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INSIGHTS / Articles

Preparing for Atlassian’s Leap Closer to the Cloud

 25 Nov 2020 
INSIGHTS / Articles

Preparing for Atlassian’s Leap Closer to the Cloud

 25 Nov 2020 

One of the biggest trends in technology has been the migration from on-premises to the Cloud, and Atlassian has been a big supporter of it. They like the Cloud so much that they recently announced that they would end support for all server edition products by early 2024, but what does this mean for businesses and organisations using their products?

There are substantial differences between the server and cloud versions of Atlassian products in terms of features and functions. Therefore, this announcement will require your organisation to understand its impact, as well as how it will affect your plans in adopting and/or using the server editions. Now is the time to re-assess your strategy and plan ahead.

Title: Atlassian server edition products - decommissioning timeline

Atlassian server edition products - decommissioning timeline

What are your options?

Every organisation is different, which means you will all respond differently to Atlassian’s switch to the Cloud. Here are your options:

Migrate to the Cloud

Migrating to the Cloud should be a phased approach that assesses and mitigates risks and challenges every step of the way. Create a strategy which suits the needs of your team and culture, and follow the Atlassian migration program for a seamless migration:

Title: Atlassian migration program

Move to Jira Data Center edition

Depending on your organisation and your data needs, the Cloud might not be a suitable option for everyone. For example, your organisation’s policies may not support application Cloud migration, or you may simply want to have more independence and control in terms of customisation.

Jira Data Center edition is an ideal choice for large enterprises where the infrastructure is managed in-house and can be scaled to meet future growth. However, it might not be cost effective for smaller organisations, as a 500 user license is a minimum requirement.

Stick with Jira Server

Use Jira server till it dies and/or move to another tool. But with the latest State of Agile survey finding that Jira is the number one tool for Agile teams, do you really want to start using a different one? Carefully consider your options and do not let the outcome be a product of inaction.

Benefits and risks of migrating to Jira Cloud

By embracing the Cloud, Atlassian has achieved extreme flexibility and scalability in its Jira platform, which has, in turn, enabled countless benefits to be realised in the IT space. For one, it can help you expedite innovation and implement seamless change.

Here are some of the top benefits you can achieve with the Atlassian Cloud:

  • Atlassian directly manages its security with SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) SSO (single sign-on), enforced two-factor authentication, and many more capabilities.

  • Data privacy will be largely Atlassian’s responsibility, making it easier to manage legal obligations around the world, such as GDPR.

  • Meeting global compliance requirements (e.g. DSS, ISO 27001/27018) will be easier for Atlassian to manage.

  • Atlassian provides an uptime of at least 99.9% in their Cloud products.

  • Centralised governance, simplified administration, and easier updates will take much of the frustration out of management.

  • More seamless integration with apps and Atlassian partner SaaS companies.

  • Change implementation is easier in the Cloud.

  • With a continuous stream of new features and functionality, Cloud-enabled software is an enabler for innovation. Be it Portfolio for Jira or Automation functionalities, you will always get the latest technology on your doorstep in a seamless way.

Challenges of the Cloud

Those benefits may all sound great, but there are some challenges and shortcomings to be mindful of as well:

  • Jira Cloud does not support external LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) integration. Therefore, if you are using an integrated Active Directory in your server version of Jira, you need to locally import your users before migration. There is an open ticket for a change request, so it may be solved in the near future.

  • Atlassian’s Cloud comes with an internal SMTP server only and does not integrate with your organisation’s SMTP server. This means you will need to solely rely on Jira’s Cloud server for any email communication, which could be a security concern for some. There is an open ticket to address this challenge.

  • In the Cloud version of Jira, you can only import workflows from Marketplace. That reduces the flexibility of import and reuse of workflows from other projects and instances.

  • The Cloud version comes with an out-of-the-box project type called “next-gen projects”. Careful consideration is needed when creating a next-gen project, especially when you are migrating from the server edition, as these types of projects are easy to create but hard to manage.

  • Jira Cloud has limited system visibility of system information and configuring listeners. Audit log is the only option to track user and system changes over time.

  • There is some reduced functionality with Atlassian Cloud-friendly Marketplace apps or available gadgets in your dashboard. On the flip side, the Atlassian support team is always working on new features and change-requests based on community response.

  • The ‘new issue view’ of Jira is an example of Cloud-imposed functionality. Atlassian is moving away from the existing “server issue view”, so your comfort and experience will now be influenced by the preferences of users worldwide.

  • Atlassian keeps releasing exciting new features, sometimes even beta versions, for their Cloud customers. Your team will need to keep learning about these new features and use them effectively to maximise their value.

Maximise the value of Jira

Jira is an incredibly powerful platform that provides extensive configurability for creating custom workflows, unique issue types, and complex integrations with other tools such as Slack or Github. However, with so many useful features, many of them can be left undiscovered and/or underutilised.

Here are 10 key secrets to a successful Atlassian Jira implementation. Whether you use Jira Server, Jira Data Center or Jira Cloud, or are planning to migrate to Jira, always follow these principles to help your organisation maximise the value of the platform.

Prepare for the changeover

When you consider that 83% of Fortune 500 companies are using Atlassian products, the announcement to move closer to Cloud-only will require many organisations to consider how this change will affect their business and strategy. For some, the Cloud migration may require little or no effort, while others will need to make significant changes.

Fortunately, end of support for server-based products will not be until February 2024, so there is still time to get ready for the changeover. Even so, key milestones leading up to it, such as end of upgrade/downgrade (February 2022) and app sale (February 2023), are approaching soon.

A strong Cloud migration and change management strategy will help your organisation prepare for this potentially disruptive change. This is something that a knowledgeable and trusted partner can assist with.

As an Atlassian partner, Planit have the experience and certified consultants to help you. Whether it is migration, rollout, optimisation of Jira or Confluence, ask us how we can help you today.

Pritom Dutta

Principal Consultant

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