After spending a few days with the Atlassian team, their customers, and their partners, it was clear that Atlassian’s mission to “unleash the potential of every team” was embraced.
Teams from all the different parts of their clients were there. The big theme that I came away with from the week was that Atlassian wants to bring teams together. This included announcements that bridge the gap between developers, product management, customer success, and lines of business.
Build “Teams of Teams” in the Atlassian Cloud
There was a clear message to customers that Atlassian is a cloud-focused product company. All of the improvements discussed are either in beta, preview, or general availability in Atlassian’s cloud-based product. It was clear that the amount of effort going from a standard on-premises license to a cloud deployment is not done lightly.
There was a booth location that said “cloud migration”, which I thought was a new product helping redesign monolithic applications for the cloud. But instead, it was a place to discuss on-premise Jira Align migrations to the cloud version. The good thing is that there are several partners who can help you do this.
Announcing certifications, such as BaFin, EBA and HIPAA, along with the roadmap for FedRAMP and bring-your-own-key encryption, certainly helps clients in regulated industries – BaFin ensures that the German securities and derivatives markets remain compliant with the Securities Trading Act. Also, adding four more regions in the cloud will help, as they boast a 99.95% SLA. I’m sure this week’s outage during the conference didn’t help convince customers still there to move to the cloud, but it underscores the need for tools that Atlassian is building.
On the first day opening speech, Scott Farquhar, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Atlassian, and Anu Bharadwaj, COO of Atlassian, set the table with high profile announcements which I found Atlas, Compass and Analytics on the Atlassian Platform super interesting . Anu’s discussion of collaboration by integrating data and information from other applications was interesting. It looked like an abstraction layer, currently in Jira Software and Service Management, to provide teams with a more enhanced “wiki” that could be a somewhat living record of their work.
With the announcement of Atlassian Atlas, Product Manager Joff Redfern went a step further on the service that will help customers define success, connect goals to what’s in development, and deliver updates asynchronously in 280 characters or less. The stream is a way to get away from status meetings. Some key features that I found interesting in Atlas are the use of “fuzzy dates” and a team directory. Objectives with fuzzy dates allow you to have an approximate target corresponding to the company’s objectives, key results and deadlines. Team Directory allows organic or structured teams and is integrated with identity services such as Okta to stay in sync. This provides the team profile, based on the Atlassian profile, in Jira and Confluence today. Atlas’ goal is to answer what, why, who, and how work gets done by connecting insights across three product segments, Agile and DevOps, IT Service Management, and Work Management. Atlas is currently free for an entire organization, but obviously the value only comes when you use the built-in products.
The next big announcement I found interesting was Compass, which they proclaimed to be mission control for distributed architecture. One thing everyone agrees with is that software is no longer built in monolithic rants of code. It is built on any number of components which have sub-components. Each component and sub-component is written in its own “development module” or squad. In our ESG research, we found that 63% of organizations use multiple IaaS or PaaS cloud service providers, with applications hosted in multiple CSPs. It points to the use of containers and microservices. The proliferation ofteams of two pizzas“leads to many more components as part of a larger application and the need for coordination.
In this model, the “you build it, you run it” concept that has been popular with cloud-native applications can put a lot of stress on organizations that don’t fully embrace this with on-call IT operations, SRE, and DevOps in addition to on-call developers. How do I know who to call? Compass is a service that provides a component catalog and DevOps health dashboards, and enables extensibility and pluggability of third-party ISV applications. Justine Davis, Marketing Manager, Agile and DevOps Solutions, and Tiffany To, Product Manager, Agile and DevOps, argued for a “to open [software] love relationship” with autonomy and alignment using Compass.
This was very powerful, given that Atlassian tracks some 1,500 microservices for its cloud platform components. They deployed Compass, consisting of a component catalog, a DevOps health dashboard, and an extensibility engine.
Think of the component catalog as a place to see all the teams, their microservices, and how they’ve been put together, as seen across other Atlassian products and the integrated toolchain. The second element is a DevOps health dashboard that provides visibility into each of the known components and their health before and after deployment. It remains to be seen when detection would be noticed or what KPIs can be defined and measured. The third part of Compass is an extensibility framework, powered by the Atlassian Forge application development platform. The extensibility engine allows teams to create fully customized workflows for their modules. Together, these three are a great start to gaining visibility and alignment with self-driving development teams, assuming you’re using their stack or one of the 40 partners.
While there were many other great announcements during Team ’22, the Analytics offering of the Atlassian platform intrigued me. Maybe it’s the data geek in me, but I wanted to dig a little deeper into this Analytics offering. This is built on Chart.io’s acquisition technology. Although it’s still in its infancy and details are a bit sparse today, the idea of Atlassian Data Lake with Analytics and more makes sense to me. Ultimately, this will help developers, DevOps, IT operations, and service management customers grasp trends in their areas of responsibility, while providing the 10,000 foot views that Joff talked about in his keynote. The analysis will open the door to help organizations link their development cycles to things like customer satisfaction and more. It gives an overview of Jira Software and Service Management at launch, but offers a great view of where Analytics is heading in the future.
Ultimately, Atlassian is following its open roadmap, so there’s no doubt what’s next. How Atlassian solves customer use cases with these features in products may surprise them with the breadth and depth of resolution. Many of the products, services, and features rolled out over the past week are intended to help empower and align teams made up of other teams. Some of the announcements are a good next step in the direction of taking the roughly seven different codebases beyond a combined UI landing page. Atlassian wants to solve the customer journey in several different workflows and products. This is where Atlassian will need to focus on the client tool it needs and not the next new capability or feature. Team ’22 was a step in that direction.