Atlassian Team Playbooks

Maximize team success with Atlassian Team Playbooks

Fostering collaboration, continuous improvement and operational excellence is critical for organizations that want to remain competitive. Atlassian Team Playbooks are a valuable tool that provides resources to address common team challenges and improve project execution. They provide clear guidance on roles and responsibilities, improve communication and promote a proactive learning culture. Discover the benefits of Atlassian Team Playbooks.

Most popular playbooks from Atlassian Team Playbooks

There are more than 50 Atlassian Team Playbooks that organizations can use to increase productivity and communication, accelerate digital transformation and much more. Listing them all here would be a bit much. Therefore, we have decided to provide you with a selection of the nine most popular playbooks.

Retrospective Play - Atlassian Team Playbook

Retrospective Play

Retrospective Play is a gateway to fostering a culture of continuous improvement. By reflecting on past actions and results, teams can gain invaluable insights that lead to better decision-making. Companies that use this method not only strengthen their problem-solving skills, but also create a culture of transparency and accountability. This game is a catalyst for fostering a proactive mindset that thrives on feedback and iterative learning, which is critical for navigating complex and dynamic business landscapes.

Roles & Responsibilities - Atlassian Team Playbook

Roles & Responsibilities Play

The essence of the roles and responsibilities game lies in its ability to bring clarity to team dynamics. It defines exactly who is responsible for what, preventing overlaps and gaps that can negatively impact the project timeline. Companies that use this method benefit from improved team synergy, streamlined workflows and significantly improved project execution. It is a cornerstone for building a well-coordinated team where everyone is focused on the common goals.

Health Monitor Play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

Health Monitor Play

The Health Monitor Play acts as a mirror that reflects the true state of a team's operational health. It enables self-assessment against the attributes of high-performing teams and helps to identify strengths and areas for improvement. For organizations, this game is essential to take the pulse of team performance and ensure that the team is continuously improving. It is a blueprint for driving excellence and achieving operational efficiency.

DACI Play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

DACI Play (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed)

The DACI framework is critical for clarifying decision-making roles and responsibilities within a team or project. It identifies individuals as Drivers (D), who drive the decision-making process; Approvers (A), who make the decision; Contributors (C), who provide input; and those who are Informed (I) about the decision. This structured approach ensures that decisions are made efficiently, with clear communication and accountability, allowing the project to run more smoothly.

Icebreaker Activities play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

Icebreaker Activities Play

Icebreaker activities serve to warm up the group, create a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere and encourage interaction, especially at the beginning of meetings or workshops. These activities can range from simple introductions to engaging games or discussions that help to break down barriers, encourage open communication and set a positive tone for the collaboration to come.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) Play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) Play

The OKRs framework is a goal-setting tool that helps teams define, communicate and track goals and their outcomes. By setting objectives (ambitious and inspiring goals) and key results (specific, measurable actions to achieve the goals), teams can align their efforts, fully commit to the shared goals and transparently monitor progress. This game is fundamental to maintaining focus, alignment and momentum in achieving key results.

Project Kickoff Play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

Project Kickoff Play

The project kickoff is a structured approach to starting a project on the right foot. It aligns the team on the goals, scope, roles and responsibilities of the project and establishes a clear plan of action. By setting expectations, defining success criteria and ensuring everyone is on the same page, this game creates a solid foundation for successful project execution and helps mitigate risks associated with misalignment or misunderstandings.

Sparring Play - Atlassian Team Playbooks

Sparring Play

Sparring sessions provide a platform for teams to present their work, gather constructive feedback and refine ideas in a structured, supportive environment. This practice encourages diverse perspectives, constructive criticism and iterative refinement, helping to improve the quality of work and ensure that the best ideas are put forward and refined together.

Standups Play

Standups Play

Standups are short, regular meetings where team members update each other on their progress, discuss the day's work and identify any obstacles or challenges. This approach promotes transparency, timely problem solving and ensures that the team stays aligned on priorities. It is an important practice to maintain a steady flow of communication and address issues in a timely manner, which contributes to the overall agility and effectiveness of the team.

You can find more Atlassian Team Playbooks on the Atlassian website.

Why should I implement the Atlassian Team Playbooks in my company?

Implementing the Atlassian Team Playbooks can significantly improve your teams' collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills. These playbooks address key issues in team dynamics that can hinder project success if ignored. They promote a culture of openness, continuous improvement and clear communication that is essential for successful project delivery. The structured framework of these playbooks provides actionable insights and plans that clarify the path to resolution and improvement.

These versatile playbooks can be tailored to your organization's individual needs and challenges, making them a valuable business asset. Not only do they improve operational efficiency, but they also create a resilient and adaptable organization. With the support of XALT, these playbooks can be seamlessly integrated into your existing processes and offer significant benefits in achieving your business goals.

How to get started with Atlassian Team Playbooks

Getting started with Atlassian Playbooks can be a smooth process with the right approach and guidance. Below is a suggested strategy broken down into manageable steps to ensure a successful implementation in your organization:

1. sensitization and training:

Understanding the playbooks: Learn about Atlassian Playbooks and their benefits. Use resources, attend workshops or consult experts like those at XALT for deeper insights.

2nd evaluation:

Identify the needs: Evaluate the team's current challenges to determine which Atlassian Team Playbooks would be most beneficial.

Customization: Customize the selected games to the individual needs of your company based on the evaluation.

3. planning:

Implementation plan: Create a plan for the implementation of the selected measures, listing timelines, required resources and teams involved.

Training: Provide training to ensure all stakeholders understand the process and objectives of the playbooks.

4th version:

Executing the moves: Execute the moves according to the plan and encourage open communication and active participation.

Documentation: Document the findings, measures and feedback for later use and analysis.

5. check and improve:

ReviewEvaluate the effectiveness of the actions after implementation in terms of overcoming the challenges and achieving the objectives.

Continuous improvement: Based on the review, make adjustments for future iterations to ensure continuous improvement.

6. support and guidance:

Expert advice: Let Atlassian experts or companies like XALT advise you on successful implementation and overcoming challenges.

7. scaling:

Expand: Expand the implementation to other departments or teams once you have familiarized yourself with the playbooks to achieve a company-wide improvement.

8. measure success:

Metrics: Establish metrics to measure the success and impact of implementing Atlassian Team Playbooks, such as improved communication, shorter project timelines, and improved collaboration.

Necessary vs. unnecessary meetings

Necessary and unnecessary meetings

Have you ever been caught in a meeting that seems to drag on forever, with no clear goal or end? It's probably happened to all of us, right? It's a common situation in the business world. But what if I could tell you that not all meetings are the same? Certain ones can boost your team's productivity, while others are just time-wasters.

In this article, we'll get to the bottom of effective team collaboration by finding out which types of meetings are important to the success of your business and which ones you can safely do without.

Necessary meetings: the cornerstones of productivity

1. onboarding meetings: the starting signal for success

Imagine starting a new job and being thrown in at the deep end with no guidance. Discouraging, right? This is where onboarding meetings come in. These are the foundation for helping new employees find their way around the company. They provide a comprehensive understanding of the company structure, upcoming projects and the new employee's role in the big picture.

Erin Baker, an experienced leadership coach, stresses the importance of onboarding meetings: "They help new team members learn how they fit into the big picture." They also set expectations and lay the groundwork for successful tenure.

2. brainstorming meetings: the think tanks

Companies thrive on fresh ideas. But where should these ideas come from? This is where brainstorming sessions come into play. These are the real think tanks of your team and serve to collect a large number of ideas in a short time.

David Chaudron, an organizational psychologist, emphasizes the importance of brainstorming sessions, especially when it comes to solving a problem or achieving a goal. He recommends that brainstorming sessions focus on the ideas rather than the outcome.

3. kickoff meetings: the blueprint for alignment

Have you ever started a project without knowing the final destination? It's like you're embarking on a journey without a map. Kickoffs serve to align team members with the long-term goals of the project.

Chaudron highlights the effectiveness of kickoff meetings, explaining that they are critical to building team buy-in and enthusiasm for the project.

4. feedback and retrospective meetings: the learning curve

There are always lessons to be learned and improved. This is where meetings for feedback and retrospective come into play.

Baker points out that these give the team an opportunity to discuss what went well and what didn't go so well. They serve as a platform for continuous learning and improvement.

5. budget and finance meetings: the financial compass

Misunderstandings about finances can lead to tension and conflict. That's why budget and finance meetings are so important.

The importance of these stems from the fact that they help determine who pays for what and when. They ensure that everyone is on the same financial page to avoid future conflicts and control spending.

Unnecessary meetings: Time wasters to avoid

Necessary vs. unnecessary meetings

1. status update meetings: the time-eater trap

Do you need to gather all your employees in one room to let them know what they're working on? In the age of digital communication, meetings for status updates often seem like a relic of the past.

Erin Baker argues that these are ineffective and easily replaced by email or a collaboration tool like Confluence can be replaced. Why spend an hour in a meeting when a quick email will do?

