Atlassian puts easy-to-use coding tools in the hands of pros

Atlassian Corp.

a maker of business productivity software, relies on easy-to-use IT automation and coding tools to give its employees more control over the applications they use in areas such as finance, sales and marketing, bypassing IT services.

“Our bots are having great career growth,” Archana Rao, Atlassian’s chief information officer, said Wednesday during a virtual networking event hosted by The Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Rao said line-of-business employees are in a better position than managers and IT managers to identify the applications they need to do their job, especially in an organization with several thousand workers. As IT managers, she said, “we don’t know everything out there.”

Giving non-IT workers the ability to source, develop and deploy their own digital tools can avoid costly bottlenecks in getting core business apps up and running, she added. .

Archana Rao, chief information officer of Atlassian.


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Atlassian Corp.

The approach is well suited to the era of remote working, she said, with many companies still adapting to the way Covid-19 restrictions and safety protocols have reshaped workplaces. . By building collaboration and other online capabilities into their companies, CIOs and other corporate IT managers are decentralizing services whether they like it or not, Rao said.

As more and more technology decisions move away from IT, she said, CIOs are taking on the role of product managers, keeping track of applications adopted across the enterprise, while ensuring general issues such as governance, licensing and regulatory compliance.

Other companies, both inside and outside of the tech market, are following a similar path by shifting technology decisions to business teams – a move that IT leaders have long resisted to avoid a clutter of data. unmanaged and incompatible applications, according to researchers and industry analysts.

Nearly 60% of workers outside of IT describe their company’s CIO as a “strategic advisor” who makes recommendations on enterprise software, rather than top-down decisions, according to a survey last year of 985 IT managers and 250 line-of-business employees per market research firm International Data Group. Some 86% said groups or functions outside of IT now have their own technology budgets, IDG said.

“We’re seeing an explosion in employee-led app development,” said Jeff Wong, global chief innovation officer at Ernst & Young LLP. He said the strategy encourages innovation across an enterprise, while giving its IT managers and technology providers “greater visibility into the needs of their customers, users or employees.”

During the Covid shutdowns, Atlassian’s Human Resources department, with guidance from IT, created a global office compensation calculator app that allowed employees to estimate changes to their salaries, work options purchase of shares and other benefits if they moved to offices in different parts of the world. “The day we released it, half the company had tried it,” Ms. Rao said.

In total, automation and self-help apps created by HR teams saved employees more than 18,000 hours of productivity time, according to Atlassian. Similarly, the company says its finance team deployed nearly 20 bots last year that saved 16,400 hours of productivity, including automating accounting and procurement tasks.

Regardless of other changes for CIOs, troubleshooting may never be far behind. Ms Rao’s remarks came as Atlassian rushed to restore cloud-based software applications for around 400 companies, after a service outage last week caused by a routine maintenance issue.

As of Wednesday, she said, services were back online for just under half of the businesses affected by the outage, which can take up to two weeks to fully repair.

Write to Angus Loten at [email protected]

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