What’s the most important and sensitive job in any organization? We might be slightly biased here but how about managing the IT infrastructure? It has to be right up there at the very top of the list.
The way we see it, in order to ensure proper system operations which extends to reliable software-based services for end users, it is vital that you have the right people and an efficient workflow in place.
Like most things in modern businesses, IT management today is based on collaboration between people with different roles. Their common goal as described above relies heavily on 1. Clean and quick communication of tasks and issues, and 2. Their respective actions. And as we’re talking about modern IT the cloud is where the managed resources are located.
Communicate to collaborate
So how do we handle this at Stackmasters? We practice workflows like DevOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering), in which case our team assists our customer team(s) to manage and operate their cloud environment, bringing all the desired aspects of a quick, secure and scalable infrastructure and platform.
The very nature of our everyday work is to interact with many different teams and manage multiple different environments. The latter aspect is addressed fully through our managed cloud offering, and the automation we introduce. The former, though, requires a tool to communicate with our customers who decide on their own roadmap and priorities.
Our tool for this is Slack. Why? Because in a nutshell:
- it’s easy to use
- it provides the ability to integrate with other systems, such as monitoring systems
- because it is as just as direct as a chat!
Cut yourself some… slack
Let’s look at how it compares to other very useful but not very convenient ways to communicate, such as email. As we all know, email usually ends up being a sparse pool of messages. Or, worse, still, a ticketing system where you keep opening the same issues or you try to describe a complex issue in a framed letter-like format.
Slack, on the other hand, enables our team and customers to quickly set and change priorities, in real-time, to troubleshoot when something unexpected happens, to discuss and design a solution, or in general to keep in touch with the minimum of fuss.
The other really helpful aspect from our perspective at Stackmasters is that valuable input from third party systems, like monitoring programs and apps for example, can be integrated into Slack so that it can become the central and single place to support the operations of a complex IT environment.
One last thing to add here is that the very same nature of cloud management and IT resources consists of repeatable tasks. So you always need to have an updated architecture design, deploy consistently across multiple systems, modify configuration in parallel to part or the whole infrastructure or platform, and of course monitor the health and the performance. And the best way of keeping track of all things is to have the right communication and collaboration tool. Not only that, it helps with evaluating and analyzing the values and feedback you get. So you can proactively avoid a breakage but more importantly, further enhance your IT systems in time.
Seamless customer care and collaboration
So there you have it. Plenty of solid reasons why Slack is our tool of choice when it comes to boosting our efficiency and pushing for seamless customer care and collaboration. Because at the end of the day, the guiding lights in our approach to managing something is vital and sensitive as IT infrastructure are simple. Speed, integration, trust and transparency.