2. meetings without agenda: the aimless journey

Have you ever attended a meeting that seemed to go by without a clear goal or direction? Meetings without a clear agenda are like setting sail without a compass - you're unlikely to reach your destination.

We have learned how important it is to have a clear agenda for each. Without it, you're just wasting your time and everyone else's.

3. standard face-to-face meetings: the old-school approach

When you think of a meeting, you automatically picture a group of people sitting around a conference table. While there's still a place for that, many of them don't necessarily have to be in person.

It may seem obvious in today's world, but virtual meetings are often more efficient and comprehensive than face-to-face ones. They save time, make meetings more accessible for home offices and hybrid approaches, and can even be recorded for later use. Zoom, MS Team and Slack are your best friends here. And when you connect your virtual sessions with collaboration tools like Confluence, you'll be up and running in no time.

Maximize meeting productivity with Confluence

In business, effective meetings are the be-all and end-all for successful teamwork. But how can we ensure that they are as productive as possible? The answer lies in using the right tools.
One such tool is Confluence, a powerful platform that lets you easily organize and summarize your meetings. Let's take a look at how Confluence can improve any type of important meeting and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

  • Planning with Confluence: During onboarding or brainstorming sessions, Confluence can outline the agenda, goals, and expected outcomes and ensure everyone is prepared.
  • Take notes in real time: During the meeting, Confluence can capture key points, ideas, and actions in real time so everyone is on the same page.
  • Learning from the past: During meetings for feedback and retrospectives, Confluence serves as a repository for past project experiences, enabling continuous improvement.
  • Financial transparency: Confluence helps track financial data and decisions in budget and finance meetings, ensuring transparency and minimizing conflicts.
  • Replace unnecessary meetings: By replacing status update meetings with Confluence updates, you can keep everyone in the loop without wasting valuable time.

Increase the productivity of your teams with Confluence

Make your team collaboration more efficient and productive with Confluence! Whether you're managing projects, sharing ideas, recording meetings, or planning the next big thing, Confluence is the platform for optimal collaboration.

Meetical: A Confluence app that helps you organize your meetings and increase productivity

Another way to take meetings to a new level is Meetical. It helps you increase productivity in your teams.

Meetical lets you automatically create Confluence pages for one-time or recurring calendar events.

These can serve as a central location for notes and are accessible to all participants via the Meetical browser extension or the event description in the calendar.

Meetical integration for confluence

Confluence pages as browser popup

The extension can also be used to display and edit Confluence pages as a browser popup without leaving the current page. In addition, the extension also displays action items and recently viewed pages.

Templates for meeting notes

Meetical also scores with many templates for your meeting notes. These can be customized in advance and selected for newly created meetings. There are templates for many use cases like brainstorming or kickoff meetings.

Automatically add participants

In addition, the app offers several macros that automatically add all participants to the page, customize the page title and capture the necessary information about time and place.

Meetical can be added to the respective Confluence instance via the Atlassian Marketplace.

Integrations for Google and Microsoft

Fellow.app for Google Meet: Streamline meeting agendas and notes

Fellow.app for Google Meet is a powerful integration that enhances your meeting experience and productivity. With Fellow.app, you can seamlessly create agendas, capture notes, and collaborate with your team during Google Meet sessions. With this integration, you'll have all your meeting information in one place so you can easily organize and reference it later.

Fellow.app to support and record meetings

Create structured agendas

With Fellow.app, you can create structured agendas to ensure everyone is on the same page and focused on the issues. You can take notes during the real-time meeting and mark action items for follow-up. Fellow.app also offers collaborative note-taking features, so multiple participants can contribute to notes at the same time.

Integration with Google Calendar

One of the outstanding features of Fellow.app is its integration with Google Calendar. The details and attendees are automatically applied, making it effortless to create agendas and notes. After the meeting, you can easily share meeting minutes and action items with all participants. The integration also provides analytics and insights to help you track productivity and identify areas for improvement.

Tactiq for Microsoft Teams: Effortless meeting protocols and collaboration

Tactiq for Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, is a game changer for note-taking in Teams meetings. This integration seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams and allows you to effortlessly capture and store transcripts and notes. Tactiq provides a centralized platform where participants can access and collaborate on their notes, ensuring that no important information is lost.

Tactiq for Google Teams to record meetings live

Record meetings automatically

With Tactiq, you can automatically record and transcribe your meetings so you don't have to take notes anymore. The transcripts are time-stamped so you can easily navigate to specific sections of the meeting. You can also highlight important moments, add notes, and mark action items directly in the transcripts.

Collaboration in real time

Tactiq's intuitive user interface enables real-time collaboration, allowing multiple team members to contribute to notes simultaneously. This fosters a collaborative environment where everyone can contribute their insights and ideas. The integration also provides note exporting and sharing capabilities to keep everyone in the loop.

Integration with Microsoft Tools

Tactiq also integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications such as OneNote and SharePoint, making it easy to store and access notes across different platforms. Powerful search capabilities make it easy to find specific information in notes.

Increase your meeting productivity with integrations

In summary, Meetical, Fellow.app for Google Meet, and Tactiq for Microsoft Teams offer valuable features that enhance your experience. They simplify note-taking, provide collaboration opportunities, and ensure that meeting information is organized and accessible. Whether you use Confluence, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, these integrations can significantly increase your productivity and help you get the most out of your meetings.

Conclusion: Revolutionizing your meeting culture

The secret to effective team collaboration is not in the number of meetings, but in their quality and relevance. The ability to recognize and leverage the value of different types of meetings, such as onboarding, brainstorming, kickoff, feedback and finance meetings, can significantly increase a team's productivity. It is equally important to avoid unnecessary meetings such as aimless meetings with no agenda and those that could be more efficiently conducted virtually.

However, awareness of which meetings to hold and which to avoid is only the first step. The real art is putting that knowledge into practice to best manage the team. From improving the onboarding process to fostering creativity in brainstorming sessions and ensuring clear agendas and goals, it's up to you to establish an effective meeting culture. After all, at their core, meetings are meant to bring the team together, generate innovative ideas, align efforts toward common goals, and ultimately drive business success.

Monitoring and Observability for DevOps Teams

Deep Dive: Monitoring and Observability for DevOps Teams

Concepts, Best Practices and Tools

DevOps teams are under constant pressure to deliver high-quality software quickly. However, as systems become more complex and decentralized, it becomes increasingly difficult for teams to understand the behavior of their systems and to detect and diagnose problems. This is where monitoring and observability come into play. But what exactly are monitoring and observability, and why are they so important for DevOps teams?

Monitoring is the process of collecting and analyzing data about a system's performance and behavior. This allows teams to understand how their systems are performing in real time and quickly identify and diagnose problems.

Observability, on the other hand, is the ability to infer the internal state of a system from its external outputs. It provides deeper insights into the behavior of systems and helps teams understand how their systems behave under different conditions.

But why are monitoring and observability so important for DevOps teams?

The short answer is that they help teams release software faster and with fewer bugs. By providing real-time insight into the performance and behavior of systems, monitoring and observability help teams identify and diagnose problems early, before they become critical. Essentially, Monitoring and Observability provide rapid feedback on the state of the system at a given point in time. This allows teams to roll out new features with high confidence, resolve issues quickly, and avoid downtime, resulting in faster software delivery and higher customer satisfaction overall.

But how can DevOps teams effectively implement monitoring and observability? And what are the best tools for the job? Let's find out.

What is monitoring?

Monitoring is the foundation of Observability and the process of collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data about a system's performance and behavior. It enables teams to understand how their systems are performing in real time and to quickly identify and diagnose problems. There are different types of monitoring, each with its own tools and best practices.

What you can monitor

Application performance monitoring (APM)

APM is the monitoring of software application performance and availability. It is important for identifying bottlenecks and ensuring an optimal user experience. Teams use APM to get real-time visibility into the health of their applications, identify problems in specific application components, and optimize the user experience. Tools such as New Relic, AppDynamics, and Splunk are commonly used for APM.

Monitoring of system availability (uptime)

Monitoring system availability is important to ensure that IT services are available and performing around the clock. In today's digital world, downtime can result in significant financial loss and reputational damage. With system availability monitoring, teams can track the availability of servers, networks, and storage devices, detect outages or performance degradation, and quickly take countermeasures. Infrastructure monitoring tools such as Nagios, Zabbix and Datadog are widely used for this purpose.

Monitoring of complex system logs and metrics

With the advent of decentralized systems and containerization, such as Kubernetes, monitoring system logs and metrics has become even more important. It helps teams understand system behavior over time, identify patterns, and detect potential problems before they escalate. By monitoring logs and metrics, teams can ensure the health and stability of their Kubernetes clusters, diagnose problems immediately and improve resource allocation decisions. Tools such as Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana, and New Relic are commonly used to monitor complex logs and metrics.

How does monitoring help teams identify and diagnose problems?

How do I find the most interesting use case in my company to start implementing a monitoring solution? The answer is: it depends on the needs of your team and your specific use case. It's a good idea to first identify the most critical areas of your systems and then choose a monitoring strategy that best fits your needs.

