Atlassian this week announced its plans to acquire OpsGenie as part of an effort to apply DevOps principles to incident management. The announcement was made at the Altassian Summit Europe 2018 conference.
Atlassian plans to integrate OpsGenie, which provides incident alerting and communications software, with its Jira service desk software to enable organizations to automate responses to a major incident such as a site outage using a Jira Ops incident management command center unveiled this week.
Jens Schumacher, head of software teams for Atlassian, said that while most organizations today have processes in place to respond to minor incidents, very few have incident management processes in place to deal with significant catastrophic events. OpsGenie already has been adopted by more than 3,000 customers to enable organizations to put together a set of structure processes to recover as quickly as possible.
Schumacher said a more structured approach to recovery is now required because so much more of a modern organization’s ability to drive revenue is tied to the availability of IT. Whenever there is a significant amount of downtime, the urgency attached to recovery process is now much greater. The combination of OpsGenie and Jira, available now via an early access program, makes it possible to predefine a structured set of workflow processes to be followed in the event of an emergency, he said, adding that by defining those processes within a common framework, IT organizations also will be able to significantly reduce the number of point products they need to navigate during a crisis.
The combination of the two products will also aid in applying forensics to discover the root cause of any outage, Schumacher said.
Incident management within IT environments over the last few years has been evolving into a science. There are several dedicated incident management platforms that mange everything from who needs to be alerted in what order to providing detailed instructions bringing applications back online. The challenge many organizations wrestle with today is that all the silos of IT make it difficult to approach incident management comprehensively.
But as it becomes easier for finance officers to draw a straight line between IT downtime and lost revenues, interest in more structured approaches to recovery is on the rise. In fact, regardless of whether the root cause of an issue is a cybersecurity breach or a geological event, the recovery process is usually consistent. Incident management platforms provide the means to capture those processes in a way that creates institutional memory. Access to those best practices is often critical, because organizations can never be sure which members of the IT staff will be available during a crisis. If the one person who knows how to provision a storage system is unavailable, there should be enough information in an incident management system to enable another member of the IT team to accomplish that task.
As is often the case when it comes to IT, the tools at hand only enables the battle to be joined. It’s the quality of the processes attached to those tools that decides whether the battle will be won or lost.