Workflow and Efficiency

Making your organization more efficient can be challenging if your products don’t have the right capabilities. Thankfully, Data Center’s got you covered.


1. Monitoring and reporting

When it comes to driving efficiency and effectiveness in your organization, monitoring and reporting capabilities are your best friends. These capabilities are what allows you to gain insight into how your teams are using their software.

Consider your current products and if they provide the right kind of data you need to answer questions, such as:

  • Are my teams following my organization's established best practices?
  • What does my product’s performance look like?
  • Can I report back to the executive team on our security and compliance position?

If the software that your organization relies on can’t help you answer questions like these, then they aren’t contributing to efficiency and effectiveness in your enterprise.

Being an admin of a self-managed environment means that you are responsible for the management of your entire instance. This includes data retention, scale, performance, and end-user activity just to name a few things. On top of this, you also have to deliver on aggressive business objects, break down organizational silos, and establish consistent ways of working across the enterprise, that’s a whole lot to manage when you can’t understand what’s actually happening in your instance. That’s why having the right software that enables you to take action is so important. 

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Understand Data Center’s architecture

Data Center, our self-managed enterprise edition, has advanced auditing capabilities, which allow you to create a digital record of what’s happening in your instance. 

You can choose one of four different coverage levels (off, base, full, advanced) to log different types of events, depending on the unique needs and insight that your organization requires.  

Advanced auditing is built with file externalization capabilities, which means that you can integrate your Data Center products with third-party monitoring tools, such as Splunk, Elastic Stack, Sumo Logic, or CloudWatch. By leveraging file externalization, you can even use key features provided by your monitoring tools to gain even more insight into your events. 

Check out our advanced auditing whitepaper to get step-by-step instructions on how to integrate with popular monitoring tools and tips for getting the most out of your data. 

5 ways to become more efficient with advanced auditing

Setting notes

Be proactive rather than reactive

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Keep good instance hygiene

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Maintain security and compliance

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Boost performance and capacity

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Focus on your business objectives


Be proactive rather than reactive

Up until recently, the IT strategy for most large organizations looked something like this: One of your teammates is having trouble with their software. They submit a ticket to IT to get help with their problem. At which point, the ticket gets added to a queue until it’s assigned to someone on the team. Once the ticket is assigned, someone on your IT team works on troubleshooting and identifying the problem. After they’ve finally identified the problem and resolved it, the issue is marked as done, but it took quite a bit of time to fix the problem; this is an example of a reactive IT strategy. 

Reactive Strategy

A reactive strategy is when you’re only reacting to a problem and relying on your teams to report an issue while it happens. This means that your teams have already experienced the problem and aren’t able to deliver on their objectives until the issue is resolved.

Proactive Strategy

A proactive strategy is a more efficient approach where advanced auditing can help you change your strategy. Because advanced auditing tracks all the events that occur in your instance, if you start to notice too many events being logged or events that are different than your normal ones, you can act quickly. Since events are logged in real-time, you can identify the issue and potentially avoid any interruptions or problems with your products. 


Keep good instance hygiene

You may have already undergone a cleanup initiative within your organization, but that’s only half the battle. While it’s important to look critically at your instance and clean up any old data or suboptimal configurations, if you don’t have the monitoring or reporting capabilities to ensure that your teams are using the products correctly, you’ll likely end up where you started. By looking into your instance on a regular basis, you can maintain good instance hygiene. You might be asking yourself what good instance hygiene is. It means you are maintaining your cleanup efforts and upholding the practices that you’ve put in place. However, old habits are hard to break and it can be challenging for teams to change the way they work.

Example

When teams operated in silos, they would often request custom fields that they felt were required to carry out their department or team’s goals. To help reduce the amount of data and to make it easier for teams to use their products, cleaning up unused or duplicated custom fields is one of the first cleanup initiatives an admin tackles. The problem is that after you’ve done this cleanup, your teams may still continue to create custom fields, which can lead you back to managing a suboptimal instance (and that’s quite inefficient).

Advanced auditing can help you stop that from happening. By setting your global configuration and administration coverage levels to advanced, you can easily track when someone has created a new field. This allows you to address the issue before it becomes a problem later on. 


Maintain security and compliance

Security and compliance is a top priority for any enterprise or government agency. Constantly changing external conditions like evolving regulations, the rise of remote work, and globally distributed teams makes the security and compliance of your instance an increasingly important initiative According to most compliance guidelines, you should be actively monitoring changes in your system’s behavior and data flow, which requires that you have products with 24/7 monitoring capabilities. Depending on the coverage level that you specify, advanced auditing will log security relevant events, such as all failed login attempts. If you’re leveraging a third-party monitoring tool, you can set up anomaly detection to notify you when there are changes to your security events or if a security event is logged too many times in a row. You can rest assured that your instance will remain secure and you can return it back to compliance. 