With a good monitoring strategy, you can quickly detect and diagnose problems to avoid downtime and keep your customers happy. But monitoring is not the only solution. You also need to have visibility into the internal health of your systems; that's where observability comes in. The next section is about observability and how it complements monitoring.

What is Observability?

While monitoring provides real-time insight into the performance and behavior of systems, it does not give teams a complete view of how their systems behave under different conditions. This is where observability comes in.

Observability is the ability to infer the internal state of a system from its external outputs. It provides deeper insights into the behavior of systems and helps teams understand how their systems behave under different conditions.

The key to observability is understanding the three pillars of observability: metrics, traces, and logs.

The three pillars of observability: metrics, traces and logs

Metrics are quantitative measurements of the performance and behavior of a system. These include things like CPU utilization, memory usage, and request latency.

Traces are a set of events that describe a request as it flows through the system. They contain information about the path a request takes, the services it interacts with, and the time it spends at each service.

Logs are records of events that have occurred in a system. They contain information about errors, warnings and other types of events.

How Observability helps teams understand the behavior of their systems

By collecting and analyzing data from all three pillars of Observability, teams can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the behavior of their systems.

For example, if an application is running slowly, metrics can provide insight into how much CPU and memory is being consumed, traces can provide insight into which requests are taking the longest, and logs can reveal why requests are taking so long.

By combining data from all three pillars, teams can quickly identify the root cause of the problem and take action to fix it.

However, collecting and analyzing data from all three pillars of observability can be challenging.

How can DevOps teams effectively implement observability?

The answer is to use observability tools to take a comprehensive look at your systems. Tools like Grafana can collect and visualize data from all three pillars of observability, allowing teams to understand the behavior of their systems at a glance.

When you implement observability, you can understand the internal health of your systems. This allows you to fix problems before they become critical and identify patterns and trends that can lead to better performance, reliability and customer satisfaction.

The next section shows you how to implement monitoring and observability in your DevOps team.

How to implement monitoring and observability in DevOps?

  1. Discuss best practices for implementing monitoring and observability in a DevOps context.
  2. Explain how you use monitoring and observability tools effectively
  3. Describe how you can integrate monitoring and observability into the development process.

Now that we understand the importance of monitoring and observability and what they mean, let's discuss how to implement them in a DevOps context. Effective implementation of monitoring and observability requires a combination of the right tools, best practices, and a clear understanding of your team's needs and use cases.

Best practices for implementing monitoring and observability in a DevOps context.

In the DevOps context, monitoring and observability should be implemented strategically, focusing on customer impact and alignment with business goals. Monitoring systems should adhere to Service Level Agreements (SLAs), formal documents that guarantee a certain level of service, e.g. 99.5% uptime, and promise the customer compensation if these standards are not met.

Effective monitoring not only ensures that SLAs are met, but also protects the company's reputation and customer relationships. Poor reliability can damage trust and reputation. That's why proactive monitoring that includes continuous data collection, real-time analytics and rapid problem resolution is critical. Improved monitoring capabilities can be achieved with automated alerts, comprehensive logging, and end-to-end visibility tools.

As one of our experts at XALT says, "The best way to implement monitoring/observability is to support the business needs of the organization: achieving service level agreements (SLAs) for customers."

Another best practice for implementing monitoring and observability is to use monitoring and observability tools that provide a comprehensive view of your systems. As mentioned earlier, tools like Prometheus, Zipkin, Grafana, New Relic, and Coralgix can collect and visualize data from all three pillars of observability so teams can understand the behavior of their systems at a glance.

How to improve your implementation of monitoring and observability

An important aspect of monitoring and observability is its integration into the development process. As part of your build and deployment process, you can, for example, monitor your Continuous Integration and Delivery Pipeline to automatically collect and send data to your monitoring and observability tools. This way, monitoring and observability data is automatically collected and analyzed in real time, allowing teams to quickly identify and diagnose problems.

Establishing a clear process for incident management is another way to improve monitoring and observability implementation. When a problem occurs, your team will know exactly who is responsible and what actions need to be taken to resolve the issue. This is important because it ensures that the incident is resolved quickly and effectively, helping to minimize downtime and increase customer satisfaction.

You may be wondering, what's the best way to introduce Monitoring and Observability to my team?

The answer is that it depends on the needs of your team and your specific use case. The most important thing is to first identify the critical areas of your systems and then decide on a monitoring and observability strategy that best fits your needs.

By introducing monitoring and observability to your DevOps team, you can deliver software faster and with fewer bugs, improve the performance and reliability of your systems, and increase customer satisfaction.

Let's take a look at the best tools for monitoring and observability in the next section.

The Best Monitoring and Observability Tools for DevOps Teams

In the previous sections, we discussed the importance of monitoring and observability and how they can be implemented in the DevOps context.

But what are the best tools for the job?

In this section, we'll introduce some popular tools for monitoring and observability and explain how to choose the right tool for your team and use case.

There are a variety of tools for monitoring and observability. The most popular tools include Prometheus, Grafana, Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana (ELK).

  • Prometheus is an open source monitoring and observability tool widely used in the Kubernetes ecosystem. It provides a powerful query language and a variety of visualization options. It also integrates easily with other tools and services.
  • Grafana is an open source monitoring and observability tool that allows you to query and visualize data from various sources, including Prometheus. It offers a wide range of visualization options and is widely used in the Kubernetes ecosystem.
  • Kibana (ELK) is a set of open source tools for log management. Kibana is also a visualization tool that lets you create and share interactive dashboards based on data stored in Elasticsearch.
  • Elasticsearch is a powerful search engine used to index, search, and analyze logs. Logstash is a log collection and processing tool that can be used to collect, parse, and send logs to Elasticsearch.
  • OpenTelemetry is an open source project that provides a common set of APIs and libraries for telemetry. It is a common set of APIs for metrics and tracing. You can use it to instrument your applications and choose between different backends, including Prometheus, Jaeger, and Zipkin.
  • New Relic is a software analytics company that provides tools for real-time monitoring and performance analysis of software, infrastructure and customer experience.

How to choose the right tools for monitoring and observability

When choosing a monitoring and observability tool, it's important to consider the needs of your team and the use case. For example, if you are running a Kubernetes cluster, Prometheus and Grafana are good choices. If you need to manage a large number of logs, ELK might be a better choice. And if you're looking for a set of standard APIs for metrics and tracing, OpenTelemetry is a good choice.

It is not always necessary to choose just one tool. You can always use multiple monitoring and observability tools to cover different use cases. For example, you can use Prometheus for metrics, Zipkin for tracing, and ELK for log management.

By choosing the right tool for your team and use case, you can effectively leverage monitoring and observability to gain deeper insights into the behavior of your systems.

Conclusion

In this article we have taken a deep dive into the world of monitoring and observability for As a DevOps-teams. We discussed the importance of monitoring and observability, explained the concepts and practices in detail, and showed you how to implement monitoring and observability in your team. We also introduced some popular tools for monitoring and observability and explained how to choose the right tool for your team and use case.

In summary, monitoring is the collection and analysis of data about the performance and behavior of a system. Observability is the ability to infer the internal state of a system from its external outputs. Monitoring and observability are essential for DevOps teams to deliver software faster and with fewer bugs, improve system performance and reliability, and increase customer satisfaction. By using the right tools and best practices and integrating monitoring and observability into the development process, DevOps teams can gain real-time insights into the performance and behavior of their systems and quickly identify and diagnose problems.

Atlassian product news Team23

Atlassian product news Team23

Atlassians' recent Team23 event in Las Vegas was an impressive showcase of innovative products, integrations and powerful updates aimed at redefining the future of the workplace. In this article, you'll learn which Atlassian product innovations were unveiled at Team23. Among them Atlassian Intelligence, Confluence Whiteboards, Databases, Atlassian Together, Atlassian Analytics, Beacon, BYOK, Jira Product Discovery, OpenDevOps and Compass. 

From revolutionizing data management to improving team collaboration with artificial intelligence. Read on to learn more about the potential of these new solutions and how they can benefit your teams.

Atlassian product news

Atlassian Intelligence - AI in Confluence and Jira

AI is on the rise and is already being used in numerous products. It was only a matter of time before Atlassian introduced it into Jira and Confluence.

What is Atlassian Intelligence?

No matter whether you work with ConfluenceJira Software or Jira Service Management, Atlassian Intelligence helps you with your daily tasks: Meeting summaries, defining new tasks, and even writing responses.

Source: Atlassian

One of the main benefits of Atlassian Intelligence is that it provides institutional knowledge for Atlassian Cloud products, so users don't have to wonder what certain terms or concepts mean. Atlassian AI finds them if someone has already explained them in your Confluence knowledge base.

Another interesting feature of Atlassian Intelligence is that it understands natural language queries and provides instant answers. As a user, you can ask questions just like you would ask a teammate, and the AI will respond with helpful information. Basically, ChatGPT for your Confluence.

Atlassian Intelligence also lets you perform queries, or searches, like a human. It converts queries from natural language to JQL or SQL, which makes it easier to work with Jira Cloud products.

