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Make Collaboration Easy By Integrating IT Alerting to Key Systems

Dan Goldberg ON Sep 13, 2018

The data don’t lie: businesses are improving their mean time to resolution for IT incidents, and collaboration is key. In fact, a 2018 xMatters survey found that most businesses have improved their efficiency from 2015 through 2018, and 71% of businesses can notify the appropriate response personnel within the first 5 minutes of incident discovery, up from 40% in 2015.

Still, waiting for an issue to be noticed and then trying to get the attention of the right professional wastes vital time. Many of these costly minutes are spent on miscommunication, misalignment, and menial data-related tasks including:

  • Sending, reading and responding to emails
  • Gathering and sharing information
  • Data entry
  • Creating reports

While organizations typically view IT alerting as the core piece of the issue resolution process, it’s really just the beginning. The days of sending an alert to a resolution team and calling it a day are over. Today IT alerting functions must integrate with the monitoring, communication, service desk, and other systems the organizations already use. By sharing information between systems, an IT alerting tool becomes an indispensable platform for streamlining the incident response process and reducing MTTR.

Statistics don’t lie
In a 2017 Atlassian-xMatters survey of more than 1,000 technology workers: 

  • 25% deploy code to production weekly or more often 
  • 49% experience issues in production after releasing code to production 
  • 53% use manual processes to route notifications and alerts during major incidents 
  • 43% use manual processes to keep stakeholders informed during major incidents 

With teams using their own tools of choice, how do they work together in this crazy environment instead of coming apart?

What’s Missing in the All-in-One IT Alerting Approach
IT service management and DevOps environments have granted greater autonomy to teams across the application development and operations board, increasing agility. This freedom opens team members to collaborate with each other, but they often have trouble collaborating seamlessly across teams when something goes wrong.

DevOps teams may not work much with service desk tools. One approach to mitigate this disconnect with the ITSM world is to have the issue resolution process entirely within the IT alerting tool itself. Unfortunately, this approach forces DevOps teams into the IT alerting tools to access data, updates, and messages, when their core jobs take place elsewhere. It’s inconvenient, and it builds silos between teams.

Even worse, having to toggle between the alerter, the repair tools, and the problematic operations in question can make for a convoluted resolution process in which critical steps slip through the gaps between apps.

Even keeping accurate records can become difficult, with numerous versions of the truth residing within various data silos throughout the organization.

Since few, if any, of the tools are chained to one another, no one really knows what the others are doing. Tickets that have been handled may inadvertently be left open, leading someone to work on a resolution to a nonexistent problem.

This approach can work fine for smaller organizations, but it doesn’t scale to large enterprises.

Uncovering the Collaboration Solution
A superior way to create a truly collaborative IT incident response environment is to chain together the tools and applications that DevOps and ITSM teams use into a cohesive machine that works as a unit. Instead of an IT alerting tool, an integrated platform enables teams to work within their own systems, incorporating IT alerting data and notifications into relevant tools and applications. This system of centralized process and distributed work not only ensures that everyone has the same information, but also that they’re working with applications they have expertise in, reducing mistakes or oversights. It also makes it possible to work on problems without the time-sink of switching between systems.

This level of integration ensures that there are no gaps in the resolution chain by identifying and alerting appropriate personnel, facilitating streamlined workflows, keeping stakeholders aligned, and updating records and systems automatically.

The xMatters toolchain collaboration platform relays data between systems while engaging the right people to resolve incidents. xMatters ensures that the appropriate individuals and groups for any situation are identified, notified, and taking action. To close the loop, xMatters manages and drives forward the underlying workflow from originating systems. xMatters automates and brings structure to collaboration to help enterprises proactively prevent outages, manage incidents, and keep the right people informed.

Not convinced? Try xMatters free.