10 min read

How To Decide Between Cloud and Data Center

By Praecipio Consulting on May 19, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Everything is Easier to Manage in the Cloud_Featured

Software and data have become the most valuable resources for modern businesses. As such, a central part of your overall business strategy should be fully harnessing the infrastructure on which you host your applications and data. Identifying the right hosting platform – like Atlassian, AWS, or another – enables organizations to remain flexible. It helps them scale successfully, meet their objectives more quickly, and respond with agility to business trends.

Not all businesses are created equally, which is why a “one-size-fits-all” hosting solution doesn’t exist. 

In this article, we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of hosting on the cloud vs. on-premises and specifically related to Atlassian Cloud vs. Data Center. Additionally, we provide insight to help you make an informed decision about which is the best fit for your business.

Cloud Versus On-Premise Data Center

Cloud software is hosted on a third party’s infrastructure and is accessible to an organization through a web server. The underlying hardware is often widely geographically distributed and complies with global regulations.

Traditionally, on-premise software was installed locally on data centers run by the organization. This model of data center has evolved to include “on-premise” data centers that use hybrid or outsourced infrastructures, including co-located servers running your apps, VMs, or private clouds. Although the servers aren’t on a company’s premises, the hardware is physically accessible and on-premises that you can visit and inspect.

Atlassian offers both categories of products for enterprise teams: Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. First, let's introduce the options.

Atlassian Cloud

Atlassian Cloud is a delivery model for Atlassian products that host software on Atlassian’s globally distributed infrastructure. It enables your company to stay agile and invest more in your core business by freeing up your resources from having to manage security, upgrades, and maintenance. 

Atlassian offers a suite of collaborative tools to get work done at scale in a hosted environment. These tools include Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Trello, Confluence, and Bamboo just to name a few.

Atlassian Data Center

Atlassian Data Center is a self-managed solution that lets you control product hosting, ensure maintenance, and perform version upgrades yourselves. Unlike Atlassian Cloud, your company is responsible for managing security, upgrades, and maintenance, but you have the access and flexibility to build a custom-tailored solution. Atlassian Data Center also offers a similar suite of tools for teams to the one available on Atlassian Cloud.

In early 2021, Atlassian began the process of ending support for Atlassian Server, leaving Data Center as the only self-hosted option for organizations joining the Atlassian platform. Organizations with existing licenses can continue to use Server, but support for Atlassian Server products is scheduled for early 2024.

Breaking Down Pros and Cons

Let’s discuss the differences in control and support, ease of deployment, and cost benefits between hosting software in the cloud and on-premise.

Control and Support

Cloud environments are managed by a vendor that offers support, monitoring, and built-in reliability functions. These environments are highly available and can be set up quickly.

On-premise hosting, on the other hand, is controlled by the organization. This means that you can customize your systems and choose which tools to deploy. But this also gives you or an external partner the responsibility of managing them effectively.

Ease of Deployment

Atlassian Cloud and Data Center both present unique challenges when setting up infrastructure.

Cloud infrastructure is the simpler option when starting fresh with a new instance, but any other type of migration requires more careful planning and preparation. Setting up the new instance is normally simple, as it only requires you to sign up for a subscription, choose your configurations and then your new software is in place almost immediately and Atlassian takes care of any installation.

However, if you need to migrate an existing instance — which entails your users, apps, and data — you’ll be balancing cost, downtime, and complexity. We don’t recommend doing a cloud migration on your own, so it’s important to bring on an Atlassian Solution Partner to help successfully guide you through the migration process. 

In contrast, deploying applications on-premise involves setting up new hardware or configuring your existing hardware before you install any software. It also requires you to perform maintenance on your hardware and ensure software is updated and patched.

Even if you choose to deploy your application on a non-clustered architecture, much of this work is time-consuming and requires additional specialized staff. A more complex setup provides all the performance, scalability, and reliability you’d expect from a clustered architecture, but demands a correspondingly greater investment and more work.

To successfully deploy on-premises, you need to hire staff — not only to build and deploy your infrastructure but also to maintain it and ensure it meets regulatory requirements. You then need to document and benchmark your existing processes before optimizing your application.

Testing your deployment is the most intensive part of a deployment or migration. It can take 3 to 6 months to fully test your application for functionality, performance, and integration, after which your team is then responsible for ongoing infrastructure monitoring.

If you decide to hybridize your Data Center infrastructure, you can deploy Atlassian Data Center via cloud hosting infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Although this removes the burden of physical server maintenance, migrating is still a work-intensive and lengthy procedure.

Cost

Cloud service models free you from the expense of hardware, software, and additional IT professionals. Many businesses, especially startups and small companies, choose this option for its low upfront cost. Cloud hosting’s excellent scalability and high availability are expensive features to achieve in on-premise solutions. You don’t need to purchase the infrastructure (capital expense) with cloud environments you’re only left to deal with operational expenses.

Atlassian Cloud's monthly or annual subscription model can help organizations save money by eliminating upfront infrastructure purchases. A subscription also includes frequent updates to maintain up-to-date security features, which can become a significant recurring cost if your organization is responsible for its own updates. Additionally, Atlassian works around the clock to ensure that your data is secure, so once again, once less cost that your business has to incur. 

On the other hand, some organizations may have specialized needs that require data to remain within their jurisdiction. These companies must usually purchase and maintain all their hardware, ranging from the obvious — like servers, routers, and networking software — to the less obvious and often surprisingly expensive — like HVAC, fire suppression, and backup power solutions. In general, on-premise systems require significantly more upfront capital than cloud solutions.

Although it gives you precise control over your deployment, Atlassian Data Center requires an investment in staff. Even if you decide to run a hybrid architecture and avoid the costs of maintaining physical servers, your team still needs to maintain your infrastructure’s software layer. Security patches, integrations, and network performance become your organization’s responsibility. 

Comparing Atlassian Cloud and Data Center

Let’s look a little more closely at Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. We’ll evaluate them based on a few factors that most organizations prioritize.

Time and Expense of Initial Setup

Depending on the scale of your infrastructure, setting up an on-premise architecture could take weeks. You need to install and configure all of the Atlassian products and infrastructure you need, and then migrate any data you currently have. You’ll need to do this for every product.

Atlassian Cloud is quicker to set up because Atlassian manages everything for you. If you are starting fresh with a completely new Atlassian instance, you could begin using your Cloud infrastructure within minutes — or seconds, if you use SSO.

If you are migrating your Atlassian instance to Cloud, things get a bit more challenging. While Atlassian itself provides free tools to support your team through the migration process, including the  Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket migration assistant resources. However, even with this help from these tools, cloud migrations present unexpected roadblocks — especially during more complex or specialized migrations.

That’s why we recommend going a step further and getting help from an Atlassian Solution Partner. An Atlassian Specialized Partner in Cloud, like Praecipio Consulting, guides you through the entire migration process, sharing their proven expertise to accelerate your journey to cloud. For example, during a migration with Praecipio Consulting, any legacy or duplicate tooling is adjusted and your architecture is cleaned up, giving you peace of mind and a refreshed final product at a lower cost than if you were to complete the move yourselves.

Skills and Expertise Required to Deploy and Maintain

Atlassian Cloud customers don’t need to manage instances because Atlassian provides and maintains the infrastructure. Cloud services are updated automatically, so you don't have to perform regular maintenance updates or worry about version compatibility.

At the other end of the spectrum, Atlassian Data Center offers more customization options, but it requires a higher level of expertise to manage successfully. You’ll need dedicated internal resources and skilled personnel to install, configure, upgrade and maintain instances.

Security

Atlassian handles all security concerns in its Cloud offering at the network, server, and application levels. This offering includes compliance with a broad set of industry standards, network security scans of both internal and external infrastructure, and regular penetration testing.

One of the main features of an on-premise setup is the additional control you have over your data. When using Atlassian Data Center, you have control over hardware and network security, but Atlassian manages application-level security for you.

Scalability Potential

Atlassian Cloud is inherently much more scalable than a Data Center. Atlassian Data Center also offers a solution with scaling potential, but the scalability is limited to the infrastructure deployed.

When using Atlassian Data Center, you need to forecast and build out capacity ahead of time to meet your predicted peaks. Many data centers are somewhat capable of being refitted to scale vertically, but horizontal scaling demands more space and power. You can easily scale out horizontally using Atlassian Cloud to get higher throughput and configure the environment to accommodate additional resources as needed.