Atlassian Intelligence also provides virtual agents for Jira Service Management that are available 24/7 on Slack and Microsoft Teams to help employees immediately, at any time. This means less waiting and less work for users who need help quickly.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/software/artificial-intelligence

Confluence whiteboards

Everyone loves whiteboarding to gather ideas and collaborate with colleagues on new ideas or pressing issues. Until now, we had to resort to a physical whiteboard or digital solutions like Miro use

Atlassian product news: Confluence Whiteboards
Source: Atlassian

But now this (and more) is possible with Confluence.

Just like Miro, you can collaborate in real time, illustrate your ideas with stickies, lines, sections, and more, and share stamps, polls, and timers with your teammates.

With Whiteboard in Confluence, you can now turn your ideas into actions. This is done through the deep integration of Whiteboard functionality in Jira and Confluence.

Let's say you found a new set of tasks in your brainstorming session that you want to work on and track. With Confluence Whiteboards, you can now turn your stickies into Jira essues and/or Confluence pages, link Jira essues together to schedule tasks, and edit Jira essues and Confluence pages without leaving your whiteboard.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/whiteboards

Confluence databases

Who doesn't love to manage all their work in one place? With Confluence Databases, it's not just a dream, it's a reality.

Work aspects like Jira tasks, Confluence pages, due dates, statuses and much more are under your control in one place. It's the perfect solution to stay on top of all your work and make sure it's organized and under control.

What makes Confluence databases special is the live synchronization feature between databases and pages. Imagine always having the most up-to-date information at your fingertips, without tedious manual updates. A time-saver that guarantees you're always up to date.

Confluence Databases gives you the possibility to display your databases as tables, maps or boards. In addition, you can create a personalized view. Simply filter and sort the entries as you like. This makes your data easier to interpret and keeps you informed and up to date.

If efficiency and practicality are your top priorities, Confluence Databases is the right solution for you. User-friendly, powerful, and packed with features that help you get more done in less time, it's time to try Confluence Databases.

Sign up for a trial subscription: https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/databases

Atlassian Together

If you're looking for a tool that improves team collaboration and workflows across your organization, Atlassian Together could be just what you need. This powerful platform is designed to increase productivity by supporting team-oriented workflows and enabling seamless collaboration between decentralized teams, business and software units. Atlassian Together supports a flexible and efficient work environment that ensures remote working is as effective as on-site working.

Atlassian product news: Atlassian Together
Source Atlassian

One of the coolest features of Atlassian Together is its support for flexible task management and cross-team collaboration at scale.

This means you can combine structured and flexible working methods to create the best system for your team. What's more, Atlassian tools connect business and software teams to support alignment from development to launch.

Another benefit of Atlassian Together is corporate-grade security. The platform continuously tracks high-risk activities to monitor potential threats to the organization and ensure your team's data is always protected.

Atlassian Together includes a number of useful tools, such as Confluence, Jira Work Management, and Atlas. These tools help with task management, project management, and clear communication, making it easier for your team to collaborate effectively so they can get more done.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/solutions/work-management/together

Atlassian Analytics

Are you looking for a tool to visualize data from multiple sources and gain insights into your team's performance? Then Atlassian Analytics might be just what you need. With this powerful tool, you can create comprehensive visualizations of data from various sources (e.g. Excel, Google Sheets), including Atlassian products.

Atlassian product news: Atlassian Analytics
Source Atlassian

Atlassian Analytics includes preset templates for service management, asset management, content management, and DevOps use cases, making it easy for users to get started. It also provides a powerful SQL visual interface for custom data analytics and multiple data visualization options so you can create the perfect visualization for your needs.

Atlassian Analytics supports database links to query non-Atlassian data sources such as Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and others. This means you can use data from a wide range of sources to create comprehensive visualizations.

Atlassian Analytics also provides collaboration features that allow users to embed and comment on diagrams and manage permissions at the diagram level. This ensures that your team can collaborate effectively and make data-driven decisions.

Atlassian Analytics leverages data from multiple Atlassian products to accelerate decision making across DevOps, IT service management and business teams. The service connects seamlessly with the Atlassian Data Lake for data sources, allowing users to configure which products and instances to pull data from.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/platform/analytics/what-is-atlassian-analytics

Beacon

Atlassian has unveiled Beacon, a software solution to detect, investigate and respond to risky activity in its cloud products. Beacon uses automated alerts, comprehensive investigation tools and response mechanisms to protect organizations from threats such as unauthorized data leakage, unauthorized access and insecure configurations.

Atlassian product news: Atlassian Beacon
Source: Atlassian

Key features:

  • Automatic alerts for unusual activity in Jira, Confluence and the Atlassian Admin Hub.
  • Detailed risk assessment capabilities, including user location, past alerts, and recent activity.
  • Optimized threat management through alert detail information, status tracking and SIEM forwarding.
  • Integration with Teams, Slack and SIEM to route alerts directly to the appropriate teams.
  • Protect against unauthorized information leakage with alerts on bulk exports, audit log exports, and external synchronization risks.
  • Identify high-risk user behavior at scale, with alerts for suspicious searches, unusual logins, policy changes and more.
  • App access monitoring with alerts for app installations and unsafe configurations.

Beacon by Atlassian provides a comprehensive enterprise security solution that enables instant detection, investigation and response to potential threats across Atlassian cloud products.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/software/beacon

BYOK - Bring-your-own-key encryption

Atlassian's cloud products already have world-class security measures in place, and customer data is protected at all times by Atlassian-managed keys in the WS Key Management Service (KMS).

As part of Team23, Bring your own key (BYOK) encryption was announced. An upgrade that gives you the ability to encode your Atlassian Cloud product data with keys that are securely stored in your own AWS account. This means you can manage your keys and revoke access whenever you see fit, whether for your end users or for Atlassian systems.

The advantages of BYOK:

  • Less risk: BYOK is like an additional security lock for your sensitive data, giving you an extra layer of protection.
  • Improved data management: Because your encoding keys are hosted in your AWS account, you can log and monitor access through AWS CloudTrail.
  • Increased control: Say goodbye to vendor dependency when it comes to blocking access. With BYOK, you're in charge.

Learn more about the release date and pricing here: https://www.atlassian.com/trust/privacy/byok

Jira Product Discovery

As a product manager, Jira Product Discovery is an invaluable tool that helps you organize, prioritize, and communicate your product ideas and insights.

Atlassian product news: Jira Product Discovery
Source: Atlassian

Imagine having all your ideas, user feedback, and product opportunities from different sources collected in one place and being able to evaluate them effectively.

With this tool, you can say goodbye to shared spreadsheets and presentations. Instead, enjoy the simplicity of custom lists and views to prioritize ideas based on impact, effort, and targeting.

Another outstanding feature of Jira Product Discovery is that it promotes seamless team collaboration. You'll appreciate the clear communication facilitated by custom roadmaps and views that change the way you think about product roadmaps.

And thanks to seamless integration with Jira software, you'll be well-informed from development to delivery and can link your product roadmaps and ideas to Epics for a holistic view.

Essentially, Jira Product Discovery combines the features of spreadsheets and PowerPoint into one easy-to-use tool that saves you from using third-party integration tools. It's your all-in-one solution for efficient product management.

Learn more here and get in for free: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/product-discovery

Compass

Compass provides a unified platform for developers to simplify and optimize their work on distributed software architectures. Imagine having a single platform where you can monitor your technical architecture through the catalog feature and apply technical best practices at scale using DevOps Health. This supports your team's autonomy and ensures that the components you work on are secure and reliable.

Atlassian product news: DevOps Compass
Source: Atlassian

Compass improves the user experience for development teams through its extensibility engine that connects information across your entire development toolchain. With real-time updates on component activity and dependencies, you get a consolidated view across development tools. Compass also provides an overarching view of all the components your team is working on, showing their dependencies and responsibilities.

The platform's extensive integration capabilities give you options for customizing components, teams, or global systems. Compass is more than just a tool; it is your partner in creating secure, compliant and efficient software architectures.

Learn more here: https://www.atlassian.com/software/compass

Build-Test-Deploy (CI/CD) pipeline

Advanced techniques for optimizing the CI/CD pipeline

Are you ready to revolutionize the way you build and deploy software? Welcome to the world of DevOps, where development and operations teams work seamlessly together to accelerate software delivery, increase reliability, and minimize risk. By adopting DevOps, you'll join a growing number of organizations that have already reaped the benefits of faster time to market, higher customer satisfaction, and increased overall efficiency. Learn advanced techniques to optimize your build-test-deploy (CI/CD) pipeline now.

I. Introduction: Unleash the Full Potential of Your Build-Test-Deploy (CI/CD) Pipeline

Unleashing the Power of DevOps

But what is the secret of a successful DevOps Transformation? It lies in optimizing your build-test-deploy pipeline. When your pipeline runs like a well-oiled machine, you have a smoother, more efficient process from code change to production deployment. So how can you optimize your pipeline to achieve unparalleled performance? It's time to learn the advanced techniques you can use to take your pipeline to the next level.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the advanced techniques you can use to optimize your build-test-deploy pipeline. We'll look at optimizing builds, tests, and deployments, as well as the critical importance of monitoring and feedback. By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to maximize the efficiency of your pipeline, stay ahead of the competition, and delight your customers with every release.

