’s why companies opt for multi-org Salesforce architecture.

Multi-org Salesforce architecture can empower autonomy and flexibility, while single-org allows process consistency and centralized data. It uses multiple instances of Salesforce, each tailored to the specific needs of a particular business unit or process. 

This approach is more complex to set up and manage but it offers several advantages. Here are some of them:

  1. Simpler record sharing and security model without complex rules
  2. More business unit autonomy via customized processes and functionality
  3. Lower risk of hitting org limits for tabs, code, and data volume
  4. Easier to govern org-wide settings with fewer divisions
  5. Potentially improved performance with lower data volumes
  6. Faster time to market and innovation for each org
  7. Fewer teams are affected by changes and updates
  8. Reduced complexity compared to a single large org

Disadvantages of Multi-Org Salesforce Architecture:

Multi-Org Salesforce architecture, despite its benefits, comes with its share of disadvantages. One notable drawback is the challenge of data synchronization. Check out some of the others:

  1. Harder to standardize global processes and data
  2. Less reuse of configurations and code across organizations
  3. Requires customization for unified cross-org reporting
  4. Duplicated admin functions across instances
  5. Increased complexity for SSO and integrations
  6. Potentially higher third-party licensing costs
  7. More inter-org integration development costs

Single-Org or Multi-Org Salesforce Architecture? 10 Things to Consider

While single-org Salesforce architectures have benefits, multi-org strategies may be better suited for some use cases. Carefully evaluating data needs, regulations, resources, and business structure will determine if multiple orgs are required or if a single org can work. There are trade-offs, so analyze closely.

Ask yourself the following when evaluating single vs multi-org:

  • Who controls budgeting decisions around Salesforce? Their priorities will shape the strategy.
  • Can your data volume and diversity be effectively managed in one org? Or is segmentation needed?
  • Do you have the resources to govern multiple organizations properly? This takes more oversight.
  • Are there regulatory or security factors best addressed by separating data?
  • Does potential value outweigh the overhead costs of multi-org?
  • Who will handle integration and maintenance across instances?
  • Will distinct orgs better serve your business goals and structure?

Here are the top 10 things to consider: 

  1. Assess your enterprise architecture operating model. Highly integrated/unified firms benefit most from single-org, while diversified/replicated firms often need multi-org.
  1. Consider who controls the Salesforce budget and decision-making. Limited control may dictate a suboptimal organizational strategy. Strive to influence enterprise-level decisions.
  1. With single-org architecture, complexity arises from multiple LOBs (lines of business) sharing one instance. Careful governance, naming standards, security design, architecture oversight, and data model management become critical.
  1. Evaluate your ability to manage change in a single org across many initiatives. Governance and RACI models are key.
  1. As the number of LOBs increases, request backlogs and stakeholder demands also increase. A Center of Excellence can help articulate roadmaps and secure resources.
  1. Regulatory compliance or security factors may require data isolation, often driving multi-org. Don't let unchecked org proliferation occur.
  1. Recognize multi-org overhead: licensing, third-party integrations, environment management, and support. 
  1. With multiple development teams, single-org requires robust governance and release management. Multi-org allows team autonomy but results in duplication.
  1. Before creating new orgs to circumvent limits, discuss increases with Salesforce and plan for data migration and user experience.

The more disparate your business units and data, the more multi-org may make sense if properly supported. However, it requires increased governance and integration work.

Common mistakes to avoid when choosing between single- and multi-org Salesforce architecture:

  1. Not understanding your business needs: Before choosing the right Salesforce architecture, you must clearly understand your business needs. Consider factors such as your business's size and complexity, data security and compliance requirements, and performance and scalability needs.
  1. Focusing on the long term: It's important to consider your long-term business goals when choosing a Salesforce architecture. A multi-org architecture may be more complex to set up and manage initially, but it can provide greater flexibility and scalability in the long run.
  1. Not considering the cost impact: Implementing and managing a multi-org architecture can be more expensive than a single-org architecture. When deciding, consider the cost of additional licenses, training, and support.
  1. Not having a data migration and integration plan: If you're switching from a single-org to a multi-org architecture, you'll need a plan for migrating your data and integrating your systems. This can be a complex process, so working with a qualified Salesforce consultant is important.
  1. Underestimating the complexity of managing a multi-org architecture: A multi-org architecture can be more complex than a single-org architecture. Ensure you have the resources and expertise to manage your Salesforce environment effectively.