Ability to Work Remotely

Atlassian Cloud is a hosted platform that you can use from anywhere, at any time. Team members can easily access Jira issues, Confluence pages, Bitbucket repositories, and other tools remotely from anywhere around the globe.

Atlassian Cloud also allows you to have teams of any size in the cloud and on-premis, working together in real-time. Employees working remotely can collaborate and access company products securely from mobile apps and browsers without signing in to a VPN. 

Data Center lets you stay flexible while retaining control over the security and stability of your instances. You can freely add nodes to your cluster to handle large numbers of geographically distributed users, and then use built-in features like rate limiting to prevent instability caused by external tools, automations, and infrastructure quirks outside of your organization’s control.

You can alleviate some of these concerns by using a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce peak load times on application instances running on Atlassian Data Center. This increase in performance extends to all your users, not just those who are geographically distant from your servers.

Cloud

A business with fluctuating needs requires a tiered pricing solution based on the number of users who access an instance in a certain period.

Organizations often have information spread across several different platforms. Your business may have messages on Slack, spreadsheets in Excel, and other documents in Google Docs. For example, you can bring these resources together using dynamic pages in Confluence Cloud to distribute communication materials and create company policies and marketing plans.

Confluence Cloud is used by many companies — such as Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Udemy — to create collaborative workspaces and consolidate information into unified dashboards.

Data Center 

In contrast, Data Center is better suited for organizations looking to meet specialized needs. It allows businesses to access their system’s back end and databases and create tailored integrations and add-ons.

For example, if you use Jira Service Management Cloud, you’re limited to specific customizations in some Jira plugin features, such as BigPicture Dashboard Gadgets or ScriptRunner scripting functions. However, you can use and freely customize these plugins by using them on Jira Service Management Data Center. 

Organizations that want to collaborate with their teams at a high velocity while meeting strict compliance standards can use Jira Service Management Data Center. Instead of having to build in-house ITSM systems, JSM Data Center acts as a single source of truth and allows you to extract and share data between teams without the complex processes of a conventional ITSM platform.

Conclusion

Unless an organization fully understands what it needs from its infrastructure and how the business might grow in the future, it can be difficult to determine whether to move everything to the cloud or run production systems in a data center. To evaluate how you can best serve your customers and employees, you must weigh the increased control and flexibility of Atlassian Data Center against the added and resource investment of staying out of the Cloud. Outside of specialized use cases, it’s often more beneficial to switch over to Atlassian Cloud.

Avoiding the switch to cloud will be more difficult to justify in a couple of years as support for Atlassian Server ends. So, organizations looking for longevity have an even stronger incentive to begin their migrations soon.

Although migrations have a reputation as formidable undertakings, there’s no need for them to be overwhelming. The tools provided by Atlassian offer a good starting point for simple migrations if your IT department is provisioned to handle the risks.

However, it’s worth using an Atlassian Solution Partner like Praecipio Consulting to help with your migration. Experienced migration experts provide peace of mind by helping you mitigate potential risks and by providing support throughout the entire process, from deciding on the best migration strategy to onboarding users in the days following a migration.

If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio Consulting team to learn how we can help you achieve a successful migration.

Topics: cloud data-center atlassian-cloud cloud migration
5 min read

Our Guide to Moving Applications to the Atlassian Cloud

By Chris Hofbauer on Mar 8, 2022 10:02:06 AM

22-marc-blogpost_Moving Applications to the Cloud-2

We get it. Migrating to the cloud can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. And, with Atlassian Server approaching end-of-life, the time to start preparing for your Atlassian Cloud Migration is now. In this blog you'll learn about the 6-step process Praecipio Consulting follows and how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate for over 15 years.

In the cloud, companies have an increased capability to scale efficiently, increased security, reduced downtime, and several other benefits. You can learn more about why you should be migrating to the cloud in 2022 in this blog.

Every Atlassian Cloud Migration is unique, but success is within your reach if you set yourself up for success with a thorough and well-thought-out plan. You can also download the 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook, where we go into a bit more detail about the steps and our partnership with Castlight Health.

1. Assess Your Applications

You will need to perform a deep analysis of your Atlassian application in the initial phases. In the assess phase, review all of the applications and the add-ons within the applications. You'll need to determine which applications are business-critical, optional, no longer in use, etc. Additionally, you'll need to develop an understanding of how these applications are used.

Not all applications are available in Cloud. The how is essential for determining if there are potential replacements. You don't want to experience any unexpected loss of functionality after the migration. If there are apps that are not yet available in Cloud, research any alternatives and implement these during your testing phase to ensure the functionality is adequate.

Another critical component to the assess phase is carefully considering any external integration. Any external configurations will need to be reconfigured as the base URL will be changed along with how Cloud performs API authentications.

2. Plan for Success

Once your assessment is completed and you have a good understanding of what will be migrated and what will be replaced, it is time to plan the migration. The first step in your planning phase will be deciding if you need Atlassian Access. Atlassian access provided centralized, enterprise-grade security across all Atlassian Cloud products.

If your organization uses a cloud identity provider, Atlassian Access can integrate directly. After the decision for Atlassian Access is determined, you should next set up your "organization" in Cloud. The organization provides the ability to view and manage all of your users in one place and leverage security features such as SAML SSO. Once the organization has been established, verify the company domain. This can be achieved by following the documentation: Verify a Domain to Manage Accounts.

Now that your Cloud site is set up and configured, it is time to choose a migration strategy. You can read this blog to learn about 4 Cloud Migration Strategies and their pros and cons.

3. Prepare Your Instance

In the Prep phase, it's important not to cut any corners. Prepping your migration can take weeks to accomplish; however, it's one of the most critical components to a successful migration. Therefore, you'll want to consult with your teams and the key stakeholders of your server instances.

Opening the lines of communication with these users will promote a smooth migration with minimal disruption in their work. After these teams are on board, you will want to check your current server version to ensure you are on a supported version of the server before attempting the migration. Then, with the assessment in hand, begin to clean up any data in the server instance.

In continuing to prepare your Cloud site, install any cloud app that will be used post-migration. Having these apps in place prior to the migration is essential so that the data can be brought over correctly during the migration event. Begin to put together an initial runbook with a step-by-step checklist of all the items that will take place, along with details of each of these steps. Document the estimated time that each step will take as well. The runbook and the timeline may change during the testing phase.

4. Test Everything

In the testing phase, you'll want to have done everything you can to prepare your instance for a successful migration. It will be critical to have a backup of your data. Regardless of any migration strategy chosen, you will want to have a backup of your server instance. Performing rounds of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is vital to a successful migration.

Establish a list of users and teams that will navigate to a "migrated" cloud instance and have these users complete the day-to-day tasks that they would typically complete to do their work as completed. Any uncovered issues should be documented, reviewed, and the solutions added to the runbook. It is recommended that there be several test runs performed until the migration is successful, the runbook is completed, and all UAT users confirm functionality.

Once the tests are completed, prepare any training materials that users will need or find beneficial post-migration. Next, formulate a comprehensive communication plan and begin to execute this plan. Inform your users when this migration will occur, what downtime they can expect, how they can access the new site, how they will sign in, who they can contact in case of any issues, and provide any materials they can review to get acclimated with the Cloud environment.

5. Migrate Your Data

You are now ready for the Migration phase. During this phase, you will fix any last-minute issues and run through your runbook to begin to migrate your users and data. At this stage, be sure to set your server instance in "read-only" to prevent changes made during the migration. Next, perform the migration of the data apps, and begin QA once completed.

6. Launch Your Instance

Finally, the Launch phase. You have successfully migrated to the Cloud, now continue Cloud support and ensure that your users are successful.

Welcome your team to the cloud, communicate to the stakeholders that the migration was successful, be evident in the business decision to move to the Cloud, and provide the materials they will need to succeed in their job function. Set aside office hours to discuss and review any issues your end users may have. Once problems have been resolved or become fewer, you may begin to transition into a maintenance phase versus support.

Atlassian Cloud Migrations are complex, and you can do them yourself. However, we recommend choosing a partner with a history of success and expertise in helping companies like yours migrate to the Atlassian Cloud. Contact us today if you'd like to learn more and get started.

FREE EBOOK: 6 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL ATLASSIAN CLOUD MIGRATION

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

Topics: atlassian cloud atlassian-cloud
4 min read

What Happens During an Atlassian Cloud Migration?