Are you ready to optimize your build-test-deploy (CI/CD) pipeline? Then let's get started.

II. build optimization techniques: Turbocharging your build process

A. Incremental Builds: Accelerate Development Without Compromise

Are you waiting for builds to complete and wasting valuable time that could be better spent developing features or fixing bugs? Incremental builds are the answer to speeding up your build process. By rebuilding only the parts of your code that have changed, you save valuable time and resources without compromising quality.

Benefit from the advantages of incremental builds

  • Faster build times
  • Reduced resource consumption
  • Improved developer productivity

Implementing Incremental Builds: A Strategic Approach

  • Choose a build system that supports incremental builds (e.g. Gradle, Bazel)
  • Organize your codebase into smaller, modular components
  • Use caching mechanisms to cache build artifacts

B. Dependency management: keep your codebase lean and secure

Have you ever struggled with a dependency conflict or vulnerability in your codebase? Proper dependency management is critical to avoiding such pitfalls and ensuring a healthy, efficient build process.

Popular dependency management tools: your trusted sidekicks

  • Maven for Java
  • Gradle for multilingual projects
  • npm for JavaScript

Strategies for maintaining healthy dependencies

  • Review and update dependencies regularly to minimize security risks
  • Use semantic versioning to ensure compatibility
  • Use of tools such as Dependabot to automate updates and vulnerability scans

C. Automating and parallelizing development: Unleashing unmatched efficiency

Are you still triggering builds manually and struggling with long build times? Build automation and parallelization will revolutionize your pipeline, streamline processes and shorten build times.

Continuous Integration (CI) tools: The backbone of build automation

  • Github with Github Actions: The most popular source code management and CI/CD tool on the market
  • Jenkins: The open source veteran
  • GitLab CI: Integrated CI/CD for GitLab users
  • CircleCI: A cloud-based powerhouse

Parallelize builds: Divide and conquer

  • Use the built-in parallelization features of your CI tool
  • Distribute tasks among multiple build agents
  • Use build tools that support parallel execution, like Gradle or Bazel

With these advanced build optimization techniques in your arsenal, you're ready to take your build process to the next level. But what about testing? Let's find out how you can make your testing process as efficient as possible.

In this article, you'll learn more about automation in DevOps and how to get started: How to get started with DevOps automation.

III. test optimization techniques: streamline your tests for a bulletproof pipeline

A. Test prioritization: every test run counts

Do you run your entire test suite every time, even if only a small part of the code base has changed? It's time to prioritize your tests and focus on what matters most to ensure the highest level of quality without wasting time and resources.

Techniques for intelligent prioritization of tests

  • Risk-based prioritization: Identify critical functionalities and prioritize tests accordingly
  • Time-based prioritization: schedule time for testing and run the most important tests first

Test prioritization tools: your guide to efficient testing

  • TestImpactAnalysis: A powerful tool that analyzes code changes and executes only the affected tests
  • Codecov: A test coverage analysis tool that identifies important tests for changed code

B. Test Automation: Accelerate Your Tests and Increase Confidence

Are you still testing your software manually? Automated testing is the key to faster test execution, fewer human errors, and more confidence in your pipeline.

The advantages of automated tests

  • Faster test execution
  • Consistent and repeatable results
  • Increased test coverage

Test Automation Frameworks: Your Path to Automated Excellence

  • Github Puppeteer: A popular choice for testing web applications
  • JUnit: The standard framework for Java applications
  • Pytest: A versatile and powerful framework for Python applications

C. Shift-Left Testing: Detect Bugs Early, Save Time and Effort

Why wait until the end of your pipeline to discover problems? Shift-Left Testing integrates testing earlier in the development process. So you can catch bugs earlier and save valuable time and resources.

The advantages of shift-left tests

  • Faster feedback loop for developers
  • Less time required for troubleshooting and error correction
  • Improved overall quality of the software

Implementing shift-left testing in your pipeline

  • Close cooperation between development and QA teams
  • Integrate automated testing into your CI process
  • Use static code analysis and linting tools

With these test optimization techniques, you'll ensure the quality of your software while maximizing efficiency. But what about deployment? Let's take a look at the latest strategies that will revolutionize your deployment process.

IV. Deployment Optimization Techniques: Seamless and Reliable Software Deployment

A. Continuous Deployment (CD): From code to production in the blink of an eye

Want to deliver features and bug fixes to your users faster than ever before? Continuous Deployment (CD) is the answer. By automating the deployment process, you can release new versions of your software as soon as they pass all tests, ensuring rapid deployment without sacrificing quality.

The advantages of Continuous Deployment

  • Shorter time to market
  • Faster feedback from users
  • Greater adaptability and responsiveness to market requirements

CD implementation tools: your gateway to fast releases

  • Spinnaker: A powerful multi-cloud CD platform
  • Harness: A modern, intelligent CD solution
  • GitHub Actions: A Versatile, Integrated CI/CD Tool for GitHub Users

B. Canary Releases: Protect your users with incremental rollouts

Worried about the impact of new releases on your users? With Canary Releases, you can deploy new versions of your software to a small percentage of users. This allows you to monitor performance and identify issues before rolling them out to all users.

The advantages of Canary Releases

  • Reduced risk of widespread problems
  • Faster identification and resolution of problems
  • Higher user satisfaction and greater trust

Implementing Canary Releases: The Art of Controlled Deployment

  • Use feature flags to manage incremental rollouts
  • Use of traffic control tools such as Istio or AWS App Mesh.
  • Monitor user feedback and application performance metrics

C. Blue/Green deployments: Minimizing Downtime and Maximizing Trust

Looking for a way to deploy new software releases with minimal impact to your users? At Blue/Green Deployments run two identical production environments that you can easily switch between and that don't cause downtime.

The advantages of Blue/Green Deployments

  • No downtime during releases
  • Simplified rollback in case of problems
  • Increased confidence in your deployment process

Blue/Green Deployment Tools: The key to smooth transitions

  • Kubernetes: Leverage powerful features like rolling updates and deployment strategies
  • AWS: Use services such as Elastic Beanstalk, ECS or EKS for seamless Blue/Green deployments.
  • Azure: Implement Blue/Green deployments with Azure App Service or AKS

When you use these advanced deployment methods, you ensure a smooth, reliable software delivery process that delights your users. But the optimization doesn't stop there. Let's explore the critical role of monitoring and feedback in your pipeline.

V. Monitoring and feedback: keep your finger on the pulse of your pipeline

A. The critical role of monitoring and feedback in optimization

How do you know if your pipeline is operating at maximum efficiency? Monitoring and feedback are key to continuous improvement. They allow you to measure performance, identify bottlenecks, and tune your pipeline for maximum impact.

B. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Key metrics

What should you measure to assess the health of your pipeline? By focusing on the right KPIs, you can gain valuable insights and identify areas for improvement.

Build-related KPIs

  • Build time
  • Build success rate
  • Length of the build queue

Test-related KPIs

  • Test execution time
  • Test coverage
  • Test error rate

Deployment-related KPIs

  • Frequency of use
  • Success rate of the operation
  • Mean time to recovery (MTTR)

C. Monitoring and feedback tools: Optimize with confidence

Now that you know what to measure, what tools can help you monitor your pipeline and gather valuable feedback?

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Tools

  • Datadog: A comprehensive, all-in-one monitoring platform
  • New Relic: A powerful APM tool with a focus on observability and log and metrics management
  • AppDynamics: A business-oriented APM solution

Log and metrics management tools

  • Elastic Stack: A Versatile Suite for Log Analytics and Metrics Management
  • Grafana: A popular open source metrics visualization dashboard
  • Splunk: A robust platform for log analysis and operational intelligence

When you build monitoring and feedback into your pipeline, you gain valuable insights and can continuously optimize it. With these strategies, you're well on your way to building a truly efficient and effective DevOps pipeline.

VI. Conclusion: Embark on the journey to an optimized DevOps pipeline

Congratulations! You've now learned the advanced techniques you can use to optimize your build-test-deploy pipeline and realize the full potential of DevOps. From accelerating your build process to streamlining your testing and deployment, these strategies will pave the way for faster and more reliable software delivery.

Remember that the true spirit of DevOps is continuous improvement. When you apply these advanced techniques, you should constantly monitor, learn, and improve your pipeline. With this commitment, you'll stay ahead of the competition, delight your users, and drive your business to success.

Continuing Education: Your path to DevOps mastery

Want to dive deeper into these techniques and tools? Here are some resources to help you on your way:

Books and guides

  • "The DevOps Handbook" by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois and John Willis.
  • "Continuous Delivery" by Jez Humble and David Farley.
  • "Accelerate" by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim.

Online courses and tutorials

  • Coursera: "DevOps Culture and Mindset" and "Principles of DevOps".
  • Pluralsight: "Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment" and "Mastering Jenkins".
  • Udemy: "Mastering DevOps with Docker, Kubernetes and Azure DevOps".

