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Integrating Jira with other ITSM systems – most common challenges & how to resolve them

System integrations have become an inevitable component of the IT infrastructure of modern enterprises. They help eliminate the foreboding manual work of transferring data between different teams, which is often accompanied by unintentional errors. The integrations boost efficiency and improve processes. They also allow the teams to work with their tools of choice without being worried about miscommunication, data leaks, or inconsistencies.

What are the most important components of any integration?

To get all the benefits from integrations, an organization needs to make sure they work properly and as expected. This is why here we pay attention to the most important things to look for in integration and how to avoid problems.

- Integrations should always be based on the needs of the business – not just the current ones, but also those that might pop out in the near future. That is especially valid for those enterprises that aim to scale and expand. What we want to achieve now and how we want to scale are two important questions. Make sure that your integrations can easily scale with you.

- Deciding on whether we need a one- or two-way connection (bi-directional) between the systems we use is also another crucial element of any successful integration project.

- The right formulation of the integration use case that needs a resolution is critical. Outlining the exact data, we want to transfer from system 1 to system 2 (or more), and how helps us choose the right approach for the integration itself – natively or by using a 3rd party solution.

We need to keep these points in mind when we want to integrate a comprehensive DevOps solution like Jira with any ITSM system (like BMC, Jira Service Management, Cherwell, Freshdesk, TOPdesk, and others).

Main pros of embracing the combination of Jira & ITSM:

- Easy streamlining of IT processes: helping enterprises effortlessly with their stabilization and standardization. As a result, the company’s operational capabilities are enhanced in terms of the crucial for the business service quality, speed, and end cost.

- Achieved higher ROIs: incorporating the ITSM – Jira duo helps elevate individual and overall teams' performances leading to better ROI results.

- Significantly optimized cost efficiency

- Bringing DevOps and service desk teams together so they can communicate better and faster, resolving customer issues timely.

- Eliminating the possibility of data gaps and leaks

Should we use the internal integration method or a 3rd party? 

Selecting the way of connection between Jira and any ITSM system should be made is another critical step in their successful integration. The decision must depend on the needs of the enterprise, the staff expertise and their ability to operate with the systems, and the capabilities both integration methods offer.

Scalability, availability, high levels of security, and flexibility are the features most companies seek when choosing the best way to establish the ITSM–Jira connection. The more customizable the solution, the better. This way, it allows the IT teams to handle client-related issues, eliminate the possibility of mismatching data internally and have control over every single step on the way of the integration process – field mappings, correlation logic, connectivity status of the two systems, entities sync in real-time.

Let’s not forget that in the best possible scenario, companies should search for a tool/method that will register and bring to the attention of their IT teams any mistakes that may occur during the process of system connection. If the integration method has advanced features that will allow for eliminating them, thus enabling the successful communication and data flow between Jira and its connected ITSM system.

But to get a better overview of all that, let’s take a closer look into an example integration use case between Jira and an ITSM solutionBMC Remedy. It’s mostly used for transferring Jira tasks to Remedy incidents/problems.

Our helpdesk team is using BMC Remedy and the development one - Jira. There is a new incident in the BMC Remedy queue - a bug. That means that to resolve it, we need the help of the DevOps team. In case there is no connection between Remedy and Jira, the helpdesk employees would have to manually open Jira and log in all the details there. When the responsible developer starts working on the issue, they would usually need to get back to the service desk team for additional details. There is back-and-forth communication going on which causes delays, and many times data is distorted.

A BMC Remedy Jira integration in place helps avoid delays and mistakes, as everything happens automatically. The service desk team will not need to open Jira at all, and the communication will not require any additional tools.

With the right integration solution, enterprises can get the best of the BMC Remedy Jira integrations – such as the synchronization of important information like log files, traces, custom fields, issue links, and all other attachments. That will ensure an effortless data flow between the two, the high sustainability of the IT infrastructure itself, and overall flexibility.

Here are other factors that serve as a base for a successful integration between Jira and an IT service management system:

1. High availability

How important is the high availability?

At its core, high availability is the system’s ability to maintain its fully operational state regardless of any possible failure of any of the components in its IT infrastructure. It’s calculated as an uptime percentage over a year.