By Shannon Fabert on Mar 1, 2022 9:52:09 AM

what happens during an atlassian cloud migration

Since 2021, Atlassian users across the globe have inquired about Atlassian Cloud products. In talking with multiple clients and users, the inevitable questions are 1) how do Cloud products differ from Server and Data Center and 2) what happens during a migration? 

First, for Atlassian Cloud products, the user interface is slightly different, not to mention downtime for database or application configuration changes such as upgrades are a thing of the past. While there are innumerable differences between the Cloud experience vs. your current Server experience, let’s focus on some of the distinctions that are explicitly associated with the migration experience and, most importantly, the transfer of data.

Atlassian’s Cloud Migration Assistant

As applications such as Jira and Confluence have been upgraded, most system administrators have seen an added System menu item of “Migrate to Cloud.” In three easy steps, one would assess applications, prepare applications, and migrate data. Easy-peezy, lemon squeezy. Here the migration process is focused on cleaning up any process transfers using the Cloud Migration Assistant, often referred to as JCMA (Jira) or CCMA (Confluence), etc. 

This is Atlassian’s free tool that migrates configurations along with data to get you up and running in the cloud smoothly. As an administrator, this would be my preferred option for an organization. The ideal migration would be the simple push of a button, waiting on the data to transfer into the cloud, and then team members fluidly begin work.

The reality is your migration experience and level of effort required is determined by your organization’s governance practices and the complexity of your environment, specifically your use of and reliance on add-on applications. Four years ago, the vendor app space was limited. Then, it was easy to take a cursory glance at available options and make the decision to stay with your on-premises environment. Today, the vendor app space has covered most use cases. It is less about the number of applications available to the cloud instances than nuanced custom use cases.

Assessing Your Applications

A full review of vendor applications is one of the first steps your organization should complete before you consider moving to Atlassian Cloud. Your organization should understand how the app is used, by how many people, and if it is a transferrable application. In some frequent use cases, native cloud functionality might prove to be a more viable option, as it serves as a way to improve your current processes and makes your configurations less complicated. Migration plans need to be made around apps that are part of essential functions. Therefore, it is imperative to work with key stakeholders regarding their specific use cases. 

It is also essential to review and understand your specific use case during your migration journey. More mature Jira applications often have very embedded processes that have been tailored to years of adoption. As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, Praecipio Consulting has had a hand in these types of customizations. This can be an eye-opening experience for an organization because oftentimes they uncover that administration has been left to developers or super users without governance, and the reality is that customizations built using homegrown scripts need to be closely evaluated.  

Cloud Migration Case Study

For example, working with a marketing organization, we completed a cursory review of its workflows. In reviewing the workflows, we found custom scripts that were doing basic permission functions, which could have been controlled through update permissions schemes, conditions, and validators common to more advanced workflows. The scripts themselves were not problematic in the on-premises instance. 

However, the lack of administrative knowledge led to a less than ideal practice, and when moving to cloud, they would need to be built out using best practices for an easy transfer of data and fluid transition in use. Finding solutions for custom development work is worked through before the migration, which makes the migration easier and also allows team members time to get acquainted with the prescribed best practices and changes.

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through a successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

Conclusion

The ideal situation for each organization is to have a seamless experience between Server and Cloud utilization. Depending on their on-premises version, there could be a need to deploy change management plans to ease user apprehension of the new look of their Atlassian applications. While the risk is low, the appetite for change can vary.

Hopefully, you have been working closely with the stakeholders in preparing them for these changes well before the actual migration. For most organizations, the “heavy lifting” happens in preparation before the actual migration. For large organizations, this could be a slow and daunting process.  

Whatever your journey to the cloud may be, it does not have to be done alone. Praecipio Consulting is an Official Cloud Specialized Partner in Atlassian Cloud migrations and can assist with the actual migration and prepare the organization for life after Server products.

Learn more about why you should be migrating to cloud in 2022 by checking out this blog. Also, if you’re interested in learning how Praecipio Consulting maintains a 100% Cloud Migration success rate, you should reach out to us here.

Topics: cloud atlassian-cloud cloud migration
3 min read

Cloud simplifies creating valuable workflows

By Luis Machado on Feb 22, 2022 11:04:51 AM

2021 Q1 Blog - Cloud - Cloud simplifies creating valuable workflow - Hero

Workflows are the backbone of every process in every business around the globe. Efficient workflows can help your business scale effectively. However, flawed or fragile workflows can lead to issues within your company, disruptions to your bottom line, and more. 

Until not so long ago, if you wanted to create a new way of working, you had to:
  • Create a request to solve this issue and make a business case for it
  • Once approved, brainstorm with stakeholders on ways to improve the process
  • IT had to create a development and test environment to code the changes and test them
  • Documentation and training
  • Launch with (hopeful) success

How long did this take? Days? Weeks? Traditionally, months.

Cloud shortens that time and provides several other benefits—such as reduced IT overhead, strengthened security, and more time spent focused on your customers and product. You can learn why you should migrate to Atlassian Cloud in 2022 here.

You can learn more about our approach to Atlassian Cloud Migrations and discover how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate.

Your Cloud and digital improvements won't provide greater customer satisfaction, staff enhanced capabilities, or lower costs unless you begin to apply DevOps practices and tools.

How do we make it faster?

Using the concepts of IT service management, and leveraging the right software, you can automate creating and approving requests or resolving an IT issue (incident). This approach can be applied to other business tasks such as sales, HR, marketing, and essential accounting functions. Cloud-based software lets you implement these processes with a few clicks or by pressing a button on an online catalog. Atlassian and their partners like Workato are leading the way in creating business as a Service process. 

If we look at Onboarding, for example, one of the most common workflows companies have a strong desire to automate. The steps to source an applicant, store their CV, arrange an interview, track the responses, make an offer, track the request and organize the start date, training, and IT of the new employee used to take several days. Now software can complete your onboarding process by your morning coffee break.

The same is true for:

  • Approval workflows – product or service improvements currently require many approvals from finance, security, users, operations, and even external suppliers. These hand-offs add days to time to market, which could be saved if you allow software to manage your approval process.
  • Creating application environments – we have seen where the request for a new environment took 11 weeks. Coding the demand to deploy process allows an entire domain to be ready in less than 10 minutes. Taking advantage of this, you can even code the removal of the environment if not in use saving money.
  • Automating payment of services (debit cards, online products like PayPal, online ordering) is nothing more than leveraging code for the cash flow from request to the supplier.

How do you take advantage of this new way of creating work?

Consider these questions:
  • What work processes are vital to you, and why?
  • How do they work today?
  • What is wrong with them today?

This is where a partner like Praecipio comes into the picture. Leveraging lean techniques like value stream mapping (VSM) that have been embraced by DevOps and ITSM the world over, we can work with your teams to design for your future. Making collaborative decisions on improving the workflow or outsourcing the workload to a SaaS provider (see Praecipio SaaS blogs) can be agreed upon. The goal is to introduce innovation, speed, and scalability with a cloud service enabled by software workflow products. We bring context and expertise to the table turn your ideas into reality.

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through a successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

The goal is to have cloud-based operating models that can accelerate your strategy. Through 2020 and 2021, we've seen what happens to companies that do not react quickly enough. Ask for assistance and coaching, and go digital in 2022. Get started with your Cloud Migration by reaching out to the experts at Praecipio Consulting.

Topics: workflows cloud cloud migration
3 min read

Why you should migrate to Atlassian Cloud in 2022

By Luis Machado on Feb 15, 2022 1:33:07 PM

Why you should be migrating to Atlassian Cloud in 2022

It's 2022, and we're (hopefully) at a peak with Omicron, yet we still aren't sure what the future of work looks like. In 2020, classrooms went virtual and suddenly every meeting was online. Many businesses suffered plenty of losses, and some didn't make it. However, some businesses thrived, or at the very least managed to emerge from the proverbial storm relatively unscathed.

Two years later, what's next? If you didn't migrate to cloud, is there still a reason to do so? The answer is still a resounding yes.