Get on the path to an optimized DevOps pipeline and remember that the road to mastery is paved with constant learning and improvement.

An image of a cloud with a lock symbol superimposed, representing the concept of secure cloud computing and how cloud-security can drive business success through improved data protection and risk management.

How cloud security can drive business success

Reading time: 12 Minuten

The cloud has become an invaluable resource for businesses of all sizes, offering access to data and applications from anywhere and increasing efficiency. However, it is essential to remember that the cloud is vulnerable to security threats and breaches. Fortunately, you can implement security measures to ensure a secure cloud and protect business data. By implementing these measures, businesses can maximize the benefits of the cloud and enjoy increased security, reliability, and, ultimately, business success. This article will discuss the importance of cloud security and how a secure cloud can lead to business success.

The importance of cloud security

We cannot stress the importance of cloud security enough. Businesses are vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and data breaches without proper security measures. These can cause significant damage, resulting in lost data and compromised systems. Further, your business is liable for data losses or breaches, resulting in fines and penalties.

A study from 2019 by Oracle and KPMG revealed that organizations are losing an average of $5 million per cloud security incident. Additionally, according to Accenture, organizations worldwide will lose an estimated $5 trillion in revenue due to cloud security breaches over the next five years.

A secure cloud is essential for protecting business data, as it can provide an extra layer of security to protect against potential threats. Businesses can protect their data by implementing security measures such as authentication, access control, and encryption. This can reduce the risk of data breaches and mitigate the potential impacts of any attack. Additionally, a secure cloud can provide increased reliability, as data is less likely to be corrupted or lost. This helps maximize ROI, as businesses can access their data quickly and reliably.

Potential risks of an unsecured system

The potential risks of an unsecured system are significant, and businesses must take steps to protect themselves against potential threats. Without proper security measures, companies are vulnerable to various attacks, including malware, ransomware, and data breaches. Malware, such as viruses and worms, can infect systems and cause damage to data. Ransomware is malicious software that can encrypt data and hold it hostage until businesses pay a ransom. Data breaches can result in the unauthorized access and disclosure of sensitive information, such as customer data or trade secrets.

These attacks can cause significant damage, resulting in lost data and compromised systems. As such, businesses must take steps to protect themselves by implementing security measures to ensure a secure cloud.

Common risks at a glance:

  • Data Breaches: Unsecured cloud systems can be vulnerable to malicious actors that could gain access to sensitive data and use it for malicious intent.
  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks: DoS attacks involve flooding a network or service with traffic, resulting in the system being unable to respond to legitimate requests. This can lead to outages and disruption of service for cloud users.
  • Malware Infection: Cloud systems can be vulnerable to malware infections, allowing attackers to access confidential data and disrupt operations.
  • Insufficient Access Controls: If access control measures are not implemented correctly, unauthorized individuals may gain access to sensitive data or resources stored in the cloud system without permission.
  • Poor Configuration Management: Inadequate configuration management practices, such as a lack of patching or outdated software versions, can make a cloud system vulnerable to attack from malicious actors, resulting in data breaches or unauthorized access to resources by attackers.

Advantages of a secure cloud

A secure cloud can provide numerous benefits to businesses, including increased security and improved reliability. Companies can protect their data and reduce the risk of data breaches by implementing security measures such as authentication, access control, and encryption. Additionally, a secure cloud can provide increased reliability, as data is less likely to be corrupted or lost. This helps maximize ROI, as businesses can access their data quickly and reliably.

Furthermore, a secure cloud can provide additional benefits, such as improved customer satisfaction. Businesses can demonstrate that they value their customers and data by protecting customer data and ensuring privacy. This can result in increased customer loyalty and a better customer experience overall.

Finally, a secure cloud can help businesses to comply with data regulations, such as the European UnionÔÇÖs General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Companies can avoid costly fines and penalties by complying with these regulations and ensuring their data is secure and protected.

Types of cloud security measures

Companies must take security measures to ensure a secure cloud. Authentication verifies a user's identity to allow access to data or services through passwords, biometrics, or two-factor authentication. Encryption converts data into an unreadable format to protect it from unauthorized access and disclosure. Finally, access control restricts the actions of specific users or services based on predefined rules and criteria.

These measures can provide organizations with additional security and help them protect their data from potential threats. Enterprises can also implement monitoring and alerting tools to detect potential breaches or suspicious activity and alert administrators accordingly. By implementing these measures, organizations can ensure that their cloud systems are secure and protected from potential threats.

Authentication

Authentication is an important security measure that can help organizations protect their data and ensure that only authorized users have access (using strong passwords, biometrics, or two-factor authentication). Passwords are the most common form of authentication because they are easy to implement and use. However, passwords can be easily guessed or cracked by brute force attacks. Therefore, it is important to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess and to change them regularly.

Biometrics refers to a user's unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition. This provides an additional layer of security and ensures that only authorized users have access to data or services. Two-factor authentication (2FA) combines two different authentication methods for added security, such as a password combined with a code sent via text message or email. By implementing these measures, organizations can ensure that their cloud systems are secure and protected from potential threats.

Encryption

Encryption is an important security measure that can help companies protect their data from unauthorized access and disclosure. It involves converting data into an unreadable format, such as a code or cipher, to prevent it from being read or understood by anyone other than the intended recipient. Encrypted data is therefore more secure because it cannot be read, even if it falls into the wrong hands. Encryption can also help ensure data integrity by detecting and preventing changes to encrypted data.

There are various encryption algorithms, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is important to choose an algorithm that provides high security but requires little computing power or storage space. Organizations must also keep their encryption keys secure to prevent unauthorized access to encrypted data. By implementing these measures, companies can ensure that their cloud systems are secure and protected from potential threats.

Access control

Access control is an important security measure that can help organizations protect their data by restricting access to specific users or services. This includes setting rules and criteria for who can access what data and when. For example, a company can establish rules that allow only certain employees to access sensitive customer data or limit access to certain times of the day or week. This ensures that only authorized users can access the data they need, while preventing unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information.

For added security, organizations should also consider implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA combines two or more authentication methods, such as a password combined with biometric data or a code sent via SMS. By implementing these measures, organizations can ensure that their cloud systems are secure and protected from potential threats.

How companies benefit from a secure cloud

Enterprises can benefit from a secure cloud in many ways, including increased security, improved reliability, and maximized ROI. By implementing security measures such as authentication, encryption and access control. This can reduce the risk of data breaches and mitigate the potential impact of an attack. In addition, a secure cloud can increase reliability by making it less likely that data will be corrupted or lost. This helps maximize ROI, as companies can access their data quickly and reliably.

In addition, companies can also benefit from improved customer satisfaction. By protecting customer data and ensuring privacy, companies can show that they value their customers and their data. This can lead to stronger customer loyalty and an overall better customer experience. Finally, companies can also benefit from complying with data regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by avoiding costly fines and penalties while ensuring their data is safe and secure.

Increased security

One of the main benefits of a secure cloud is increased security. By implementing security measures such as authentication, encryption and access control, organizations can ensure that their data is protected from potential threats. This can reduce the risk of data breaches and mitigate the potential impact of an attack. By protecting customer data and ensuring privacy, companies can also benefit from higher customer satisfaction.

These benefits can help companies maximize their ROI by providing fast and reliable access to their data without worrying about security threats or compliance issues. A secure cloud offers companies numerous benefits that can boost business success.

Learn more about cloud security in our Whitepaper: Zero Trust

Improved reliability

Another benefit of a secure cloud is improved reliability. By implementing security measures such as encryption, companies can ensure that their data is protected from unauthorized access and disclosure. This can ensure data integrity by detecting and preventing any changes to encrypted data. A secure cloud can also provide greater reliability, as data is less likely to be corrupted or lost. This helps maximize ROI, as companies can access their data quickly and reliably without worrying about potential threats or breaches.

Finally, by protecting customer data and ensuring privacy, companies can benefit from higher customer satisfaction. This can lead to higher customer loyalty and an overall better customer experience. A secure cloud offers companies numerous benefits that can increase business success.

Maximized ROI

One of the key benefits of a secure cloud is maximizing return on investment. By implementing security measures such as authentication, encryption and access control, organizations can ensure that their data is protected from potential threats. This can reduce the risk of data breaches and mitigate the potential impact of an attack. In addition, a secure cloud can increase reliability, as data is less likely to be corrupted or lost. This helps maximize ROI, as businesses can access their data quickly and reliably without worrying about security threats or breaches.

In addition, by protecting customer data and ensuring privacy, companies can benefit from higher customer satisfaction. This can lead to higher customer loyalty and an overall better customer experience. Finally, businesses also benefit from complying with data regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by avoiding costly fines and penalties while ensuring their data is safe and secure. A secure cloud offers companies numerous benefits that can improve business success.

Actively reduce costs

By implementing security measures such as authentication, encryption and access control, organizations can reduce the potential cost of a cloud security incident by up to 50 %. In addition, with a secure cloud, organizations can increase customer satisfaction by up to 20 %, which translates into higher customer retention and customer lifetime value. In addition, companies that comply with data regulations such as the GDPR can save up to 25 % in fines and penalties. Finally, a secure cloud can also increase ROI by up to 30 % by improving reliability and access times.