It depends on the impact an outage would have on your company and the cost of maintaining this level of availability. Additionally, it is related to service level agreements (SLAs).

High availability is achieved by removing the so-called single points of failure and designing reliable crossover procedures.

Thanks to them, companies can maintain their availability even when a given component fails due to a software bug, hardware failure, sudden power outage, or an environmental-related issue.

 What could go wrong if there is no high availability?

- Failing IT infrastructure: it results in a crash of the systems and applications integrated into the IT ecosystem, and sudden data discrepancies may occur.

- Unexpected overload of the entire IT infrastructure: the most obvious result is the crash of the entire line of connected systems and applications. As a result, the availability and scalability are at risk. Bottlenecks also can occur.

-Drop in the data quality and inconsistencies: since enterprises are built on data, amassing a large quantity of such, with poor quality and/or missing critical details harm the entire behavior and overall performance of the IT structure. 

2.Field mapping

What is field mapping in an integration?

Field mapping is an important part of integration design and ensures that data is properly synchronized between systems. In the context of integration, field mapping is the process of linking fields between two different systems so that data can be exchanged accurately and seamlessly. It involves defining which fields in the source system correspond to which fields in the target system and specifying any transformations or translations that need to be applied to the data during the integration process.


What can go wrong if a field mapping is incorrect? 

- Data loss or corruption: If the mapping is incorrect, data may be mapped to the wrong field, lost, or corrupted during the transfer, resulting in missing, inaccurate or inconsistent data. 

- Processing errors: If the mapping does not account for all possible values in a field or does not include any necessary translations or conversions, processing errors may occur, leading to failed or incomplete integrations.  

3. Conditional field mapping  

What is conditional field mapping in an integration? 

Conditional mapping in integration is a technique used to selectively map data fields based on specified conditions or rules. 

With conditional mapping, certain data fields may be mapped only if certain criteria are met. For example, if a field in the source system contains a specific value, the data in that field will only be mapped to the corresponding field in the target system if a specified condition is met. 

Conditional mapping can be useful in scenarios where not all data needs to be transferred between systems or where different mappings are required based on different circumstances. It allows for more granular control over the integration process and ensures that only relevant and necessary data is transferred, which can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.


What can go wrong if a conditional field mapping is incorrect? 

- Incomplete data transfer: If the conditions specified in the mapping are not correct or complete, some data may be excluded from the integration, leading to incomplete data transfer. 

- Data errors: If the conditions used in the mapping are inaccurate, data may be mapped to the wrong field, leading to data errors and inconsistencies between systems. 

Therefore, it's important to carefully design and test conditional field mappings during conditional mapping configuration to ensure that they accurately reflect the conditions under which data should be mapped. 

4. Correlations 

What is a correlation field? 

Integrations step on correlations between different objects within the integrated systems. They are of great significance for bi-directional integrations. They are used whenever we want to link two objects in a system or different systems (and keep them updated). After establishing an initial relationship between the connected systems, the correlations make sure that whenever there is a sudden change in any of the data, both systems will receive the updates.


What can go wrong if correlations are incorrect? 

Since correlation is of key importance for bi-directional integrations, any mistakes there could lead to poor quality data, information mismatches, and leaks. 


All those functionalities should be present in the integration tool as a prerequisite for a successful integration between Jira and any ITSM system (like BMC Remedy in our use case). Each integration has its specifics, and they need to be taken into consideration. For example, there is a significant detail regarding our use case of integrating Jira with BMC Remedy. Remedy requires a few fields to have values, and these fields do not even exist or are not mandatory in Jira. This is why in ZigiOps we provide hard-coded values for these fields and this way the transfer goes through successfully. If the mentioned fields are missing, then nothing will be transferred in BMC Remedy and our integration won’t work.  

There are things to consider in each specific integration use case, and this is why it is important to know your exact requirements and data relationships.  

I hope the above advice will help you choose the best integration method for your needs and set it properly. Do not hesitate to ask if you are hesitating about a specific integration setup.  Feel free to reach out and book a technical demo with our specialists, in case you need Jira/ITSM integrations. 



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