The benefits of a Cloud Migration are still many

Data Center and Cloud offer different benefits, but for most customers, cloud is an excellent choice. Data center hosting is self-managed and requires more resources to keep it up-to-date and compliant with industry regulations. However, hosting on Atlassian Cloud provides several benefits:

  • Reduce total cost of ownership: Save on physical infrastructure, maintenance, support, and other admin costs. 
  • Eliminate downtime and maintenance:  Say goodbye to falling behind on updates and downtime. When you move to Atlassian Cloud, your organization automatically has access to the latest and greatest features of your Atlassian products.
  • Strengthen security: Keep your organization secure and stay compliant as Atlassian takes over safeguarding your data with their security best practices and rigorous testing. 
  • Keep your people happy: With its ease-of-use and improved performance, the user experience in cloud is more intuitive, seamless, and collaborative. 
  • Work from anywhere: It's not where you work, it's how you work. Distributed teams can securely access your Atlassian tools from anywhere and through any browser or mobile app.
  • Improve business agility: Cloud provides the flexibility to move faster, scale your instance successfully, have greater visibility into real-time data, and improve business agility.

You can find even more benefits of migrating to the cloud on our Atlassian Cloud Migrations page.

Are your business needs aligned with a cloud-based infrastructure? Organizations contemplated the pros and cons of maintaining their self-hosting capabilities versus something more in the realm of the SaaS model, which involves migrating your applications into a 3rd-party hosted infrastructure that manages everything for you.

On-premise versus cloud can cost your business more time and money and lead to an increased risk of vulnerability. So, the question "Should my business be in the cloud?" has evolved to "How can I get by business to cloud?"

Free eBook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

Learn how to assess, plan, and launch a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration with our new eBook. We explore what you should expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes, and how we partnered with Castlight Health to guide them through a successful cloud migration. Learn how we've maintained a 100% cloud migration success rate, download our 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration eBook today.

How to get your foot in the door

So, it's 2022, and you're looking to move your business into the cloud and accelerate your path towards digital transformation. But, given all the options out there, where do you even begin? If your company uses Atlassian products, it's a great place to start. Atlassian has already taken the position of doubling down on cloud, and it's not a matter of when you'll have to migrate, but when.

Atlassian focuses heavily on supporting their customers during their migrations and are making significant investments in their cloud-based products and feverishly improving existing features.

No two cloud migrations are created alike. There's a lot to take in between users, access, apps, strategies, and so much more. This blog covers some of the things you'll need to keep an eye out for in those first stages of your migration. Also, learn more about different types of cloud migration strategies in this blog.

Whichever way you approach it, 2022 and beyond are sure to be significant years for Atlassian Cloud migrations. So there's never been a better time to take the leap. If you're interested in how Praecipio Consulting can help you plan your Atlassian Cloud migration with confidence, reach out to us today.

Topics: cloud cloud migration
5 min read

Pros and Cons of a Cloud Migration

By Luis Machado on Jul 5, 2021 12:23:50 PM

pros and cons of a cloud migration

Thinking a move to cloud might be the way to go for your company, but you're not exactly sure if such a move is right for you? There are a few questions you should ask yourself about your organization to understand the context of what a migration to cloud would mean for you.  As you're navigating the pros and cons associated with migrating from on-prem solution to cloud, you have to understand that how these factors are weighed largely depend on the context of your organization. Asking the following questions will help you establish that context:

Why move to cloud?

For context, the term 'Cloud' can be somewhat ambiguous, so if not otherwise stated I'm referring to cloud in the SaaS sense (Software as a Service), that is, maintained by a 3rd party and available in a cloud setting, such as the Atlassian product suite. There are other flavors of cloud out there, but the SaaS model is where we'll maintain our focus. The first question you want to answer is why? Why are you considering moving to cloud in the first place? Are there any specific pain points you are feeling in your current setup that you think might be alleviated by moving to cloud? Understanding what your potential need is for a cloud migration will help you to develop a business justification for the endeavor, as well as allow you to start to build the context of your specific situation. If the reason is "We're spending too much time on maintaining infrastructure for our on-prem solutions" then something like having no maintenance in a cloud environment would be weighed very heavily in your case.

What are you moving?

What are you going to be moving?  What does your current on-prem setup look like? How big is your userbase? What 3rd party add ons or apps are you using? Are you using a single instance and are wanting to consolidate in addition to migrating to cloud?  How much historical data do you have? These questions can help to establish the potential complexity of the migration you're looking to perform.  One of the major considerations that has to be factored into a cloud migration is the cost of entry. This extends from just the literal monetary cost to include time and human resources as well. If your company can't afford to divert labor to perform a migration, is it worth it for you to contract the project out to a 3rd party? Having an idea of what you are migrating will help you weigh the various options and give you perspective to consider the impact.

Pros

Now that you've established the context for you migration, let's take a moment to talk about the potential pros around migrating to cloud.  When comparing cloud to an on-prem solution, you can really break down the pros into four main points:

  • Accessibility
  • Scalability
  • Maintenance
  • Cost

Let's take a look at the first point, Accessibility. One of the great things about cloud is that it's accessible from almost anywhere in the world right out of the box. You don't have to configure any VPNs or allow lists, no special permissions groups to modify, all the data replication and content delivery is managed for you, and has a low cost to entry.

Scalability is another major pro in favor of a move to cloud and falls along similar lines as Accessibility, and typically goes hand in hand with Maintenance. The infrastructure behind the application or service is purpose-built on a platform intended to be scalable in order to support multiple customers.

Add to this the fact that you no longer have to be responsible for maintaining that infrastructure, you can focus efforts and resources elsewhere in your organization. If maintaining infrastructure is something in particular your business struggles with, making a shift to cloud can have a huge positive impact.

This leads us nicely into the topic of cost.  Depending on the specific context, cost can sometimes go either way: I'm including it in the pros section because I think in most cases, especially if you factor in for the long term, your costs overall will be lower with a move to cloud. Figuring costs in a cloud move takes some doing because there can be differences in the types of costs you'll encounter in a cloud setting vs. an on-prem. Again, because this can be pretty heavily dependent on the context of the specific situation being analyzed, I'll throw out a few common factors but I don't want to give any potentially wrong impressions. Cloud vs on prem costs infographic

In the table above I've done quick breakdown to illustrate the basic differences around Cloud and On-Prem, and I've added another column to include the option of moving to cloud as SaaS model vs self-hosted cloud. Cloud hosted and On-Prem hosted have some similar costs categories (licensing, infrastructure) but there is some reprieve you get from cloud specifically around the depreciation of hardware and maintaining the infrastructure. In a cloud model this is mostly tied to licensing and the monthly cost operating fees associated with the virtual hardware you have allocated for your purposes. Versus the more traditional model of maintaining physical servers, the personnel costs associated with that upkeep, and the cost you incur with depreciation. In a SaaS model this all mostly wrapped into the licensing cost, which is typically why licensing for cloud is both more expensive and more complex. 

Cons

There are of some potential tradeoffs and downsides to consider as part of a move to the cloud. The biggest areas that might cause you or your organization trouble include Control, Security, and Flexibility.

When you break it down, the concepts of control and security almost go hand-in-hand.  Control is probably the hardest thing to overcome when talking about moving your data to the cloud and understandably so. The bottom line of operating in cloud environment is your data lives somewhere outside of your organization and the infrastructure is managed by another entity. You're putting your data and your trust into someone else's hands. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can take some getting used to, and some adjusting of your internal methods or practices. Being familiar with the support process can help with this as know what information you can request and how to get it will help to alleviate some of the disjointed feeling when attempting to manage your application.

On the security front, if your company has very specific security requirements or has specific regulatory bodies you have to comply with, there is an extra layer of consideration when weighing the prospect of moving to cloud. It's important to first identify what those needs are and reach out to the cloud provider ahead of time to find out if those requirements can be accommodated.

Lastly it's important to consider that moving to a cloud application means you will not have access to anything beyond the application layer. This can mean workarounds previously in use with the on-prem solution may need to be re-considered or re-engineered, and there are potentially additional restrictions around API calls and traffic to/from the application. Spending some time discovering what your needs are vs what is available to you in a cloud setting will be key to realizing these potential pitfalls.

We are getting to a point where we're moving from "Is cloud the right choice?" to "Which form of cloud is the right choice?" Not all situations involving cloud are the same, and careful consideration and weighing of options is important for any potential move.  Having the right tools to plan and execute the transition as well as an understanding of the context of your environment can make all the difference when deciding how to move forward.

If you have any questions on migrating to cloud, have run into trouble implementing a migration, or simply want to see if your organization is making the most of its digital infrastructure and operations, contact us and one of our experts will reach out to you.

Topics: blog saas cloud digital-transformation cloud migration
6 min read

Leadership required when moving to Cloud and Digital

By Christopher Pepe on Apr 6, 2021 2:32:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Leadership required when moving to Cloud and Digital

2020 – What a change!

