CI/CD / Development

Atlassian Extends to Infrastructure Operations with Jira Service Management

9 Nov 2020 11:37am, by

Many use Atlassian’s Jira as a tool for planning and tracking software releases, but need to use other tools to handle the infrastructure side of things. Today, Atlassian has introduced Jira Service Management in its place, to combine together these two realms, bringing the world of DevOps to the Atlassian toolbox and addressing IT service management (ITSM) alongside the software development lifecycle.

“Jira Service Management is the next generation, next evolution of Jira Service Desk. We’ve really seen our customers start to rethink the way they think about their business and everything is becoming more and more software centric and software driven,” said Edwin Wong, head of products for IT at Atlassian. “It’s really about this new way of doing business. It’s about a digital transformation. To really make that work, we think that Dev and Ops must come together, helping them to move fast, work in small batches, break down silos, automate things.”

The problem, said Wong, is that a lot of the existing IT service management (ITSM) tools focused on more traditional methods, reinforcing approaches that were separate and siloed from the development end of things. As Jira is already heavily employed by development teams, the addition of ITSM will help address this issue, and this “is really where we’ve seen the opportunity to bring development and ops much, much closer together so that we can overcome some of those challenges,” said Wong.

Jira Service Management focuses on three distinct areas, bringing with it some changes from recent Atlassian acquisitions, to merge the handling of both software and infrastructure requests into one platform. First, Jira Service Management adds incident management, with features such as on-call scheduling, alerting, incident swarming and more, as provided by Opsgenie, which Atlassian acquired in 2018, as well as integrations with Jira Software, Bitbucket, and Confluence.

“If you think about incidents today, they’re a pretty big deal. If a website goes down for anything more than a minute, you’re talking about millions of dollars in potential loss, and you’re talking about seeing headlines in the press,” said Wong. “Without a tighter, modern approach to actually responding to these, what you have is a lot of stress and anxiety and a lot of challenges. Opsgenie helps with this and now we’re including opportunity into the broader, single ITSM product.”

Next, Jira Service Management focuses on change management, with integrations to continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools such as Bitbucket Pipelines, Jenkins, and CircleCI. This, however, does not happen in a vacuum, and Wong emphasized its connection with the final point, which is the redesign of the agent experience to categorize service requests, incidents, problems and changes with machine learning powering the grouping and categorization of those items. At the same time, Wong notes that Jira Service Management brings a level of context into play that also helps with risk management when making changes.

“In the past, changes for IT teams may have been done on a yearly basis, or half yearly basis. These days with DevOps, it may be a case of a couple of minutes, half an hour, for each deployment to happen. How do you deal with that scale in a way that’s both trackable as well as risk minimizing?” said Wong. “How do we help teams categorize tickets, take action quickly, and group things together? Things that seem they’re actually part of the same problem, same incident, and using AI to actually identify that and help teams move much, much faster.”

The company says that beyond this initial release, it will bring more features through its other acquisitions of Mindville Insight and Halp to offer asset and configuration management, as well as conversational ticketing capabilities, which Wong said would bring a level of agility not currently offered.

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