DevOps / Sponsored / Contributed

Collaboration Is the Cornerstone of Real-Time Operations

15 Jan 2021 3:00am, by

Jonathan Rende
Jonathan is SVP of Products and Marketing at PagerDuty.

In the past year, we have all changed the way we live, work, communicate, learn and shop. For IT and Development teams, there are two major collaboration implications.

First, we now exist in a world where remote working is the norm — and one that’s likely to stay. Hence, we need to find new ways to innovate and solve problems collaboratively from distributed locations.

Second, the shift to a “digital by default” world means that collaboration needs to happen in real-time. Why? Because the very nature of digital channels is that customer interaction is real-time. The success of every digital customer interaction is judged on whether the experience was good or bad in the moment. As a result: if a digital incident happens, every moment that it lasts means hundreds or thousands of transactions and customers are impacted. And with a recent study showing that daily digital incidents have grown by 47% over the last three to six months (again, due to this shift) figuring out how to solve problems collaboratively and immediately is high on many companies’ priorities.

Cross-team Collaboration Is Crucial for Managing Digital Operations

When a digital product, website or app goes down, development teams are tasked to fix it behind the scenes. But it’s the customer service teams that are on the front lines dealing with the issue. In fact, we found that about 50% of the time, it is the customer service team that discovers a problem and flags it to development teams. The other half of the time, development is aware of issues but the customer service team doesn’t know about them (yet).

Regardless of how an issue gets discovered, customer service agents and developers typically don’t have a direct line of communication or any means to quickly work together, although they desperately need the information each other has. As a result, customers aren’t kept up-to-date about what’s happening to fix the problem, developers are late to find out about issues and fix them, and customer service teams can get overwhelmed with tickets.

In an always-on world, incidents have to be resolved quickly. This is why we need to enable real-time information sharing and collaboration between responders (those fixing the issue) and stakeholders (like customer service). The only way to do this effectively is to bring together the right people, in the right place and at the right time, to work collaboratively to solve customer problems.

Cross-tool Collaboration Is Important too

To add to the difficulty of bringing together disparate teams, those teams are usually working in different tools. In most large organizations, you can typically find multiple chat applications, ticketing tools, and conference bridge applications (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, Zendesk, Jira, Salesforce). For example, the customer service team may spend their working hours in Zendesk or Salesforce, while development is in Slack or Teams. And off hours you’ll find that many people can only be contacted via their mobile device.

When an incident strikes, the response needs to happen in real-time — you can’t waste precious seconds or minutes trying to figure out how to get information about an issue. Any breakdown in communication means issues take longer to resolve, stakeholders are left in the dark about the current status, and ultimately the result is negative customer impact.

But Information Synchronization Is Most Vital

When collaboration has to cross time zones, team silos and tools, new thinking is required on how to make working together more effective. Collaboration must be designed to bring together not just distributed teams, but also distributed information, into distributed tools in real-time.

In short, teams need one tool to not only aggregate and make sense of the important data, but to orchestrate information sharing across the entire toolchain and organization. PagerDuty was built to enable this type of real-time collaboration and information sharing at scale.

With over 500 integrations with observability tools — and also integrations with tools such as Zoom, Slack and Teams — PagerDuty drives real-time collaboration with full incident context. Response teams who were once together in the office can now press one button to meet in Teams or Zoom and seamlessly work together. PagerDuty serves up both incident context and incident actions where your users are.

Additionally, integrations with tools like Salesforce and Zendesk also create real value in bridging the gap between development teams and those on the front lines serving customers. PagerDuty unifies incident visibility and intelligence into actions teams can take, enabling better collaboration with their colleagues in development and operations. This allows agents to escalate critical needs and communicate up-to-date information effectively to customers.

Effective collaboration is vital for businesses shifting to real-time operations. Platforms that aggregate all information, serve up vital context where users work, and seamlessly bring them together while empowering teams to orchestrate response in real-time, result in faster incident resolution and reduce negative customer impact.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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