Here are some additional tips for choosing the right Salesforce architecture:

  1. Start by evaluating your current Salesforce org. What are your pain points? What are your goals for the future? This will help you to identify the key requirements for your new Salesforce architecture.
  1. Talk to other businesses that are using Salesforce. What architecture are they using? What are the pros and cons? Getting feedback from other businesses can help you to make an informed decision.
  1. Get help from a Salesforce consultant. A Salesforce consultant can help you assess your needs, develop an architecture plan, and implement and manage your new Salesforce environment.

Tools and resources for managing Single-Org and Multi-Org environments 

Here are some tools and resources for managing Single-Org and Multi-Org Salesforce environments:

Single-Org Salesforce Architecture Management Tools

  • Salesforce Admin Console: The Salesforce Admin Console is a one-stop shop for managing your Salesforce environment. It includes tools for managing users, permissions, objects, fields, etc.
  • Salesforce Sandbox: A Salesforce sandbox is a copy of your production environment that you can use for testing and development. Sandboxes are isolated from production data, so you can make changes without impacting your live environment.
  • Salesforce Change Sets: Change sets allow you to group changes and deploy them to your production environment in a controlled manner to reduce the risk of errors.
  • Salesforce Data Loader: The Salesforce Data Loader is a tool for importing and exporting data from Salesforce. It can be used to migrate data from other systems to Salesforce or to back up and restore data.

Multi-Org Salesforce Architecture Management Tools

  • Salesforce Multi-Org Account Configuration: Multi-Org Account Configuration is a feature that allows you to connect multiple Salesforce orgs to a single Marketing Cloud account. This makes it easier to manage your Salesforce environment and marketing campaigns.
  • Salesforce Customer 360 for Marketing Cloud: Customer 360 for Marketing Cloud is a platform that helps you unify your customer data across Salesforce and Marketing Cloud. This makes creating personalized marketing campaigns and improving your customer experience easier.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect: Marketing Cloud Connect is a tool that allows you to connect Salesforce and Marketing Cloud, making it easy to share data between the two platforms and automate your marketing workflows.
  • Salesforce Managed Packages: Managed packages are pre-built Salesforce solutions you can install in your org. Several managed packages are available for managing multi-org environments, such as Org Merge Toolkit and Multi-Org Security Summary.

Conclusion

Both single-org and multi-org Salesforce architectures have their pros and cons. Consider your business needs, growth plans, and data management requirements as you evaluate which strategy best fits. Be sure to involve key stakeholders and decision-makers to align on priorities. With careful planning and expert help throughout implementation, you can set up a Salesforce environment positioned for scalability, security, and long-term success.

Need a Salesforce-Certified Team to Weigh in for You to Make the Most of the Salesforce Architecture You Choose? Let’s Talk!

Our Salesforce aces would love to pitch in. Just write to us at info@growthnatives.com and we’ll get back to you. 

Top Related Blogs

a man working on a laptop representing Salesforce Marketing Cloud Growth

The New Salesforce Marketing Cloud Growth Edition: A Game-Changer for Small Businesses

Team Salesforce is known for constantly innovating and adding new features to its products to cater to the changing market dynamics, and driving marketing efficiency. Building on that, Salesforce has recently introduced Marketing Cloud Growth. It is a new edition of Marketing Cloud that will empower small businesses to drive growth efficiently using CRM, AI, […]

Image depicting a a woman sitting on a chair with a laptop , symbolizing the enhancement of business potential through Salesforce expertise.

Enhancing Business Potential with Salesforce Expertise

Salesforce expertise can prove to be a critical factor in achieving the desired results and numbers for a business. This blog will help you understand the intricacies of building expertise over Salesforce.

a man holding a briefcase is standing in front of large desktop screen and is also showing a large cellphone screen

Leverage the Power of Salesforce Business for Digital Transformation Mastery

This blog will help you learn about the uniquely amazing features and tools offered by Salesforce business while helping you comprehend and curate the strategies for their optimum usage.

Join our Newsletter

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter