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How to make ChatOps relevant today


Collaboration and automation play critical roles in the enterprise and should therefore be integrated into any IT management solution. In this blog post, we will be sharing our thoughts on making ChatOps relevant for most businesses today.

Collaboration tools have become a decisive part of our daily life in IT. Tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams help us connect faster and more effectively with our team members in new and exciting ways.

Chatbots, and ChatOps to a greater extent, give us the ability to use these collaboration venues to not just chat with one another but to modernize the way we perform IT Operations. If you are not familiar with ChatOps, check out Rod’s blog post.

ChatOps can take many forms, from a simple collection of chatbots to an intricate ecosystem, but the underlying goals are always the same: Enable collaboration that is assisted or guided by automation that addresses and supports business processes. In using ChatOps for IT remodeling, we have to keep this simple principle in mind.

We often overlook the “collaboration” and “process” pieces and jump straight into the automation. While automation can provide value in the short term, a well thought out and planned strategy for ChatOps can have impacts that ripple through an entire organization and for long periods.

Let’s use ChatOps applied to the incident management process as an example of this. It’s a fascinating area that we can quickly understand, and IBM has done quite a bit of work around this space. It can help practitioners to promptly understand what the issue is by providing timing and valuable insights. Hopefully, it also gives directions on how to solve the incident (IBM has done some great work in this space with Watson AIOps as an example). However, a well thought out ChatOps strategy can take us well beyond this.

Perhaps we have multiple offerings, each with its own support engagement structure. What if an incident spans over more than one of them? What if we have a security-related event that crosses over all of our offerings? This is when ChatOps can show its true value by reshaping or completely replacing existing processes to enhance the mean-times (respond, resolve, or acknowledge).

It is worth pointing out here, ChatOps does not only exist in the Incident Management tenet. We often focus on the incident management space because it is an area where we can easily rationalize ChatOps potentials. However, when looking to modernize our IT Operations, we should look across all of the business processes, capabilities, tooling, and integrations for more possibilities. A great way to do this is through the use of Enterprise Design Thinking sessions.

Start to think about where your sizable pain points are. Where your collaboration works well and where it fails today. What are the most significant hurdles in enabling your teams to collaborate more and faster?

Those session outcomes will form a solid foundation and strategy for your ChatOps implementation and your overall modernization strategy.

If you enjoyed our blog post about ChatOps, please follow us — Rod and Wesley — on LinkedIn.