Atlassian's shift to Cloud services is a pressing concern for IT managers and their organizations. The Isos team has the knowledge and expertise IT managers can rely on, built on almost 10 years of moving businesses from Atlassian’s Server to Cloud.
IT Managers’ Concerns About the Cloud
The performance of the Atlassian Cloud is pretty amazing now. People used to say, for instance, that the Atlassian Cloud didn't have the performance that they could get on Server. That was actually a problem years ago.
Today, however, you can use the Cloud for expansive scaling that is very hard to achieve on Server. And not just with one to 10 users, but one to 5,000 users.
Also, people want to make sure that their information is protected since it’s not on their servers. Over the past four or five years, Atlassian has done a lot to make sure that their data, for instance, is highly encrypted. They have invested a lot into transparency and securely handling data.
If your company has questions about how data is being handled for compliance reasons, Atlassian has a lot of white papers and an information portal that addresses all those points. You can input, for example, the profile that you need to meet, and see if the Cloud platform accommodates that.
We’ve found, in recent years, that Atlassian’s data protection and information footprint covers all the bases for most companies.
The Rise of SaaS
Software as a Service (SaaS) has taken over. There's a reason that it's the most successful software business model in the world. It provides the most stability and the highest availability to the customer.
We understand how it can seem daunting. It’s a challenge that you’d rather put off or avoid dealing with. But given that Atlassian is ending life for their server product, it’s pretty clear that the Cloud is going to be the way of the future. You'll get better support, but the earlier you do it, the better.
One thing that makes the Atlassian ecosystem great is the apps and add-ons for Server.
For the longest time, Cloud didn't have as many options. Today, that has changed. In fact, it’s flip-flopped. While a lack of Cloud add-ons was a valid concern four or five years ago, Cloud is the best way to integrate services and Atlassian products now.
Integrating with Atlassian Systems
People don't use Atlassian products in a vacuum. They also use Salesforce, Workday, and lots of other options. And if you wanna integrate your JIRA or Confluence Servers with other Cloud apps, the Cloud version makes that much easier.
One big issue with the Atlassian Cloud for a long time has been integrating other SaaS applications with your JIRA server.
We’ve seen companies use all of these products, including JIRA, Confluence, and the larger suite of Atlassian applications, with no way to wrangle all of their JIRA Instances. And they'd find out that there might be seven or eight instances of JIRA in use within their organization, as well as Confluence, Bitbucket, or what-have-you.
Atlassian Access for IT Managers
To solve the multiple instances problem, Atlassian came out with a product called Access. Access is a way that an IT organization can take control of all the accounts and products that their organization uses.
When you get Access, the first thing it does is say, you've got 20 different JIRA Instances. You've got 15 Confluence, you've got Bitbucket. So it helps, first of all, find what's being used in your organization's name. And then it allows you secondly to apply policies to those accounts.
Right now, if you don't use Access, you don't have control if people change their passwords, or how strong they are, if there's two-factor authentication, etc. This allows them to wrangle all those and apply one standard that their IT department wants to apply to all his accounts.
Finally, in most larger organizations, single-sign-on (SSO) services are popular. SSOs like Okta, OneLogin, and Azure AD, all allow you to have a single sign-on experience. That's our favorite part of Access. It allows you to use your organization’s SAML identity provider and log into any of the Atlassian apps. And it allows you in a subset of those identity providers to provision groups out of there too.
If your company manages all of your groups within Azure AD, or in Okta, those groups can be pushed out to the Atlassian Cloud and used by any of the applications.
Basically, Access gives your IT organization a way to wrangle and control access to any Atlassian application and apply the same guidelines they use internally to external Cloud applications hosted within Atlassian.
Combining JIRA Instances
A common problem that Isos is seeing now is that large organizations want to combine multiple JIRA Instances either internally or because of an acquisition. This could be for cost reasons or to increase intra-organization collaboration.
It's harder for people to collaborate on projects if there are issues in JIRA, for instance, or if they are spread across 10 different JIRAs. And this happens a lot, both in Server and Cloud settings.
Merging or splitting JIRA instances is probably the most complex thing that you can do. And it's something that you don’t do often. It's something that can, like a move to the Cloud, cause downtime. There are coordination issues. All of the problems that you might have migrating to the Cloud, you get those, plus more, when you do a merge. The benefits are great, but it can be a painful process.
If you must do it, you can try it on your own, but we would definitely encourage you to approach a partner who can take you through the whole journey.
As one of those Atlassian partners, we have solutions for every possible scenario at this point. We just need to find the right path for your specific situation. And we’ll rehearse it a few times to make sure that everything is perfect before we ever do any real transfers that affect your users. But it does get more complicated and more difficult whenever you have multiple instances.
Again, it's like moving to the Cloud-plus. But the end result is increased intra-organizational collaboration. You can potentially reduce costs, but it can be a complex experience and a partner like Isos can help you through it.
Resources for IT Managers
Atlassian is probably the most transparent large software corporation, which starts with blog posts about current and future features. They also have a public version of JIRA where all of their future features and fixes are publicly available to vote and comment on.
The JIRA Instance, which is called JAC, is a refreshing example of a large company being public and honest. Sometimes people are frustrated about new features, but you can always see what’s coming up on any of their products. And the customers become an active participant in helping shape the product roadmap.
During the day, we interact with organizations’ IT teams all around the world. And we know that IT organizations usually have a million things to manage.
For most IT managers, Atlassian is normally a small fraction of the day. And as important as Atlassian is to most organizations, IT management doesn't usually get the proportional budget or time to deal with it.
How Does a Migration Partner Help IT Managers?
If you're planning to move to the Cloud, a partner could be your best friend.
A partner makes sure that the migration is as risk-free as possible within the budget and timeframe. A partner can also help you plan because even if everything goes perfectly, you'll still be busy. You'll still be on the front line talking to clients.
We encourage IT managers to make what could be a complex journey onto the Atlassian Cloud as easy as possible with a partner. You can do this in a way that will make your users love you in the end.
Further, you can devote more time to the IT tasks that really matter. You can focus on what your organization needs you to focus on, not Atlassian upgrades.
If your CIO or your internal stakeholders have considered moving to the Cloud, please check out our resources. We can make the journey to Cloud smoother than you thought possible.