By now, every technology leader has torn up their plans and strategies as they began a ten-month tactical, fire-fighting effort to move their organization to virtual. In some cases, they were able to assist with changing how people performed their jobs, not just their staff but everyone, in which case they now joined the Digital Age.

CIOs further realized that moving to digital required a move to the cloud, and with it completely new ways of working that took advantage of the internet capabilities and bandwidth. Transferring your data center to a cloud service provider is no more going to cloud than moving your teams to Zoom makes you digital. Cloud requires a different mindset, skillset, and culture on how technology will enable your organization.

2021 is the year CIOs can own the Digital watercooler and change their role to being a Business Technology Officer, integrating software into every aspect of how their company performs tasks and services customers. But first, CIOs must address new ways of hiring, financing, and benefitting from technology, their people, their processes, and their IT. Accelerating the path to digital and cloud is the only way to remain sustainable, competitive, and compliant going forward.

The path has two main steps: funding and the creation of a new operating model

  1. The innovation funding model – iterative investments using VOI as the guide to obtain technology value sustainably

Before you decide on your cloud service provider (CSP) partner and how to migrate your applications, you will need to determine how you fund the migration to enable your organization to do work better, sooner, and safer. You need to separate the process of budgeting – a plan on what resources will be required – and funding, which is the action of providing those resources.

Current budgeting practices limit moving to the cloud and digital by:

  • Asking individuals to annually decide what they will need – and how would you know in this VUCA world?
  • Constricting work to be feature-focused but with no indication of what it will add to customer satisfaction or help staff perform better
  • Adding to technical and cultural debt with no strategy as to paying it off

The central dilemma of every executive board is how to plan, fund, and prioritize technology activities. The current best practice is not to use cost savings as a goal and instead let that be an outcome as you do things differently aided by software. You can prioritize by:

  • Application review
  • Moving from a Project mindset to a Product culture
  • Cost of Delay
  • Creating platforms for products
  • Decide on the WHY of moving to the cloud and digital, on HOW it will help, and WHAT tasks will accomplish your goals
    • Faster time to market
    • Reduction of manual activities
    • Making work more compliant
    • Creating workflows that provide agility and flexibility to meet customer demand, staff requirements, competitive threats, and external issues such as Brexit or COVID19
  • Get your entire workforce and significant suppliers to be part of the planning and allow them to focus and contribute to the proposed strategy

Shift-left! Think as your customer or staff and deeply analyze your applications, products, and services. Which ones are unique to you, and which ones could you source from a SaaS provider? Which ones do you no longer need? Now group the applications into product groups and allow your IT teams to create platforms (see next section) to service these groupings from the cloud.

Many organizations follow McKinsey's advice to create a FinOPS team of cross-functional product business leaders or at least a team comprised of IT, Finance, Risk, and HR. FinOPS will frequently negotiate with stakeholders to allocate resources (money, people, etc.) to continue the innovation or improve services. They will base their decisions on the value of investment towards the company. Frequently repeating and communicating this interaction creates the ability to pivot or stop work quickly, creating new behaviors, and embedding new disciplines on technology use.

FinOPS will rely on analytics, reporting dashboards with real-time data, and automated processes to make decisions visible and linked to business activities. Leaders will have to coach a new culture of moving from CAPEX funding to OPEX. This team will also introduce training to upskill the entire organization on how technology is applied and that by making use of cloud and digital, they will not lose their roles.

Where needed, a partner such as Atlassian and Praecipio Consulting can help you begin this journey of becoming a sustainable business, maximizing resources while reducing costs and making the entire process transparent.

 2. You have the funding model, and now you need the digital cloud operating attitudes, behaviors, and culture to achieve scalability, agility, and continuity

Can you answer these questions?

  • Which business workloads are most important to your company?
  • What are your goals by business line for the next quarter and year?
  • What are your obstacles to these goals?
  • What are your strengths for achieving these goals?

Taking the answers to these questions, review what activities you have planned in your IT department. If a user story or request is not helping solve a problem or achieve a goal, stop it. The FinOps should ask these questions monthly, which will influence resource allocation decisions for technology tasks. Visualizing findings to the company will illustrate the importance of product stories while embedding the capability of pivoting or stopping work, as necessary.

Your operating model will require:

  • A compensation model mapped to the technical activities that are not divisive
  • A full review of your applications mapped to the business lines
  • A map of the way data flows throughout your organization
    • What it entails
    • How it is used
    • Storage, archival, and continuity requirements
    • Security and access obligations
    • Tools that maintain the applications
    • A full list of proposed enhancements
    • Server, network, storage, and operating system supporting them
    • If provided to a specific location, why and how

Using this list, technology leadership needs to help the company move from a project model to a product model. Services must be led by an owner fully accountable for the resources and associated workload, including packaging software into chunks (platforms) that can be used interchangeably throughout the company.

FinOPS and the Product Owners can collaborate on which business domains would benefit most from enhancing the applications used to provide their services. Management can utilize the model to ensure that the right CSP is chosen for each platform. As you mature, you can empower your development teams to decide the best CSP for designing and deploying platforms, be they SaaS or containers. At the beginning of your journey, the strategy should be to communicate the intent and collaborate on the outcomes.

FinOPS also needs to be cloud-savvy. The pricing and SLA options are numerous and complicated. You need to ensure that what you choose is the right decision. You also need to affirm the best path for migrating your application and data to the CSP. Should you port it as it is (provides little benefit), rewrite the application, switch the workload to a SaaS provider? Remember that the avoidance of technical debt, adding to cloud migration's complexity, must be avoided.

There is no shortcut or other option to having Product Owners. You cannot interject a translator or business analyst between what people call the business and your IT. You are all part of the same company, and technology needs to be owned by the business area that provides that service. Further, the people that support these services need to feel that they also own and contribute to these services. This change in attitude and behavior will reduce incidents, increase innovation agility, and enhance your employees' satisfaction, who will feel empowered to see their contribution to the business goals.

The cloud offers the capability of completely altering the way you use technology. Do you need a new instance or environment? Build it, use it, dismantle it, and all within a few minutes at a minimum cost. The software lifecycle of products will be a combination of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, depending on the services' platform. Data lakes can share information across the company powered by analytic and reporting tools that would not be accessible to you unless you are quite large.

Security and continuity are other strengths of the cloud as you adopt the framework used by your CSP. Using IAM and Zero-trust security concepts will ensure that you do not become front-page news. Product Owners will have to maintain the governance model required and test it as part of any software change using DevSecOps practices. Scalability, both up and down, is another cloud and digital feature, enabling you to offer new products that can sense and respond to demand.

Are you worried about regulations? Globally FinOPS and Product Owners are finding that regulatory bodies, such as the Bank of England, are moving to the cloud themselves and more than willing to help ensure that their mandates are provisioned accordingly by your CSP. Even if you use a hybrid approach of more than one CSP, which leadership needs to consider, the governance and management models exist via SIAM® to support cloud and digital operating models' best strategies.

The business product operating model is not to become vendor dependent but instead use microservices and containers so that you can migrate your applications as needed to another CSP or a different offering with little effort. This abstraction mode offers the best efficiency in technology enablement. The FinOPS and Product Owners will help to create the loose guardrails to be used by your staff and IT teams as they develop software provisioned products and workloads of your business

In summary

Done correctly, the number of technology instances and applications you currently maintain will decrease but not the requirement of technical skills. Your business flexibility behaviors should be to create agility via innovative use of software, cloud, and digital. Done correctly, the time to market and lower technology costs will be your outcomes. Let all of your organization be involved in the migration strategy as you join the Digital Age, and if you need help, Praecipio Consulting is here for you.

Topics: blog efficiency finance plan saas cloud culture digital-transformation leadership frameworks
4 min read

Which Atlassian Cloud Tier is Right for My Organization?

By Amanda Babb on Feb 15, 2021 9:33:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Which Atlassian Cloud Tier is Right for My Organization--1In October 2020, Atlassian announced End-of-Life for their Server products coming on February 2, 2024. With Atlassian's continued investment in both their Cloud and Data Center hosting options, many organizations are making the switch to Atlassian Cloud. Atlassian is continuing to invest in and expand capabilities in Cloud to support even the largest customers. 

With the announcement, you and your organization have decided to either migrate to Atlassian Cloud or deploy an Atlassian Cloud instance and migrate teams as they're ready. But which Atlassian Cloud tier is best for you? 