Conclusion

In summary, cloud security is an essential component for business success. By implementing security measures such as authentication, access control and encryption, organizations can ensure that their data is protected from potential threats. In addition, a secure cloud can increase reliability, improve customer satisfaction and ensure compliance with data regulations such as the GDPR. Ultimately, a secure cloud can improve business success by maximizing ROI and protecting against potential threats.

What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

Infrastructure as code describes the managing and provisioning of computer data centers through machine-readable definition files (e.g. YAML-Config Files). Instead of using physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.

The term "Infrastructure as Code" was first used by Andrew Clay Shafer and Patrick Debois in 2009. At the time, the two developers were working at Google on a project to automate the provisioning of physical servers. Since then, many companies have adopted the concept. Today, it is a best practice for infrastructure management.

Infrastructure as code (IaC) compared to traditional infrastructure provisioning

Provisioning and managing data centers has been time-consuming and error-prone. It often relies on the manual configuration of servers and networking devices. This can lead to configuration drift, where the actual state of the infrastructure diverges from the intended form. IaC helps to avoid these problems by providing a repeatable and consistent way to provision and manage infrastructure. It also makes it easier to audit and track changes, and to roll back changes if necessary.

When should you consider using IaC to provision infrastructure?

IaC is especially well suited for automated cloud environments, where infrastructure is often provisioned and managed. However, you can also use it on on-premises data centers. Further, there are a few more key factors to consider before using IaC. If you are running on-premises data centers, IaC may need more effort to set up and maintain.

Infrastructure as code can be beneficial if, you

  • uses dynamic or complex environments,
  • repeatedly change your infrastructure and
  • have a hard time tracking and managing the changes.

What are the benefits of using IaC?

Reduced time and cost

IaC can help to reduce the time and cost associated with provisioning and managing infrastructure.

Improved consistency and repeatability

IaC can improve the consistency and repeatability of infrastructure provisioning and management processes.

Increased agility

IaC can increase the agility of an organization by making it easier to provision and manage infrastructure in response to changing requirements.

Improved audibility and traceability

IaC can help to improve the audibility and traceability of changes to infrastructure.

Reduced risk

By providing a more consistent and repeatable way to provision and manage infrastructure, IaC can help to reduce the risk of errors and configuration drift.

What are the challenges in using IaC?

You need to consider a few challenges when using IaC, including:

  • Complexity: IaC can increase the complexity of an organization's infrastructure. This makes it more difficult to understand and troubleshoot problems.
  • Security: IaC will increase the security risks associated with an organization's infrastructure.
  • Tooling and processes: IaC requires you to use new or unfamiliar tooling and processes.

How do you get started with IaC?

If you're interested in using IaC, there are a few things you need to do to get started:

  • Choose an IaC tool. Each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Choose a tool that's well suited to your organization's needs.
  • Define your infrastructure using a declarative or imperative approach.
  • Provision your infrastructure using your chosen IaC tool.
  • Manage your infrastructure using your chosen IaC tool.

To get started with DevOps (or to improve your DevOps maturity) read this: DevOps: How to get started - How to get started successfully

Tools you can use for Infrastructure as code (IaC tools)

  • Configuration management tools: Use Puppet, Chief and Ansibleto manage the configuration of servers and other infrastructure components.
  • Infrastructure provisioning tools: Use Terraform and CloudFormation, to provision and manage infrastructure resources.
  • Continuous integration and delivery tools: Use Jenkins and TravisCI, to automate the build, testing, and deployment of infrastructure.
  • Container orchestration tools: Use Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, to manage and orchestrate containers.

IaC is part of the bigger picture: CALMS and DevSecOps

Infrastructure as code is a small piece of automation within the DevOps cycle. Next to provisioning infrastructure by code, the core focus of DevOps is to increase efficiency and effectiveness by automating key processes in the software development life cycle (SDLC) while CALMS focuses on automating operations. This allows for faster feedback, shorter lead times, and more frequent deployments.

So to leverage IaC a fundamental DevOps maturity is essential.

Learn more about CALMS in our guide: CALMS Framework

Summary

Infrastructure as code (IaC) is a term used to describe managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools. Many companies adopted the framework to this day. Today, it is a best practice for managing infrastructure.

IaC helps to reduce the time and cost associated with provisioning and managing infrastructure. Additionally, it improves the consistency and repeatability of infrastructure provisioning and management processes, as well as increases the agility of an organization.

Inkometa Award

BSH Hausger├Ąte wins Inkometa Award for the best intranet

BSH Home Appliances has won the Inkometa Award for Best Intranet in the Social Intranet / Collaboration Intranet category. The company was awarded the accolade for its work on the intranet, initially released in 2020 alongside its technical implementation partner XALT Business Consulting GmbH.

The Inkometa Award is one of the most important Awards for Internal Communication in Germany and is supervised SCM ÔÇô School for Communication and Management. There are awards in the categories Media, Strategy, Campaign, Intranet & Digital Workspace and International internal communication since 2018.

The Inkometa Award is a recognition of the hard work and the importance of a global information and collaboration platform that BSH Home Appliances has put into creating and maintaining its Intranet. This award is a testament to the company's commitment to providing its employees with the best possible working environment.

About XALT

XALT is a boutique consultancy based in Munich and Leipzig Germany with a subsidiary in the United States of America. XALT builds DevOps, IT infrastructure solutions and enables teams to collaborate efficiently. We're helping companies release digital products faster, bring teams together, and foster digital transformation.

Their customers are some of the most innovative and aspiring organizations in the world. They range from manufacturing to financial, e-commerce, and government institutions. Enterprises are currently challenged with manually releasing and testing software and making sure that everything was compliance-ready and secure. The lack of the right tools, corporate culture, and mindset made collaboration between departments and teams difficult. XALT is doing the difficult, but imperative work of building DevOps and collaboration solutions ÔÇô so organizations and teams can concentrate on creating real value for their customers and users.

About BSH Home Appliances

The BSH Household Appliances GmbH is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in Europe and one of the world's leading companies in this industry. Around 40 manufacturing sites and a strong network of 80 sales, production and service companies in around 50 countries form the foundation of BSH's customer-focused business model. BSH currently employs over 60.000 people all around the world.

Via the intranet

BSH Home Appliances has worked closely with its technical partner, XALT Business Consulting GmbH, and its concept Partner, ]init[, to create and maintain the intranet. The intranet features social features such as likes, shares and comments, as well as content tailored to different teams, divisions and countries. There is also a central news hub for the entire company.

Technical implementation

XALT Business Consulting was responsible for the technical implementation of the intranet. The team at XALT has improved the technical specifications of the intranet over the past year, ensuring that it is always available and running smoothly, even under heavy traffic conditions.

The BSH Intranet leverages the power of Atlassian's Confluence and the Linchpin Intranet Suite. It is deployed on the AWS Cloud and uses autoscaling, automatic backups, automatic rollbacks and built-in security features. These technical implementations allow BSH to keep the Intranet running at all times with minimal downtime (99.95% uptime), even when 60,000 users are accessing it. Learn more about the intranet here: https://www.xalt.de/en/success-stories/success-story-intranet-with-linchpin/

Working remotely with the right equipment

Console.log podcast interview with Fabienne

Our contributor Fabienne Gerhard was a guest on the podcast console.log ("hello heroes"); Your former university; The Munich University of Applied Sciences.

The first episode of the podcast is entirely dedicated to the foundation of IT, digitization and transformation and how programming, or code, gives you access to the big picture.

Click here to listen to the podcast

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About the podcast

Codes are boring, computer science is dull at work, and the world of numbers is an end game? No way! In this podcast, hero stories are told that show why programming is colorful.

Led by Professor Dr. Markus St├Ąuble, the podcast looks at success stories around programming.


About Fabienne

Fabienne's primary focus at XALT is knowledge management, enabling our clients' teams and employees through the implementation of collaboration platforms, Social intranets and learning management systems to promote communication and collaboration within the company.

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management is the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing an organization's knowledge and information. It includes the systems and processes used to capture, store, distribute, and retrieve knowledge and information. One way is to create a knowledge management system that captures, stores, and retrieves knowledge and information. Another way is to use knowledge management processes that are used to identify, create, store, distribute, and retrieve knowledge and information.

You can find more information about knowledge management in our Webinar.

Process digitization and automation with Jira

Digitization and automation of processes with Jira

Are you currently considering digitizing and automating the processes of your sales teams? But you're not sure why or how to go about it? Then ask yourself if this scenario sounds familiar to you:

Someone finds an interesting product online, has a question about getting started or about pricing, and sends the company an inquiry. At this point, it happens all too often that the question is not followed up by an answer.

It seems relatively easy to send a customer or prospect a response to their inquiry. But it often happens, especially with SMEs, that inquiries get lost.

This article explains how we have automated and digitized our sales process with Jira.

Status quo before the automation

We also had to deal with exactly this challenge in our team.

