For government agencies, the adoption of Atlassian products often grows organically and spreads at a rapid pace. Many quickly discover that our solutions have become vital to achieving their missions, whether they’re working remotely, in the field, or in the office.
Expanded use of Atlassian products can help agencies meet the needs of citizens while driving their goals of reducing costs, improving efficiency, and strengthening security. Yet, as your user base grows, downtime is no longer an option, and your deployments must be able to scale without compromising control or security. This is especially true for agencies with high-security environments, where citizen data or sensitive government knowledge needs to be protected, compliance mandates need to be met, and user permissions need to be managed without over-burdening administrators. For this reason, we encourage agencies that are struggling with managing complexity at scale to consider Atlassian Data Center. With Data Center’s flexible infrastructure and deployment options – plus enterprise features and capabilities – you can meet your agency’s unique security needs while meeting the demands of scale.
Scaling securely requires agility
Whether you’re supporting high-velocity service desks, managing large-scale programs, or aligning mission services to deliver better outcomes, agencies need to scale their Atlassian deployments with agility and security in mind. Ensuring enterprise-grade deployment in this way helps establish the secure foundation agencies need to scale their agile process while maintaining control.
Our Data Center products can be deployed in a clustered architecture for high availability and disaster recovery to ensure your applications are always available for your team’s mission-critical work. But once your foundation is set, what next? How do you begin to scale those processes to innovate faster? And how do you do it while ensuring your processes and data are governed and secure?
We recommend adopting the agile methodology of DevSecOps, complemented by Jira Software Data Center’s flexible workflows and rich APIs, so your team can scale application development with the visibility and oversight high-security environments demand. Administrators can use centralized security and governance across your agency while teams customize their usage to fit different mission needs.
IT operations pro tip
Zero Downtime Upgrades for Jira and Jira Service Desk (coming soon for Confluence and Bitbucket) let you upgrade to the latest security patches without interrupting your teams. While every agency is unique, with its own set of practices and processes, some proven approaches can help manage complexity at scale without compromising control or security using continuous, incremental improvements.
The path forward
We’ve identified a few processes through our ongoing work with agencies to help guide you on the right path forward with Atlassian Data Center. Here are some tips to get you started.
Bring your remote teams together
You’ll want to begin with the agile practice of fast, daily team stand-ups (no longer than 10 to 15 minutes). Allow each team member to say what they’re working on, the progress they’re making, and whether they’re experiencing any blockers to this progress. Stress the need to keep each status update short and to the point; don’t let the exercise devolve into a long discussion. If something arises that needs follow-up, suggest a dedicated huddle or meeting after the standup. You also might consider using Trello as a guide for your meeting agenda, which helps increase visibility into ownership, priorities, and status during report outs, especially when staff is working remotely.
IT Governance Pro Tip
Remote teams make compliance and risk management that much more complicated – visibility and control are critical for monitoring remote workers and the data that moves internally, and externally, in the agency. For help, use advanced auditing to track events that occur within your instance and rate limiting to ensure fair usage and system stability. And, did you know that you can overcome performance lags as your teams become more geographically distributed? Data Center offers a Content Delivery Network to help you improve response times and reduce peak loads on your primary application instances.
Catalog critical internal IT backlogs
We suggest you start by giving your team two weeks of daily stand-ups. This is an ideal time to make a list of “backlog” work, like software updates or adding new tools like Puppet (focus on clearing out internal backlogs to begin with, and make sure your environment is up to date). Start a project in Jira Software Data Center for these backlogged items and break them down into manageable chunks of work. Create an epic for each of the larger tasks (launching a new online service feature, migrating to the cloud) with sub-items /stories beneath it.
Process pro tip
If you’re not managing IT operations with an “Infrastructure as Code” approach, create an Epic to start working on that! Not sure how to proceed? Ask your developer friends to help set it up.
Create visibility across agency silos
With this foundation in place, you’ll not only be able to keep track of what’s getting done, but also show your progress to others. The better your agency can move from protected silos to a shared perspective, the easier it will be to tackle security issues early and often. This is another area where advanced auditing can help you report back information to your stakeholders.
Up your services game
The processes you’ve adopted internally can also be used to tackle external customer issues. For example, you can make it easier for citizens (or internal customers) to ask for help with Jira Service Management. You’ll gain the advantage of agile tracking and workflows to move faster, cut down on errors, and access easy reporting for audits. Jira Service Management also makes it easy for Ops and Development teams to connect on incidents in order to escalate and resolve issues faster, with audit trails to minimize the impact and risks.
User Experience Pro Tip
To ensure all your teams are using the same workflow, use the custom field optimizer to reduce any unused or duplicate custom fields. Bonus – it’ll help you improve performance!
Make the system do the work for you to offload teams. Automation is a big part of successful DevSecOps, but Jira Service Management is an easy and powerful way to get at that “low hanging fruit” for big impact. The automation suite further drives agility by automating workflows like ticket queue, approvals, and SLA management and data collection for audit trails. For example, upon receipt of approval, new desktop/laptop assignments can be automated from a list of available resources tracked by Insight. This out-of-the-box suite requires no programming and enables you to set up rules in minutes. With automated workflows, you’ll gain improved responsiveness, customer satisfaction, and risk management, along with the ability to offload low-level, repetitive tasks from IT – which means more time to work on more substantive tasks.
Infrastructure Management Pro Tip
If your team is ready for the cloud but needs to stay in a self-managed environment, you can deploy on infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Our AWS and Azure templates can help you deploy a secure, cluster-ready environment, which will help you start taking advantage of cloud automation more easily.
Continuous improvement moves governance and agility forward – together
Among the most important benefits of adopting these agile processes is taking in feedback from your team and customers, and incorporating them rapidly into your processes. This not only keeps you from repeating mistakes, but also sets you up for greater success and innovation.
Want to learn more? Join our bi-weekly Data Center demo for a deeper dive into Data Center from the experts.