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Atlassian Open DevOps: How the Public Sector Can Enable DevOps with Jira’s Latest Updates

By Michael Brown

What keeps government agencies reliant on legacy systems? Stringent regulations surrounding compliance and security requirements, limited funding and changing priorities within the public sector are all key factors. Recently, the Biden administration recognized the disparity between technological innovation in the public and private sectors and emphasized the importance of improving technology to make the government more consumer-friendly. 

This commitment to upleveling government agencies’ digital experiences has led to increasing DevOps adoption within the public sector, and many agencies are seeing results: one survey of government executives found that 78 percent believe that adopting agile and DevOps practices made a positive impact on their organizations. To adopt DevOps practices and reap the benefits (faster software deployment, improved performance, satisfied customers), agencies are turning to Atlassian’s tools. 

This spring, the Atlassian team announced its Open DevOps strategy, which includes partnering with specialized DevOps tool providers to achieve a high-performing, integrated DevOps toolchain––relieving the frustration that comes with working with several disconnected tools for collaboration, planning, source control and more. Atlassian’s agile project management tool, Jira, works as the backbone of Atlassian’s integrated DevOps toolchain. The latest version of Jira (8.0) features improvements for enhanced user experience and performance, and introduced integrations with code repositories like GitHub and other DevOps workflow tools. 

These improvements to Jira can transform work for government agencies through DevOps adoption. However, understanding and implementing new processes is a feat for any organization, especially in the public sector, where longstanding reliance on legacy systems can lead to a more complex integration process and a larger learning curve. Leveraging an Atlassian Solutions Provider can help teams maximize their use of Atlassian’s products, and continue to optimize each tool as Atlassian makes improvements to its offerings.  

Significant Updates Within Jira 8.0

Jira 8.0 was released in 2019 with visual improvements to Scrum and Kanban boards and backlogs, which were intentionally designed to avoid disrupting any existing workflows. Jira 8.0 also came with notification improvements: in previous versions, each new update prompted an individual email notification, creating an unwieldy amount of communication for teams to sift through. Today, users can batch events, and receive a single email communicating multiple updates.

Coupled with other backend changes, these updates have resulted in significant performance improvements compared to previous versions of Jira Software. Maintaining and administering a Jira instance takes much less time thanks to upgrades to Jira’s search functionality, Lucene. Now, indexing is faster (reindex duration is 71% faster in Jira 8.0 and index size has shrunk by 48%) and reindexing occurs less frequently due to more stable performance. 

These lasting improvements to Jira’s user experience and product performance have made working with Atlassian’s tools as part of DevOps adoption that much more appealing for government IT teams, who often are transitioning from outdated, waterfall software development workflows that make issuing new software time consuming. 

Atlassian’s Open DevOps Jira Features 

The release of Atlassian’s Open DevOps strategy also made additional changes to transform a diverse toolchain into a connected experience. The Atlassian team configured the default project with its portfolio of products including Jira Software, Confluence, Bitbucket and Opsgenie, but one click allows teams who leverage other tools, like GitLab or GitHub, to sub for those platforms. This eliminates a barrier to entry for government agencies that might already use other systems while also promoting collaboration across tools.

Within Open DevOps, Atlassian integrated Git repositories directly into Jira Software. This allows users to include Jira issue keys during changes. And, crucially, the software updates itself, eliminating the need for manual updates and ensuring every stakeholder has up-to-date information on where project deliverables stand. 

It’s also now easier to understand when updates have been deployed to customers. By including the Jira issue key during development, the Deployments tab will automatically generate deployments, clearly outlining what was sent to customers and when. And automation doesn’t end there—teams can build workflows across all development tools using Jira’s automation engine. This feature synchronizes work with development activity.  

How An Atlassian Solutions Partner Can Steamline DevOps Adoption for Government Agencies

Combined, these updates make it easy to work with Atlassian’s products for DevOps. Jira enables smooth transactions between software developers and IT operations teams, and is critical for bringing high-quality, secure software to the public, whose demand for government services to be available online is growing. 

However, using Jira and adopting DevOps practices comes with a learning curve for government agencies that might be new to a collaborative work structure. This requires teams to integrate operations silos and make continuous improvements to infrastructure. 

An Atlassian Solutions Partner, like Contegix, offers government agencies invaluable assistance for adopting DevOps practices to ensure processes are smooth and set up for lasting success. From development tool support to configuration management, Contegix can support any government agency in their journey to modernization, starting with DevOps adoption.

To learn more about how Contegix can support your agency in adopting DevOps, click here.