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Are multiple tools hindering your team's collaboration?

23 Feb 2019 in

Organisations know the true value of collaboration, with many providing tools, process and culture to support this, which are typically supplied to business unit silos - the antithesis to collaboration. To complicate collaboration further, many organisations have numerous tools that do similar things with no common or single tool for everyone to use. This environment creates a collaboration blocker, especially when people from different teams or locations try to work together; it's fundamental they have a common platform to capture and plan their work. Ultimately, businesses want to deliver high quality products to clients ASAP and need their IT to support and enable this. So in practise, how can you achieve this?

In an ideal world, companies would have a single platform, such as Atlassian's Jira and Confluence, to manage and collaborate on work. However, when speaking with clients, they often cite security concerns, such as data classification policies, segregation of duties and working with third parties, as to why using a single platform can't work. Protecting privacy and data are valid concerns, which is why Jira and Confluence have rich security controls built-in. This allows permissions to be created which limit and control access to ensure only the right people have access to the right information. So in practice, there can be multiple different users (internal, third party, customers etc.) all on the same instance, who are securely integrated with corporate user access controls. Your user administrator will also thank you as the overall process is simplified. 

In reality, things aren't always that straightforward, as it is common to find third parties using their own tools, which restricts the client's visibility of their own process. This is where the real benefits of having a single collaboration platform becomes apparent. These include:

  • Owning the IP and all data.
  • Increased agility from having once single process for internal purposes and third parties.
  • Total process control due to owning the platform.
  • Visibility of third party work, helping you to understand workflow speed, as well as ensuring best practice is followed.

    Once the benefits have been realised and moving to a single instance (or strategic instances) has been decided, some investment is required. This expenditure is vital as the collaboration platform is a business critical service, which needs an appropriate support model to ensure it is always available to fully reap the benefits. As well as the migration cost, there are a few other considerations to be aware of:
  • To guarantee the platform is scalable and resilient, high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) via Data Center editions of the products would need to be implemented.
  • A defined and robust service management model is needed to provide controlled admin and change to Jira config, including having clear SLAs for employees.
  • The need for well trained Jira administrators to support users. 

So using a single or strategic instance makes sense but in practice, does anything really change? Are there are true business advantages? These are two fair questions, so rather than taking our word for it, we spoke with several clients who explained the main benefits they obtained when they made the change:

  • Improved collaboration and visibility of work - employees and teams collaborate across the organisation more effectively, which consistently leads to increased velocity. Furthermore, working in one centralised place, prioritisation is improved as tradeoffs are clearer and work dependencies can be managed more efficiently. 
  • Strategic prioritisation - true visibility of the work backlog is achieved, allowing leadership to make decisions quickly and ensure teams are working towards the same strategic objectives.
  • Reduced management overhead - infrastructure and people costs can be reduced by removing duplicated leads, which helps team focus on delivering better customer value rather than wasting time managing multiple instances of the same issue.
  • Licence savings - in most cases, users have multiple accounts on different Jiras, or that some Jira instances have spare licenses. Moving to a single or strategic instance, in this case, means paying for less licenses, which can often equate to more than any migration cost.

As creating a culture of collaboration becomes more prevalent within business, the importance of removing barriers that prevent teamwork is growing. By working on one platform and a single or strategic instance, collaboration and visibility of work improves, strategic prioritisation is achieved and overheads can be recovered. Privacy issues aren't even a problem as certain parameters can be set to ensure internal users, third parties and even customers have the appropriate access and only see what they should be looking at. This can be easily achieved by combining the power of Atlassian's Jira and Confluence to truly manage work collaboration as effectively and efficiently as possible.

As an Atlassian Solutions Partner, we have built an automated migration capability, which means you can save time and money when collapsing multiple instances into a single one.

To find out how this can help your business, contact us now.