new work hub for technical teams

Collaboration platforms are the new work hub for technical teams

Effective digital collaboration is more essential than ever. Here’s how technical teams are staying aligned and connected with collaboration platforms.

Since digitization has become the standard across all industries, more work is being done online. As a result, technical teams are playing an increasingly prominent role in the success of modern organizations.

To keep pace with economic and market conditions, organizations require tighter timelines and streamlined budgets. This often creates more pressure to produce, maintain, and monitor software — which is forcing many technical and operational teams to do more with less.

In an age where the average organization relies on upwards of 250 applications — and the average enterprise has more than 360 — how can you enable technical and operational teams to be as productive and effective as possible? 

Purpose-built tools support specialized workflows better

Most companies deploy tools designed for their specific needs, including build tools, integrated debugging environments, tools to support methodologies, source control tools, bug trackers, profilers, and automated deployment/continuous integration tools. All of these help technical teams do their work. However, when it comes to technical team collaboration, these same companies mandate general collaboration tools built for all-employee environments. Unfortunately, these platforms aren’t designed for technical and operational teams to collaborate and communicate effectively and efficiently. 

In addition to purpose-built tools, technical and operational teams also need collaboration platforms that can be extendable for custom tool integrations and automated custom workflows. And because the work that technical teams do becomes intellectual property, the collaboration platform they use must be highly secure and able to meet unique privacy and compliance requirements. With the average data breach costing U.S. companies $9.44 million — and the Biden administration issuing a national cybersecurity strategy — security can never be an afterthought again.

Collaboration platforms help improve team focus

To reduce app sprawl while also shoring up systems and keeping sensitive data safe, leading enterprises are increasingly viewing collaboration platforms as modern work hubs that consolidate tools and centralize where mission-critical work is done. By doing so, they can also minimize the associated context switching that comes from having overly cluttered toolchains, which impacts the productivity of 71% of developers.

With a secure collaboration platform in place, technical and operational teams can rest comfortably knowing the important work they’re doing is safe and protected. When that collaboration platform is also open source, teams can endlessly customize the tool to meet specific security and compliance requirements while integrating it with all the other important tools teams use every day — like Jira, GitLab, ServiceNow, and even all-employee, general collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams

How Mattermost helps teams accelerate technical collaboration

As an open source collaboration platform built with technical and operational teams top of mind, Mattermost is capable of helping organizations streamline all sorts of critical workflows, including release management, R&D processes, and pre-planned choreographed events. Keep reading to learn more about how Mattermost can help organizations like yours optimize each.

1. Streamlining release management processes

For software companies, the release management workflow is arguably the most important process. Whether the team ships a new release every month or every quarter, release management requires ongoing coordination; it’s not a single, standalone event. 

As release dates approach, iteration occurs. Some features might be postponed until a future release while others may drop off the roadmap entirely due to customer feedback and market trends. A security researcher might find a critical vulnerability that forces the team to reprioritize responsibilities. New regulatory and compliance requirements might change, causing teams to shift their focus on addressing those immediately. The list goes on.

With Mattermost as a central work hub for release management, technical and operational teams can bring all tools together in one place, shattering information silos and creating a single source of truth that ensures everyone stays on the same page. Companies can also use automation to take repetitive tasks off the team’s plate and create checklists they can follow ahead of each release to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Case study: Fairphone

Fairphone is a social enterprise company that develops environmentally friendly smartphones. The team had been handling tasks like release management and infrastructure monitoring via reply-all email threads. “In the past, all notifications would be emailed to the IT team who subsequently would follow up with the development team,” says Leo Makkinje, site reliability engineer at Fairphone. “This resulted in emails going all over the place, wasting many people’s time.” Since moving to Mattermost, the Fairphone team has uncluttered its communication, streamlined collaboration, and optimized several important processes.

2. Centralizing R&D workflows

Without a centralized work hub, it’s a lot harder for technical and operational teams to stay aligned during product R&D workflows. Lacking a centralized collaboration space full of the right people, processes, and tools, it’s much easier for R&D teams to make mistakes. 

For example, one member of the team might make an assumption about a particular feature without realizing one of their colleagues has already changed it. As a result, errors and inconsistencies can seep into the next release. Additionally, facing tight deadlines, R&D teams may rush through the software development process, skipping over critical tasks like testing and QA, which increases the chances bugs and other vulnerabilities make it into production. Making matters worse, important intellectual property is stored in insecure repositories, bad actors may make off with your company’s biggest secrets.

Mattermost helps R&D teams solve these challenges by ensuring that all relevant collaboration, documentation, and discussions occur in a single location that’s visible to everyone. As a result, the team stays coordinated, moving in the same direction. 

Case studies: NRI, Heidelberg University, and Medincell 

  • The Nomura Research Institute (NRI) moved from HipChat to Mattermost, migrating 6,000 users in a two-month period. They wasted no time taking advantage of Mattermost’s integrations, opting to extend the platform with Jira, Confluence, and Zoom plugins to streamline collaboration and keep everyone on the same page.
  • Researchers at Heidelberg University, who aim to create a neuromorphic system that replicates what’s currently known about information processing in the mammalian brain, uses Mattermost to coordinate all of their R&D efforts. They’ve integrated Mattermost with Jenkins to accelerate CI/CD pipelines, get experiment results, and receive automatic alerts when builds fail — all while enjoying complete control over all of their research data.
  • MedinCell is a pharmaceutical company that uses Mattermost for cross-functional collaborative drug development workflows. The platform also gives them complete control over their sensitive data and ensures that R&D equipment is used efficiently; if a piece of equipment gets knocked offline, the team is notified automatically and can fix problems faster. 

3. Aligning around pre-planned choreographed event

Businesses have to deal with all sorts of unplanned events — like shifting economic conditions, getting disrupted by a newcomer, and managing fluctuating headcount. Luckily, business is not always unpredictable; there are a number of pre-planned choreographed events that occur on a regular basis. For example, when the U.S. government moves the President to an event overseas, agents need to coordinate things like security, logistics, and personnel ahead of time to make sure the trip is a successful and safe one. 

This is another area where Mattermost can make a significant difference. By bringing planning discussions, documentation, and practice exercises together in Mattermost, it’s much easier to ensure these pre-planned choreographed events go off smoothly. When all of the conversations are digital and take place in the same place, teams can stay aligned and respond to issues faster from anywhere in the world. Plus, all of the sensitive data stays safe on the organization’s own servers.

Case studies: RTE and a large utility company

  • RTE is the manager of France’s electrical infrastructure. When problems arise and the lights go out, RTE needs to act with urgency to bring everything back online and keep customers happy. Since troubleshooting infrastructure is a predictable, repeatable workflow, RTE has been able to reduce the time to manage incidents — and the associated customer impacts — with Mattermost serving as a central collaboration hub.
  • As one of the five largest utility companies in the United States, this leading electric company needs to address incidents rapidly whenever they occur. To this end, the company is always focused on improving response times to outages and other emergencies — just like their counterparts at RTE. With Mattermost as a work hub, the utility is able to respond to incidents faster. Currently, the company is investigating Playbooks to further accelerate response times.

Learn more about how to accelerate technical team productivity with Mattermost

Organizations across all industries — including defense, financial services, healthcare, and aerospace — are using Mattermost as their new work hub to securely collaborate while helping technical and operations teams accomplish more each day.

To learn more about how you can use Mattermost to increase productivity at your organization, check this out.