What is ChatOps?

ChatOps in a sentence

ChatOps is the unified use of chat applications and communication services to execute development and operations functions and commands by technical staff and teams.

IT landscape is changing

The confluence of CI/CD, cloud-based applications and infrastructure, and DevOps-focused teams is leading to faster delivery of more complex systems. With rapid development and faster release schedules, there are more risks and a higher chance for bugs.

To keep up with competitors in today's software landscape, features must be delivered quickly and reliably. Automation, collaboration and transparency manifest themselves in ChatOps processes - improving the overall efficiency of DevOps-focused organizations and traditional IT operations.

ChatOps as the answer

ChatOps is a solution for connecting people to the processes and technical systems they work with. It enables operations and engineering teams to communicate with their applications and infrastructure in the same way they do with their work colleagues. Using a central collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams, Discord or Slack, developers and IT professionals can talk to each other, work cross-functionally and execute operations and commands directly through chat.

ChatOps creates intuitive workflows between technical applications and infrastructure and the people who support them. This creates a real-time system for managing production incidents while automatically maintaining detailed documentation of communication and process during an incident. 

Why do DevOps specialized teams use ChatOps

DevOps teams focus primarily on continuously improving three things - collaboration, transparency and automation.

In DevOps, anything that can be automated is automated. ChatOps gives DevOps organizations the ability to automate numerous functions and tasks directly through chat. IT professionals can automatically initiate actions based on application and infrastructure health - right from chat. By executing commands and scripts in the same place everyone is chatting, there is extended visibility across all teams to any changes being made in production.

Automation and collaboration go hand in hand

Automation and collaboration work hand in hand. The processes you automate lead to more collaborative workflows for incident response and management. The faster you can not only notify the on-call team of a production incident, but also have them execute strategies to resolve the incident, the more robust your services will be. ChatOps combines the best of human communication with the best of automated DevOps workflows.

Real-time incident response collaboration

DevOps engineers already live in tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. The team constantly communicates via real-time chat apps and manages software development and incident pipelines. So why not try sending critical incident data to a place where people can automate processes and collaborate around the information.

ChatOps for Incident Management

The need for seamless, highly available and effective two-way communication in the incident management lifecycle cannot be overstated. Organizations often struggle to find and adopt a common collaboration platform that keeps everyone on the same page when it comes to incident detection, response and remediation. Although many tools used by DevOps teams are automated, they still require human intervention. 

A look at typical incident

Taking a look at a common incident management cases, most of the time a monitoring tool event creates an incident, escalated to the right responder, and when in doubt, a ticket is also created in a common ITSM tool such as Autotask.

While an incident responder is working on the above-mentioned issue, ChatOps can keep everyone in the loop and update tickets automatically as the team moves through the incident workflows.

However, studies show that moving from one application to another result in a context switch that reduces team efficiency and productivity.

ChatOps as a context switch reducer

ChatOps is gaining popularity to make incident management more agile and less burdensome for the teams involved. ChatOps bridges your applications and processes, collaboration tools, people, processes, and automation in a single transparent workflow. It brings communication and execution of software development and operations tasks onto a common platform.

You can consider using automated ChatOps tools to accelerate your incident response further. To that end, teams have already begun integrating chatbots that can automate conversations, call an API, reboot a server, and otherwise trigger external tools.

Increase MTTA and MTTR through ChatOps

Teams can reduce their MTTA or MTTR, and the cost of an outage is dramatically reduced by automating incident management workflows. For example, using iLert's Slack, Microsoft Teams or Discord chat bots, your DevOps or IT teams can conveniently launch into the ChatOps world and improve your incident management.

Just get started with ChatOps

iLert, as an uptime platform, offers convenient ways to integrate tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Discord directly into your organization's incident management with its Incident Actions and Chat Tool Connectors. Get your DevOps or IT teams up and running with ChatOps today and avoid downtime with our free trial.

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