open source alternative to discord for technical teams

5 reasons technical teams choose open source alternatives to Discord for effective, secure collaboration

Learn why open source alternatives to Discord like Mattermost are better collaboration solutions for technical and operational teams.

Discord has become a popular platform for digital communities to meet, collaborate, and hang out. It’s easy to use, versatile, and offers a wide range of features that can enhance team communication and productivity. But is it a good collaboration tool for technical collaboration?  

Not always; there are some scenarios where Discord may not be the best choice for business collaboration needs. 

In this article, we explore some of the top reasons teams shouldn’t choose to use Discord as their collaboration tool — and why you should consider an open source alternative to Discord, like Mattermost, instead.

When should I choose an open source alternative to Discord?

When it comes to business collaboration tools, open source platforms offer several advantages over Discord. Open source solutions are typically built by a community of developers who are passionate about creating tools that are accessible, customizable, and free to use. As a result,  open source platforms are often more flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual teams than proprietary platforms like Discord. This can be especially important for teams that require high-level security or strict control over permissions and access. 

Let’s dive into a few specific scenarios where your organization might opt for a platform like Mattermost instead of Discord. 

Reason #1: Your organization has strict security requirements

One of the primary concerns with using Discord as a business collaboration tool is a lack of robust security capabilities. While Discord does offer some security features, it may not be suitable for teams that require high-level security, such as government agencies, financial institutions, or healthcare organizations. These teams need to protect confidential information, such as personal data, financial information, and patient health information, at all costs. Discord may not provide the level of security that is required to keep this sensitive information safe. Additionally, Discord is not compliant with some security standards, such as HIPAA, which regulates the use of electronic protected health information. 

If your organization needs to comply with security regulations, a secure collaboration platform like Mattermost may be a better fit. Mattermost can be deployed on-prem for full data control and was designed with secure architecture and best practices in mind. And because Mattermost is open source, your security organization has full access to its source code for inspection and modification. 

Reason #2: Your workflows span multiple toolchains

From GitHub and PagerDuty to Jira and ServiceNow, technical teams often use a number of tools as part of their daily workflows. And each of those tools contains essential information that the team needs to have access to at all times. As a result, your collaboration platform needs to connect not just people, but the tools they rely on. A Discord server can be extended with bots and webhooks to pull in data from other tools, but those integrations aren’t incredibly strong. 

Mattermost offers robust integrations with some of the most popular development and DevOps tools that go beyond simple notifications, helping your team to access and act on information more rapidly. Have custom tools? Since Mattermost is open source, you can build and extend custom integrations to create a collaboration hub that’s perfectly customized to your team’s unique workflows. 

Reason #3: Your team manages complex projects

Complex project management is a challenging endeavor, especially for larger organizations. While Discord does offer some project management features, such as task lists and reminders, it may not be the best tool for teams that require more robust project management capabilities, such as Gantt charts or Kanban boards. 

Mattermost includes Boards and Playbooks, which allow you to not only track projects from your collaboration channels with shared checklists and Kanban boards but also automate key processes as part of common workflows. 

Reason #4: Your team shares files extensively

Discord recently upgraded file sharing sizes for their free tier, which provides great value to the communities that use it. But these file size limits can still hinder collaboration for enterprise teams, which often require extensive file sharing. Additionally, enterprise organizations may have concerns about sharing sensitive files over cloud software. 

Mattermost has no file sharing limits, enabling your team to share files without any worries. And since Mattermost can be deployed on-premise, those shared files stay in your hands — and only in your hands — at all times. 

Reason #5: Your organization requires granular control over permissions and access

For relatively flat organizations and groups, Discord is an excellent communication tool. And while Discord offers some control over permissions and access, these access controls are still fairly simple. Teams that require stronger permissions and access control, such as different levels of administrator permissions, may need to use more specialized communication platforms that offer more control over who has access to their data. 

From granular role-based access control and custom permissions to user and group provisioning via LDAP, Mattermost offers customizable permissions and access controls that let you keep your organization connected and your data secure. Does your team collaborate with contractors, partners, and other third parties? You can customize and configure shared channels easily without worrying about who has access to company data. 

Learn more about using Mattermost for technical collaboration

Ready to explore open source alternatives to Discord? 

Learn more about why technical teams choose Mattermost to accelerate collaboration without compromising on security and compliance needs.

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Ashley Dotterweich is the Head of Content at Mattermost. Previously, she ran content marketing for Heavybit Industries and Rainforest QA.