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3 Ways Aerospace and Defense Organizations Benefit from Jira Service Management

By Elizabeth Clor

Aerospace and defense organizations need to be on the cutting edge of technological innovation—and they need modern IT processes and tools to support modern work. Whether an organization is in the public or private sector, IT tools must ensure compliance, prioritize security, and minimize risk. While custom-built platforms support these organizational needs, they are costly and often take years to develop, an enormous drawback in an age of such rapid technological development. And many of these tools are needlessly siloed and opaque, holding back agile development. 

Aerospace and defense organizations need modernized, adaptable out-of-the-box IT service management (ITSM) tools that support agile processes. With easy configurability, unparalleled control of visibility and transparency, and broad extensibility, Jira Service Management (JSM) is a strong option for aerospace and defense businesses in need of a new service desk platform. 

1. High configurability puts off-the-shelf within reach

Because JSM is highly customizable, it offers aerospace and defense organizations much of the flexibility of a custom-built tool without the long wait time and high cost. At the United States Space Force (USSF), a mission-critical issue tracker used by the 5th Space Launch Squadron (SLS) for launch missions was in dire need of modernization: this legacy tool had been designed during a period with lower launch tempo and different launch protocols. 

The USSF partnered with Contegix to build a tailored solution using JSM, Jira Software, and Confluence. The agency chose Atlassian tools due to their combination of functionality and configurability, providing an end-to-end, off-the-shelf customizable solution. JSM’s intuitive interface streamlined the feature enhancement request and bug report processes, allowing the USSF to deploy a self-service portal that funnels user input directly to the development team. 

The entire issue tracker project took just six months from concept to launch, compared to years needed for custom development. Going forward, JSM’s flexible customization will continue to save the USSF time and money: users can add fields to each issue themselves, rather than having to wait through a months-long engineering process and invest thousands of dollars. 

2. Wide visibility helps teams move faster—but still securely

Security is paramount for aerospace and defense organizations, but these organizations remain under pressure to move faster within security constraints. As a branch of the Department of Defense, the Defense Media Activity (DMA) provides web hosting to over 750 military websites around the world, facilitating safe, compliant communication. Their service desk tool lacked crucial functionality and integration between the IT operations and development teams, holding back the further expansion of the Public Web program.

Using a combination of JSM, Jira Software, and Confluence, the DMA transformed the Public Web program’s service desk within five weeks, all while adhering to uncompromising security standards. Helping to increase transparency, granular access permissions ensure that the correct team members have access to the information they need—and not the information they don’t. 

Now, Atlassian tools function as a unified platform to provide visibility across the right teams, allowing tickets to be created, processed, and responded to in one integrated and organized system. IT productivity has increased by nearly 40%, and customer satisfaction by 10%. And Atlassian’s security and compliance policies allow the organization and web users to continue enjoying peace of mind. 

3. Extensibility allows for easier custom solutions

Aerospace and defense organizations frequently require specialized tools with niche functionality. Where JSM doesn’t offer the functionality an organization needs, its extensibility—the ability for custom code to integrate with the tool—means that organizations can add what they need easily. 

As the overseer for all global US Air Force (USAF) facilities, as well as every IT asset belonging to its thousands of employees and service members, the USAF Facility Engineering Directorate has immense issue tracking and management needs. Using JSM, Jira Software, and Confluence together allows the team of nearly 2,000 to smoothly receive and respond to issues. However, the directorate needed to expand Jira’s capabilities to include configuration management database (CMDB) tracking and management, to help store information about the status and whereabouts of assets and personnel. 

In a legacy system, adding on such a tool might have been extremely time- and cost-intensive, if not impossible. However, due to JSM’s extensibility, the directorate was able to partner with Contegix to craft and integrate a custom CMDB tool. As a result, both asset and personnel management have seen an increase in operational efficiency. 

Transparency and flexibility, without increased risk

For aerospace and defense organizations, security is paramount. But as digital transformation becomes increasingly essential for technological innovation, these organizations can’t afford to remain complacent with legacy service desk tools that slow down processes and hinder communication. 

With a strong foundation of security common to all Atlassian tools, JSM offers a sweet spot for aerospace and defense organizations: agile, flexible functionality, with minimized risk. That means teams can do better work, safely. 

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