The Four Tiers

Most Atlassian Cloud products* are available in four tiers: 

  • Free
  • Standard
  • Premium
  • Enterprise

*Trello and Bitbucket are the exception. More information on these two products later. 

Standard, Premium, and Enterprise tiers can be licensed either monthly or annually and each product can be licensed individually as well. For example, you can license Jira Software Standard monthly at 50 users and Confluence Premium annually at 200 Users. As always, Atlassian provides you the flexibility for your unique implementation. Even if you don't make the right choice the first time, you can always upgrade to Standard, Premium, or Enterprise in addition to adding licenses as needed. Let's take a closer look at each tier. 

The Free Atlassian Cloud Tier

The Free tier is a great way to get started with the Atlassian Cloud products. If you've never used Jira Core, Jira Software, or Confluence, pick a pilot team of less than 10 people (including Administrators). This team can act as your test team to both configure and use the products. You can also add other products such as Bitbucket and Jira Service Management. Bitbucket is free for up to five (5) users and Jira Service Management is free up to three (3) agents. The Free tier also includes limited storage for attachments, out-of-the-box reporting, and (depending on the product) automation. And of course, you can extend functionality through the Atlassian Marketplace. Support for the products is offered via the Atlassian Community: a robust Q&A platform that references Atlassian's product documentation, Marketplace vendor documentation, and general answers to just about every question you can think of about the products. 

Don't forget about Trello! Trello is another way for a team to organize and collaborate on work. Trello is free for up to 10 boards. There is no user count limit. Trello allows teams to create Lists and create and manage Cards to represent their work. The team can create as many Lists and Cards as they'd like on a single board. And with up to 10 free boards, the team can manage multiple work efforts on separate boards based on categories or work types. 

As an example, I have a Free Atlassian Cloud Jira Software and Confluence instance for my household which consists of my parents, a few close friends, and myself. This allows us to plan trips and vacations with one another (all Jira issues are sitting in an On Hold status currently), share pictures, links to events and lodging, and organize decisions as needed. I also have a Trello board that helps me organize my longer-term home improvement projects. Since these items are longer lived without any specific due date, I prefer Trello's flexibility such as creating lists, updating labels, and reprioritizing based on my monthly and annual budgets. 

Standard Versus Premium (and Enterprise)

Each of the three tiers (Standard, Premium, and Enterprise) can accommodate up to 10,000 licensed users. The key difference between the Standard and Premium tiers in Atlassian Cloud is added functionality. While there are a few differences between Premium and Enterprise, they only apply to specific requirements such as data residency, uptime, the inclusion of Atlassian Access, and billing. Let's focus on the key differences between the Standard and Premium tiers. 

First, storage is limited in the Standard tier to 250GB per product. If your organization attaches to or stores a significant number of files in issues or pages, you may hit this limit faster than anticipated. Second, support is offered during local business hours. That usually means 9am to 5pm in your timezone. And third, Standard has no uptime guarantee. If your organization requires 99.9 or 99.95% uptime, you should look at Premium or Enterprise, respectively. 

The Premium tiers for each product offer a significant amount of added functionality with more on the way. For example, Jira Software Premium adds Advanced Roadmaps for Jira and both Jira Software Premium and Confluence Premium allow for native archiving. For larger instances, archiving is an administrative boon as older data is removed from the search index and can only be accessed by a designated group. In addition, the Premium tiers add a significant amount of administration logging and management, adds unlimited storage, and adds 24/7 Premium Support. 

Bitbucket Standard offers unlimited end users, an increase from 5 on the Free tier. The Bitbucket Standard tier also increases Git Large File Storage to 5GB (from 1GB at the Free tier) and Build Minutes increase from 50/month to 2500/month. Bitbucket Premium, however, provides even more Git Large File Storage (up to 10GB), increases build minutes to 3500/month, and adds enforced merge checks and deployment permissions. As of the writing of this document, there is no Enterprise tier for Bitbucket. 

Trello has a slight difference in the names of their tiers. Instead of Standard, Premium, and Enterprise, Trello uses Business Class and Enterprise. As you would expect, Trello Business Class adds unlimited Boards, significant customization opportunities (i.e. backgrounds, custom fields, and templates), and automation runs (though capped at up to 6000 per month). Trello Enterprise includes all the same features as Business Class, increases automation runs to unlimited, and extends administrative capabilities such as organization-wide permissions and enhanced restrictions for things like attachments. 

What should I be asking when trying to decide which one is best for me? 

<Insert typical consultant answer here> It depends! Atlassian has provided transparent pricing for each of their products and each tier of each product as well. Atlassian has also included a handy comparison table for each product for you to quickly see what is included in the tiers. Here are a few additional things to be asking yourself as you start your journey to Cloud. 

  • How many people will need to work in the products? 
  • How are those users managed currently?
  • Do you have any data residency restrictions (e.g. GDPR)? 
  • If you're currently using the Atlassian products, how large are the instances?
  • If you're currently using the Atlassian products, which Apps are you using?

While not an exhaustive list, these questions may help guide you in looking for the right products at the right tier. Of course, Praecipio Consulting has extensive experience with the Atlassian Cloud products and we're here to help! Reach out to us today to let us help you narrow your options. 

Topics: atlassian blog bitbucket implementation teams cloud licensing trello
4 min read

What's the deal with Atlassian's Jira Cloud migration tool?

By Bradley Ode on Jan 14, 2021 10:45:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Whats the deal with Atlassians Jira Cloud migration tool (1)Atlassian's Jira Cloud is more popular than ever as companies continue to see the benefits in cloud-based technologies. For those of you already on server, the latest announcement from Atlassian might prompt you get to a head start on looking at migration options. I had the opportunity to work with Atlassian's Jira Cloud Migration Assistant (JMCA) earlier this year and now is a more pertinent time than ever to share those findings. 

What is the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant?

Jira Cloud Migration Assistant is an add-on introduced by Atlassian earlier in 2020 to help clients migrate their data from Server to Cloud. It is a migration assistant and should be viewed as such. There are many things that JCMA does well, but it does come with it's limitations and should not be viewed as a one-and-done solution for most organizations. With that being said, companies with small Jira Server footprint will get the most use out of the tool.

At a glance

What can it do?

  • Jira Software and Jira Core Project data
    • Details
    • Roles
    • Screens and Schemes
    • Workflows
      • Most native workflow functions
  • Issue data
    • Most custom fields
    • Issue history
    • Rank
    • Worklogs
    • Attachments
    • Comments
  • Boards linked to projects being migrated
  • Active users and groups from User Directories

What are the limitations?

  • Jira Service Management- no Jira Service Management data can be brought over with JCMA at the time of publishing
  • Third party app data
  • User Avatars/Timezones/Passwords
    • Passwords will need to be reset after migrating unless the client is using SSO
  • Global configuration items
    • Since JCMA operates at the project level no system settings will be brought over
  • Certain custom fields
    • Single and Multi-version picker
    • URL
    • Select List (cascading)
    • Select List (multiple choice)
    • Project picker
  • Certain workflow functions
    • Validator: required field, field changed
    • Condition: user in group, in project role, field value, subtask blocking
    • Post Function: clear field value, update custom field, copy value from other field, delegating
  • Links to entities that are not migrated

I don't have Jira Service Management, but what's this you say about app data?

Unfortunately, Marketplace Apps will need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. The JCMA tool provides a mechanism for assessing which apps can be migrated from server to cloud, but does not migrate the data via the tool itself. Instead, the tool will scan your instance and provide links or paths (i.e. instructions) to external documentation if it exists.

These paths can be a bit confusing as you are taken to the individual app vendors' sites. These can be radically different from app to app. In our case, many apps did not have a path forward and, instead, we are prompted to contact the vendor.

What about users?

JCMA will bring over all active users and groups on each migration initiation (which may or may not be what you want). You have the option of giving the users product access before running the migration, but in my opinion, it is best to wait until after the migration in case things go awry. After running the migration, the users will need to be invited to the Cloud site.

Should I use JCMA? Or perhaps another method like site import?

When the instance to be migrated is small, well managed, and with little complexity, the JCMA tool will handle your data with finesse. The JCMA tool is also more useful in merges when you are trying to merge a small, relatively simple Jira Software Server instance with a larger cloud instance. This is due to the fact that the JCMA tool itself is very project-centric. However, an abundance of app data, complex workflows, and many external integrations can be some of the things that might stop an organization from using this tool. If you are in any way unsure, contact us -- we've got your back.

