By Charlotte Trueman
Staff Writer, Computerworld |
Atlassian Thursday unveiled a slew of new features for Jira Service Management—its IT service management (ITSM) offering—providing support and development teams with new automation capabilities, virtual agent technology and on-the-go incident response.
Speaking ahead of the company’s annual High-Velocity ITSM event in London on December 8, Jira Service Management product manager Shihab Hamid said that Atlassian—which has acquired six companies in the last four years to “beef up” its product portfolio—was looking to bridge gaps among devops, IT operations, tech support and business teams.
Hamid said that since the company first set out its vision in 2020 to renew its focus on ITSM with the launch of Jira Service Management, the world of work has become a very different place.
“There’s a lot more remote work and a lot more teams wanting autonomy to basically build the workflows and systems that they need to quickly iterate and deliver value,” he said.
Referencing Gartner’s 2022 ITSM Buyer’s Guide, Hamid said that it’s estimated that 80% of businesses are overspending on their ITSM platform subscriptions, by about half of the contract value. Additionally, a lot of companies are buying capabilities they never get to use because once they’ve done their initial deployment, they run out of budget for resources that would enable them to fully utilize the functionality.
“At Forrester, we continue to see the cost pressures within organizations related to ITSM platforms,” said Julie Mohr, senior analyst at Forrester. “While the platforms continue to expand in capabilities, covering more enterprise knowledge work – licensing, maintenance, support, and professional service costs continue to increase, any clients have begun to look for ways to reduce dependencies – not from a functionality perspective but solely based on cost.”
For Hamid, he said that today’s announcements help Atlassian to position itself as “the right sized ITSM solution that actually solves the key problems, for a price that makes sense.”
The first set of new capabilities announced by Atlassian are focused on bringing software development teams closer together with their IT operations counterparts. The company wants to give teams the autonomy to write code, make deployments but at the same time, be able to introduce a risk-free change to the environment and also deal with incidents when things go wrong, Hamid said.
“Wherever employees are, we want to be there so that they can ask for help,” Hamid said. “Whether that’s Slack, email, or a Jira ticket, employees can choose the option that’s closest and nearest to them and Jira Service Management will function in the background.”
This functionality is available in the form of Atlassian’s chat feature, also known as conversational ticketing, which enables employees to initiate a support request directly from a channel in collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Support agents can then respond to or take action on that request from within Jira Service Management.
On Thursday, Atlassian announced that Chat will be available across all Jira Service Management plans, including its free plan, to help teams of all sizes quickly respond to requests.
For teams that need help automating and triaging support requests, Atlassian also announced that from early next year, it will be launching an early access program for new virtual agent technology in Jira Service Management.
“We acquired a company earlier this year called Percept AI that uses machine learning models to learn from the patterns in data and understand a user’s intent, analyze past conversations and help automate and deflect future tickets,” Hamid said.
Atlassian is also introducing prebuilt templates for marketing, finance, and analytics staff, which join an existing roster for HR, facilities, legal, and customer service templates, enabling business teams to easily build workflows and handle different types of requests.
Customers will also have access to a library of over 300 prebuilt forms that use a low-code/no-code form builder, allowing users to create service request forms and workflows, streamline data capture, and enable better automation.
“Low code/no code capabilities within an ITSM platform make it easier for clients to create workflows that can drive productivity and eliminate unnecessary steps and process delays,” said Mohr. “Combining this capability with templates that customers can use out of the box creates a win-win for IT and the enterprise.”
However, Mohr cautioned that clients would need to optimize workflows – not just modify a template to reflect how processes are done today.
“But when combined with optimization efforts, the new capabilities should make adoption happen more quickly with better results,” she said.
In addition to the capabilities that support software development teams, Atlassian is also introducing several new features designed to make it easier for teams to work together seamlessly and provide them with greater autonomy over things like incident response.
A new incident response on-the-go feature allows teams to receive mobile device alerts, edit on-call schedules, escalate major incidents, and update teams on timelines, all via mobile device.
“Incident response on-the-go is something that we strongly believe in and so we’ve got a lot of new capabilities to handle mobile device alerts, edit on call schedules, and deal with major escalations,” Hamid said.
The company is also introducing new automation capabilities for change requests and advanced approvals, allowing teams to get even more granular about the approval process, such as excluding certain people from the approval process, or setting up special rules for multigroup approvals. Atlassian has also expanded integrations with third-party systems and applications to allow for automated change requests with GitHub and GitLab, to further streamline deployments.
Furthermore, Atlassian is offering data-residency controls for AU, EU, US and Germany within Jira Service Management across core features including Opsgenie, Assets, and Forms, with its roadmap for supported regions in the future including the UK, Japan, France, and Canada. The controls allow Jira users to specify where user-generated content should reside. Additionally, Jira Service Management Cloud is on target to be compliant with HIPPA by the end of the year.
The last announcement made at the event comes in the form of Atlassian’s new customer incentive program, which will target both small and large teams.
“For small teams, we’re going to enable customers to sign up to the standard plan of Jira Service Management and get 10 agents for free for 12 months,” Hamid said, explaining that this will enable a lot of companies to get started with ITSM without having to deal with big upfront costs.
Currently, Atlassian’s free plan only includes three agents.
“For customers on the larger end of the spectrum, those that have more than 200 agents, we’re offering a 30% discount on the first year of a three-year contract. That’s applicable to both secure service management cloud and data center,” he said.
Mohr said that Atlassian has listened to its customers and the market and positioned themselves to provide offerings for small teams at no cost, giving cost breaks for newer customers and providing new functionality at no cost.
“We think this will resonate with those customers who are hitting the budgetary limits yet still want a full-featured ITSM solution, especially when there are signs of economic uncertainty, as we are seeing in the current economy,” she said.
Charlotte Trueman is a staff writer at Computerworld. She joined IDG in 2016 after graduating with a degree in English and American Literature from the University of Kent. Trueman covers collaboration, focusing on videoconferencing, productivity software, future of work and issues around diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.