Boost performance and capacity

The performance of your products is always a big concern, especially when you have a globally distributed team. To get ahead of performance issues, you need to track your product’s performance to understand how many people are using your products and what they’re doing. 

Let’s think about it

Before enterprise-grade products, you used to have to run stress tests to identify performance issues. 

Now, modern products, like Data Center, provide monitoring and reporting capabilities that can give you insight in a fraction of the time you would have spent running tests.

With Data Center’s advanced auditing, you can review trends in your data, such as when your products experience higher user traffic or when the number of new tickets or pages created increases. After you enable advanced auditing, your last 10 million records are stored, which gives you a chance to review your existing events and create a baseline. Then, you can integrate your monitoring tools with your Data Center products to continue tracking your team’s activity over time.   With this data now being tracked, your IT team can start to build out a plan for better performance, which means that your teams will have their mission-critical products available when they need them.


Focus on your business objectives

One of the most important reasons why monitoring and reporting are so crucial to the admin of a self-managed environment is that it can help streamline some of your day-to-day tasks. Modernizing your infrastructure and finding ways to leverage newer technologies is often one of your business objectives, but it’s impossible to really focus on modernizing your infrastructure if you’re focused on manually monitoring events in your instance to stop problems from impacting your teams.

Advanced auditing tracks your instance events in real-time. If you’ve integrated with your monitoring tools, you can set triggers to notify you anytime there is a change in your events. 

By looking at your team’s activity, you can also get a better understanding of how your teams are using their products and what changes you can make to support them. If you’ve identified that you have a lot of user login events at a particular time of day, you can start to find a modern solution that will allow you to scale the infrastructure of your products. 

Now that you’ve learned about five key areas where advanced auditing can help you drive enterprise efficiency, let's explore how Data Center's advanced auditing capabilities helps you solve common problems in your products. 


Use case
Jira Software logo

Jira Software Data Center was built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software, however, it has evolved into a powerful work management tool for all kinds of use cases, from requirements and test case management, agile software development, to HR and legal practices. In essence, organizations depend on Jira to do their best work.

Balancing hygiene with insights

As organizations mature and grow, so do the number of projects and issues in your Jira instance, often accumulating in large volumes of data over time. While this might be a good sign for the health of the company, (more users and more work getting done) it can be a nightmare for you as an admin.

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Data clutter, and overall lack of instance hygiene, can degrade instance performance and make it difficult for you, your teams, and your stakeholders to find what they need. To help achieve data hygiene at scale, admins often turn to project and issue archiving to remove out-of-date information from Jira for easier searching and faster performance.

Maintaining a healthy Jira instance for an admin can be a tricky dance of understanding what issues should and shouldn’t be archived (and at times identifying items that were archived inappropriately).  A successful archiving strategy encompasses the ability to look back and understand what and why something was archived, and to be able to confidently and strategically archive projects and issues moving forward. With a scaling Jira instance, and a constant influx of new and old users referencing data, this can be very difficult, and admins are typically the first place stakeholders turn when they can’t find their information.

If you don’t have answers to help them, this becomes a problem. Whether you’re a new admin to an existing Jira instance, something was archived a long time ago, or it was archived by someone who had incorrect permissions, you often need greater insights and visibility to appropriately help stakeholders.  

Keep in mind

When it comes to archived information, be aware of attributes such as who, why, or when.

Without knowing who, why, or when the information was archived, you are unable to provide reasoning as to why something was archived and whether or not it should remain archived (you can’t just start unarchiving everything as this will have performance implications on your instance). When these requests occur it typically means you must stop what you are working on, and search for information so your stakeholders aren’t blocked.

Getting the insights you need with advanced auditing

With advanced auditing, you are given the insights and visibility you need to have a more comprehensive view and understanding of what has happened, and what is happening, within your instance. All archiving events are logged, pinpointing the person who archived the project or issue, and when they did it, helping you as an admin get to the why and resolve any further issues. Now you can easily provide stakeholders with comprehensive answer, without having to stop what you are working on. 

ADDITIONAL INSIGHT

A good hygiene strategy isn’t just about understanding what has happened in the past, but understanding what you can archive moving forward to maintain a high performing instance. With the insight from advanced auditing, you are able to make strategic choices on what is best for your instance and be confident in your decisions. 

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Imagine you are preparing for a clean-up audit, if you are reviewing 10 million records, and you see projects that have not been touched, this is a prime indication that it is most likely not being used. You can take this information to the appropriate stakeholders and make informed and strategic decisions on what should be archived, helping prevent any issues in the future. 

Advanced auditing helps you stay two steps ahead, and deliver a high performing and easy to search Jira, so your teams can continue to do their best work. 

ADDITIONAL INSIGHT

Advanced auditing also offers file externalization capabilities that allow you to work with third-party monitoring tools such as Splunk, Elastic Stack, Sumo Logic, or CloudWatch to automatically notify you every time there’s an anomaly.