My Experience

Overall, I found the JCMA tool to be a simple and effective way to transfer small amounts of project data to a cloud instance. It does what it says it will do, with only minor hiccups along the way. My experience a few months back is likely going to be different with yours as Atlassian continues to invest heavily in Cloud offerings. As always, do your own reading and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Further Reading

Topics: jira blog migrations cloud atlassian-products
3 min read

How do I migrate to Cloud if my apps aren't compatible?

By Jerry Bolden on Dec 23, 2020 1:06:11 PM

Blogpost-display-image_How do I migrate to Cloud if my apps arent compatible-

How many people are ready to move to the new hotness: Atlassian Cloud?  While this is becoming a more focused platform for Atlassian, there are some things that each company/team will need to think about as they move to the cloud:

1. What do I do if my current Server/DC apps are not compatible? 

2. What do I need to understand about my current set up within my workflows?

Apps are used to upgrade the out-of-the-box abilities of Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket and most people not only become reliant on the apps, but may not even know they're using the apps for their day-to-day work. While there are quite a few apps operating on all three platforms (Cloud, Data Center and Server), some apps may not be available for all three platforms. For example, an app may be supported for Cloud-only or Data Center only.

While trying to migrate to Cloud, you need to understand which Apps are also compatible in Cloud and which ones are not. You can navigate to Atlassian Marketplace and set your first filter for Cloud.  Then, simply search the App name and the marketplace will do a good job giving you other options that have some of the same features as your current Data Center/Server app. Look through the recommendations and compare the current features you use with some of the recommended apps features.  The best thing is to also download a trial version of those apps in Cloud, but also if you are still on Data Center/Server, see if they have an app trial for those platforms as well.  

The other side of this will be having apps that exist on Cloud as well as on Data Center/Server but may affect your workflows.  For example, Automation has come included within the cloud, but JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows exists as a separate app on Data Center/Server.  While this app is now integrated into the Cloud,  when importing the data, workflows, etc. during the migration, you currently cannot use the Atlassian Cloud Migration tool and the links to the automation can fail. 

Reach out to those specific App vendors for support and open a ticket to understand what the migration path could be from Data Center/Server to Cloud. For example, In JSU's case, you have to redo all the affected workflows and their validators, conditions and post functions.  While some applications will be compatible, others will either require a little manual reconfiguration or finding ones similar in features to your current Apps.

Migrating to Atlassian Cloud is becoming more and more seamless as Atlassian continues to focus on the Cloud platform. But where apps are concerned, you will need to either find apps that already have a Cloud version or look for the Developer to review similar options and features. 

If you need guidance with your Atlassian Cloud migration, Praecipio Consulting is here to help! Contact us and one of our specialists will contact you shortly, and in the meantime, here are some helpful resources that you can start with

Topics: atlassian blog migrations cloud atlassian-solution-partner marketplace-apps
4 min read

How is Confluence Cloud different from Server/Datacenter?

By Morgan Folsom on Dec 18, 2020 1:06:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_How is Confluence Cloud different from Server-Datacenter-

If you've recently moved from a Confluence instance that was hosted by your organization to one on Atlassian's cloud, you may be noticing some differences in how the tools work! The experience is quite different, and we know that can be a bit overwhelming if you've spent a lot of time getting used to the server UI. The change will require some adjustments, so we've provided a quick overview of things to keep an eye out for so you can get back to expertly collaborating with your team.

Navigation

Let's start with getting to Confluence! You can of course access your instance via the new link provided by your IT team https://yourcompany.atlassian.net. But, if you're looking to get to Confluence from your linked Jira instance, the application switcher looks a little different. The application switcher now lives in the grid icon(Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 11.09.36 AM). Select that and you can navigate to any linked applications, including Confluence. 

Creating pages

Page creation looks different in the new view - you'll notice that there is now only one option to create pages, the Create button. This functionality has made it a lot more intuitive to create pages from templates! In Server, users need to consciously make the decision to create from a template (selecting the '...') or a blank page. Now when creating pages available templates will appear on the right, allowing you to filter and search through templates. With this new navigation you can even see previews of the templates before you select them. 

Keyboard shortcuts

This is the change that threw me off the most when switching between the products, because I rely very heavily on shortcuts! Here are three that I use a lot that have changed:

Action
Server/Datacenter
Cloud
Insert a Macro { /
Start an ordered list 1. 
Change header level Cmd/Ctrl + 1/2/3... # / ## / ###

 

To see a full list of shortcuts, you can select Cmd/Ctrl + Space while editing a page and a dialog will appear and display all of your options. 

Page layouts

The experience in Confluence Cloud is more mobile friendly, so pages are more narrow by default than previously. However, you can still expand your pages to span full screen if you've got a lot of content. Opening the page layout options hasn't changed - you select the icon in the editor. However, the page layout editing experience has changed so you can work on it within the body of the page, instead of at the top.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 11.24.48 AM

You'll notice the arrows pointing out - those allow you to span full screen for either the entire page (top) or the specific section (bottom). The same options to edit layouts are available but you can see them in-line instead, which makes for easier navigation while working them into your pages. 

Panels

The Panel macro is one of my favorites - I like the ability to break the page up visually, and they are a great way to do that. Atlassian has revamped how panels work in Cloud so that instead of having separate macros for different types of panels: Panel, Info, Warning, Note, Success, etc. they are all just one macro, and you can switch the coloring as needed by selecting different icons. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 11.28.05 AM

Macros while viewing a page

The last change I want to highlight is perhaps my favorite. When editing Confluence previously, you might've noticed that when you insert macros, many of them appear different while editing vs. viewing the page. In cloud, we now see that macros like the Jira Issues macro pictured below actually shows the content while editing now. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 11.31.30 AM

Switching between tools or views can be tough, but with Atlassian's cloud platform you'll see a lot of changes that make the user experience run more smoothly. Now you've seen some of the changes, you're ready to hit the ground running!

Thinking about switching to Cloud? Contact us to talk about how we can help!

Topics: jira atlassian confluence migrations server cloud data-center
5 min read

How Your SaaS Provider Contributes to the Customer Experience

By Christopher Pepe on Dec 16, 2020 1:44:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_SaaS Requires Delightful Customer Service

SaaS Providers & Customer Service

The year 2020 has forced organizations to consider how they service customers and enable staff to do their work by having them reconsider the benefits and value of their current technology practices. 

Look at the fun visual below: most businesses use a combination of managing their own data centers and software or by using cloud-based facilities. Software as a Service (SaaS) allows a provider to perform a service on their technology. You pay for the provider's expertise and convenience to maintain the servers, networks, security, software, and the upgrades or changes. No more cooking as you always eat out!

pizza as a service

SaaS providers now perform almost any main business functions: HR, Accounting, Sales, Finance, Communication, Coding, Marketing, Websites, and more. The cost benefits dazzle the eyes but consider that when you allow someone else to perform a business function that the customer still sees you.

At a restaurant, if the service is terrible, you never return to that restaurant. In the eyes of your customer – you are the restaurant! Therefore, how you interrogate the provider before deciding to use them and how you monitor and respond afterward is paramount to your business's success.

The rest of this article offers insights and tips to ensure that your relationship with a SaaS provider does not ruin the relationships with your staff and customers.

Training

  • Transitioning to SaaS changes your workflow – how will you be trained, and what documentation will you receive?
  • Are any other vendors impacted, which will also require training, and who pays for this?
  • Your products will require integration with the SaaS provider, so how will you train them?
  • How will changes to the SaaS provider service be addressed?
  • Do customers require new FAQs?
  • If someone has a question, do they go to an internal team, the service desk, or the SaaS provider?

Know Your User

Before you move a service to SaaS, you need to define the user of that service. Deep dive:

  • What is the user of this service in terms of ability, technology, the reason to use the service, expected benefits from their view, and dislikes?
  • What is the journey of that user as they use the service? Where will there be issues?
  • How can the SaaS provider mitigate these issues? How will you know that problems are occurring?
  • What messages can you provide the user to help them on their journey or if they get stuck? Can the message be personalized?
  • What can you automate for the users, such as renewals, reminders, or upsells, or anything to make the journey more enjoyable?
  • Can users form part of your test team to improve the journey's flow or provide feedback on proposed changes before go-live or to develop future releases?