Inquiries about our services and products accumulate through many different channels. These include contact inquiries via our homepage as well as via social media or by telephone.

After an extensive rebranding and search engine optimization of our homepage at the beginning of 2021, these inquiries as well as the interest in our services increased rapidly. While we had established internal responsibilities to create and manage an overview of incoming inquiries. However, due to the number of questions, our channels were overloaded, which meant that individual customer inquiries were lost and often answered weeks later.

Find out why you should digitize your business processes and what benefits you can expect here: Read the article.

Define goals together

As a team, we believe in offering the best possible service to interested prospects and potential customers. That's why we decided to fundamentally restructure and improve our process and implement it with Jira.

To implement our project, we defined 3 basic goals in advance, which we wanted to achieve with the Jira project:

  1. Collect all requests from the different channels in one place (Kanban board) in order to be processed mutually by several team members.
  2. Setting a deadline of 24h until the first contact occurs with a new contact or a new request. For this we have set a SLA of < 24h in the Jira project.
  3. Reduce the manual workload via automations in Jira and automate certain intermediate steps. Since we currently don't have our own sales department, this is particularly important for us.

Using Jira to digitize a sales process

To achieve these goals, we needed an established, digitized sales process that could be easily automated. Jira offers numerous advantages for the implementation of sales processes. Jira makes it possible to integrate all content into one platform and one board. Teams can continue to work efficiently because all necessary customer information as well as information about the communication that took place is stored in the system and can be easily accessed.

In this article, we would like to show you what the concrete implementation with Jira as a basis for sales processes looks like and how we use Jira and workflows for our own sales process.

Jira is a versatile project management tool for departments such as finance, marketing, human resources, and sales. Sales managers can use Jira to channel incoming leads, send automated responses, track processes, or manage quotes.

In Jira, tasks and processes are managed via workflows. A workflow represents the steps of your process and the status that a task (here the request) goes through.

Managing existing and new customer inquiries becomes noticeably easier when you visualize your sales workflow and respond directly to questions about your products or services.

Learn more about Jira and our consulting services

Design of our sales process

At the beginning of our project, we created a conceptual workflow and the individual steps in the process.

The first steps to set up the workflow were:

  1. Brainstorm about the different types of requests.
  2. Evaluating the channels of which requests are coming in.
  3. Detailed discussion, planning, and description of each step in our workflow for new requests.

To create a workflow that meets our requirements, our company's IT and business development experts pooled their content and knowledge. The result represents a flexible workflow with individual processes as well as intermediate steps and partially automated processes.

Even with the most precise planning, it will happen that further adjustments have to be made at a later point in time or additional optimization potential is discovered. This is where a major advantage of Jira comes into play: Changing workflows and automations is uncomplicated and quick, without having to adjust the entire project.

Creation of a Jira project

After defining your own workflow, it is time to integrate it into Jira. To do so, a new project must be created first.

  1. To do this, click on Projects > Show all projects
  2. Then click in the upper right corner on Create project
  3. Select base project* >Enter the name and the project key.

We recommend using the base project template as it provides the best way to track, prioritize, and resolve requests.

Creating the Kanban board in Jira

  1. Next click on Boards > Show all boards
  2. And then in the upper right corner click on Create board
  3. Select Canban board > Select board from an existing project.
  4. Enter the name and select the project that was just created

After the board and project are created, click the Project Settings button to configure preferences such as automation, workflows, SLAs, and users and roles.

Sales Process Kanban Board
Kanban Board in Jira

Digitization and automation in 6 steps

The following tasks and settings must be adjusted after the project and Kanban board have been created:

  1. Automatic conversion of requests into tickets by linking the various channels
  2. Creation of a workflow and the individual statuses
  3. Defining the SLAs
  4. Creation of automations for different process steps
  5. Kanban board configuration including columns and swimlanes
  6. Definition of responsibilities and notifications

This section provides a rough overview of how we implemented our sales process concept into Jira using workflows and automations. Due to the scope, the following points are only a small insight into the project. If you are interested, we would be happy to discuss the project in detail in a separate meeting.

1. Automatic conversion of requests into tickets

To begin with, it must be ensured that all incoming e-mails containing inquiries are automatically processed by the system. To achieve this, Jira needs to integrate the email system. This setting can be changed under Project Settings > Email Request . Make sure thatÔÇŽ

  • you have the authorization to manage the project.
  • public registration or adding clients is enabled for your project to ensure that you receive new requests.
  • have your email channel enabled so that you can use your sales email address to create new requests.
  • have set up an appropriate request type and selected it, so that the requests created from emails are assigned this request type.

After the setup, the incoming requests are transferred and automatically converted into tickets. All requests are thus on one board, which enables the team to work together on these requests without having to keep an eye on the various inboxes.

2. Creation of a workflow as well as the individual statuses

Furthermore, a workflow must be created. For a flexible workflow, it is important to select a Software Simplified Workflow Scheme and to create a link between the individual statuses so that the status of each ticket in this workflow can be transferred to any other status. This creates high flexibility and ease of use. Using the Simplified Workflow, the contents in the Kanban board (including columns and statuses) can be changed at any time.

The workflow for the sales process can then be adapted to an individual, personalized workflow based on the requirements collected during the conceptual design phase. A sales workflow structure can look like the following:

Defining the SLAs

Good customer service ensures that customers remain loyal to you. An important part of good customer service is responsiveness. With Jira, you can achieve good responsiveness and keep your sales team on track by setting SLAs on how quickly requests should be handled. We set the SLA in our workflow to 24h. If the SLA time remaining to review a request is <60 minutes, our assigned team members will be notified.

SLAs can track the following properties:

  • Respond to all inquiries within X hours.
  • Completion of high-priority requests within X hours.
  • Warning about the expiration of an SLA at X minutes before expiration.

Creation of automations for different process steps

In addition to SLAs, additional automations can be created. You can add "When" triggers, "If" conditions and "Then" actions. These parameters define the process and create the automation. For example, for the initial meeting with a new contact, we implemented the first step of our sales process with automations. Thus, a new contact receives an automated mail in advance that we have received his inquiry and are taking care of his request. The status of the request is changed from New to Confirmed.

Free Resource

Case Study - Digitized Sales Process

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Additional options for automations

As a next step, we would like to set a first meeting with the interested party to talk about their request and to present our services and way of cooperation. For this, a specific assignee from the team must be associated with the ticket. Furthermore, the ticket must be given either the label lead-de or lead-en.

If, for example, the user XY is set as assignee and the label lead-en is set, the contact will receive an automatic email from the user XY with his meeting link in English. To kick off this automation, the ticket in the Kanban board only needs to be dragged to the Schedule Appointment status field.

Example: Automation Rule

WHEN: status changed > IF: issue matches status = Schedule appointment AND assignee = User XY AND label = lead-en > THEN: send email = Template "Answering contact" AND transition issue = Waiting for appointment AND add comment = 'XALT Bot: Invitation to phone conversation sent'.

Other automations include simple acknowledgement of receipt, a reminder to the customer if there is no response within 72 hours, and an update of the ticket status to Appointment if the customer has signed up for a time slot via the meeting link.

Conclusion - Jira, automation and reporting

In our automated Jira project, we can now answer and process requests easily and flexibly. Due to our SLAs and the bundling of all requests on a project and Kanban board, no requests are lost anymore and we can provide a good service to all contacts. Through tracking and document management in Jira, it is still possible to easily provide all stakeholders with information about the customer, their interests, and relevant documents such as quotes or contracts.

Additional benefits of the implementation are Jira's extensive reporting feature, which gives us insight into how many requests have arrived at the board and how their process flow has taken place.

"Anything that can be digitized will be digitized." - Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Our Best Practices

Our sales process works without an extensive sales team. There are two project owners who have the task of processing the existing requests and ensuring that none of them are lost. The workflow is designed flexible and open, so that consultants who want to process a request themselves have the opportunity to do so according to the workflow. For the various steps in the workflow, from the initial contact to the preparation of the offer, internal contacts with the necessary knowledge are also stored, which can be contacted in the event of a blocker.

In our internal projects, we always follow the philosophy of creating a holistic system consisting of the input of different stakeholders, which in turn creates output and value in different directions, such as customer service or marketing. For this very reason, we have kept our workflow flexible and merged different departments, such as Marketing and Sales, for the project. This ensures that different teams and groups in your company work together, creating synergy effects and team spirit.

Our marketing managers therefore also have access to the project and the Kanban board, which allows them to view the progress of a contact in our sales funnel. The marketing team can accordingly plan marketing activities and provide contacts with further, informative and relevant information about their request.

Vision and outlook

If you think one step further, you could also include Operations personnel and when the status reaches the Offer column, an email is automatically sent to Operations with all the necessary information.

The created quote is sent and the status on the Kanban board is moved to the Closed Won or Closed Lost column depending on whether the quote is accepted or rejected. This again activates an SLA that sends an internal reminder to Operations after 14 days, for example, to check payment receipts.

Free Resource

Case Study - Digitized Sales Process

Fill out this form to download our case study for a digitized sales process.