IT Service Management

ITSM is the practice of allowing technology to benefit someone. It is a required business set of processes that engender better, faster, safer technology applications that deliver value. Initially the IT domain, Enterprise Service Management (ESM), is now commonplace as organizations take advantage of the cloud, SaaS, or move to digital products.

Not long ago, more technology services supported a single department, with only Finance reaching out across all areas. Now technology services are so integrated into your work that a change in one place impacts the entire organization and could disrupt your customers. ITSM processes and tools can help by:

  • Logging all incidents or requests, no matter who sees them, the SaaS provider or your teams.
  • Merging the incident and request data for performance reporting, improvement actions and decision-making. Daily integration is best practice.
  • Helping to determine how long it takes for incidents or requests to be resolved or some sort of communication is issued to the customer? Lack of service will increase customer churn, and they might disparage you in social media.
  • Creating alerts for monitored services.
  • Obtaining historical information to ensure that improvements are of value.
  • Enabling user support via live chat, AI chat, easy to find widgets, easy to read FAQs, and reporting on these interfaces' satisfaction.
  • Acquiring your customers' level of satisfaction and does this match to the XLAs (Experiences Levels Agreement) with your provider.
  • Informing support staff on offers as refunds or incentives during disruptive events or poor service.
  • To know when to follow up with customers that require special care.

Metrics of SaaS

At some point, your customers will have issues that highlight your value stream or service pipeline's weaknesses. The tools that you use to monitor, alert, investigate, and respond to these issues can be improved by agreed metrics that make sense, such as the ones below:

  • How fast do customers receive a response?
  • What do they feel about that response?
  • How fast are incidents or requests resolved?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • What is the cost of servicing a customer?
  • What is the cost of acquiring a customer?
  • What is your customer churn?
  • What is the total investment of SaaS over your customer value or cost?
  • Is there a group of customers that benefit more from a SaaS provider than others allowing you to decide how best to service those customers?

Final thoughts

The economy of tomorrow will be fully customer (user) centered. SaaS, cloud, digital and ESM will enable your products and services to become more individualized. Your SaaS provider has little value to you if the user journey is full of bad service. Your goal is to leverage the provider to retain and attract customers and staff. Thinking about how this will happen, setting clear expectations, expectations, documenting service examples with metrics in the contract, testing and monitoring service delivery, and having active conversation with your SaaS provider will ensure that the customers' experiences are delightful.

If you are looking for ways to improve your customer experience through technology and digital transformation, let's chat!

Topics: atlassian blog saas cloud hosting customer-experience
5 min read

What's Next-Gen Projects in Jira Cloud and When to Use It

By Amanda Babb on Aug 28, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Benefits of Next-Gen projects

NOTE: Jira next-gen projects are now named team-managed projects, although all the valuable features that have made them an indispensable tool for managing your team's work for years remain the same.

Atlassian has always held the concept of the team in high regard. As you may know, even their stock ticker is TEAM. And with many organizations pushing to Atlassian Cloud from their Server or Data Center solutions, it's no wonder Atlassian is removing barriers to entry for first-time users and admins. Whether you choose Standard or Premium, Jira Software adds the ability to create next-gen projects.

What is a next-gen project? 

Jira Software next-gen projects are a simple and flexible way to get your teams working. With some limited delegated administration, next-gen projects are created using a pre-defined template (Kanban or Scrum). These projects also come with three pre-defined roles: Administrator, Member, and Viewer.

  • Administrator: Updates project settings and can add other Administrators
  • Member: Can perform most functions such as create, edit, assign, and transition issues
  • Viewer: Can view and comment only

By default, if a user is added to the Jira Cloud site and provided access to Jira Software, they automatically become a member of every next-gen project (also known as Open). However, a next-gen admin can change the settings to be either Limited or Private. Limited puts all users of Jira software into the Viewer role and Private requires the admin to add a user to perform actions in the project. In addition, setting the project to Private hides the project from any search results. 

Each next-gen project operates similarly to a Classic Software project. You get either a Kanban or Scrum Board based on your project template as well as the reports you've come to know and love from the Server and Data Center products. One key difference is the addition of a Roadmap. Each next-gen project and board comes with a Roadmap. This allows teams to track start and end dates of the epics and better communicate with their product owners and stakeholders. 

The benefits of a next-gen project

Next-gen projects are flexible and delegate administration to the Administrators. This means the Administrator can create new Issue Types and Workflows, add unique fields, assign access to individuals or groups, and can enable or disable specific agile features such as enabling backlogs. This provides the ultimate flexibility for newly formed agile teams to work out their processes and data needs while performing their daily work. Let's take a closer look at each of these elements. 

Issue Types can be created on the fly at any time. As an Administrator, you can add up to 30 unique issue types to your next-gen project. By default, next-gen projects come with Epics, Stories, Bugs, Tasks, and Subtasks. If you remember, these are arranged in a loose hierarchy with Epics at the top; Stories, Bugs, and Tasks in the middle; and Subtasks on the bottom. Currently, any additional issue types will be added at the same level as Stories, Bugs and Tasks. If you'd like to add your own Subtasks or parent issues, feel free to submit feedback to Atlassian. 

Workflows are configured directly on your Board. Simply add a column to add a status to your workflow. That's it. You may also add rules such as assigning an issue or updating a field. Other Marketplace Apps can add automation triggers and the like to next-gen projects as well. 

Administrators can also add Custom Fields for your project. While Jira already comes with a robust set of Jira-created fields, you may choose to add checkboxes, people fields, numbers, dates, dropdowns and more. You can even change the order of the fields on the issue view to put the most important information at the top. 

Notifications on certain events can also be tuned to suit the team's need. For those already familiar with notifications, these events include: Issue Created, Issue Updated, Issue Assigned, Issue Deleted, etc. In a next-gen project, you can notify All Watchers, Current Assignee, Current User, Reporter, or a Project Role. Simply select the event and the people you'd like to notify, and Jira will take care of the rest. 

Last, but not least, there are nine separate Board features you may choose to enable for your next-gen project. This includes things like the Roadmap, Reports, Backlogs for Kanban, and more. 

There's no doubt that next-gen projects provide your team the ultimate flexibility in managing their work. With easily navigable menus and a simplified Administration interface, next-gen projects can be great for you and your team. 

The disadvantages of a next-gen project

One of the things we love about the Atlassian products is that they are super flexible and you can do pretty much anything you'd like with them. One of the things we hate about the Atlassian products is that they are super flexible and you can do pretty much anything you'd like with them. The same is true of next-gen projects. With ultimate flexibility and delegated administration, it becomes difficult to aggregate data across multiple projects. As a product manager, project manager, Release Train Engineer, or other person over several teams, you may find next-gen projects frustrating. 

Because the configuration of a next-gen project is unique to the individual project, gathering a status update is difficult. Not impossible, but you need a solid working knowledge of Jira Query Language (JQL) and good discipline from your teams to ensure they're transitioning tickets through the workflow. Creating custom Filters and Dashboards is your only way to aggregate data across projects. In addition, since each team can create their own custom fields, you risk data bloat. For example, one team may create a field called Bug Type using a dropdown and another may create Bug Type using checkboxes. While both are correct, to understand where Bugs are located, you have to add both fields to your filter. And the values may be unique per project as well. 

Work can only be estimated in Story Points, regardless if your project is Kanban or Scrum. This is also regardless of Issue Type. If you enable estimation on either a Scrum or Kanban next-gen project, every piece of work should be estimated and estimated in Story Points. Tasks, Bugs, and Stories all need points to establish a consistent velocity for predictability. 

Since there is a single workflow for all Issue Types, the team cannot split processes between types of work. If a Task follows a simplified process (To Do, In Progress, and Done), but a Story needs more detail (Backlog, Selected for Development, In Progress, and Done), the team cannot split these items into two distinct workflows. Every type of work must follow the same path through the board. 

There are additional technical considerations as well for things like Cloud merges (bringing two instances together) and Cloud to Server or Data Center migrations (moving off Atlassian Cloud to an On Premise solution). While these efforts are few and far between, all next-gen projects must be converted to Classic projects before these efforts start. 

Are next-gen projects right for you? 

At Praecipio Consulting, we believe you must use the right tool for the right job, and the same goes for next-gen projects. That’s why our team offers a variety of Product Services to ensure that your team can leverage these tools as effectively as possible to meet your goals. 

Not sure what exactly your team needs? Contact us today and we can talk about what strategy would work best for your specific needs.

 

Topics: best-practices business-teams cloud atlassian-products jira-align next-gen-project

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This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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