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Please Note: This is actually a special post that combines both last week's and this week's posts to give you a more complete picture of the Team '23 Keynote. Enjoy!
Well, Jira Guys and Gals, the second day of Team 23 is done. And boy, do I have some announcements to share with you. I started the day with the opening keynote - which I somehow found my way to the front row, center stage, surrounded by Atlassian executives and personnel. What do you expect? They said reserved seats were open, and fortune favors the bold!
The keynote had some epic announcements, some of which were expected, some were generally new surprises, and some that will be familiar to blog readers. So, let's dig into this!
Atlassian started the keynote with a milestone of sorts. They now have 250K customers. And well, this is a big deal. Each customer needs a Atlassian Admin, meaning there are now 250K places where you can potentially work. So I was ecstatic to see this milestone!
The next thing of note is Atlassian is making available a playbook to help distributed teams work better together. I haven't checked this out yet, but one of my stops on day three will be the Team Playbook booth to check it out!
Atlassian also announced that Jira Product Discovery, their "Jira, but for PMs", is now generally available. If you want more info on what JPD is, you can of course read my article, "What is Jira Product Discovery?"
This announcement means that JPD is no longer considered "in beta" and takes its place among the other Jira Versions!
Atlassian then announced "Atlassian Together," an one price solution that includes many of their most popular cloud apps. It should be noted that when I looked it up on Atlassian's website, the Atlassian Together I found did not include access, and was $15.20 per user per month, so I'm not sure if I'm at the wrong place or this is "coming soon."
Now we get into one of the bigger announcements of the day. Seems Atlassian looked at addons like Whiteboards for Jira (now by Appfire), and said "Hmm..."
That being said, this tool seems pretty powerful. Of it does all the things you expect, including (and I quote), "Stickies, shapes, lines, stamps, timers, and more." However, one of the more powerful integrations they showed off for their whiteboard solutions was being able to turn a sticky note into a task in Jira.
Because Confluence (and therefore it's whiteboard) is so deeply integrated into Jira, you can also directly import your Jira tasks into the board to have them reflect the status of the underlying Jira issue in real time.
And as if it needed anything else, You can also link Jira issues on your Whiteboard, and those issues will be linked in Jira. This is going to be a fantastic way to show product dependencies.
The last feature that I think has a lot of potential is integration with Automation, which will allow up to change or update Jira issues just based on where you put them on the board. They to examples they gave in the keynote were updating labels and transitioning the issue, but I'm sure there is more that can be done.
Another thing announced is that Atlassian is working with a third-party agency to help them become fully FedRAMP compliant, which means certain U.S. Government agencies and Contractors will then be able to use Atlassian Cloud tools. I know this has been a massive sticking point with some customers, and with the impending Server EOL (Serverpocalypse?), this is especially timely. Currently the target is November, but we all know how target dates work in Software companies, so I'm just going to say "2023Q4"
The next announcement is especially timely. You see, a few weeks ago I released the article "Can you use AI in your job?"
Well, the next day I had office hours with the Atlassian Social Media team, who is the sponsor of the #AtlassianCreators program, and our chief topic was Team '23. And I was told by Atlassian at that time, "Look, we can't tell you what's on the keynote ahead of time - especially You Rodney - but your post this week seems almost precognitiant." Well, not going to lie, I do feel like I called it.
Atlassian is adding Large Language Models to their products, and in a big way. They are calling it "Atlassian Intelligence", and it is billed to be an extra teammate for your team.
This is set to be a AI agent for Halp, Summarize the progress on a Jira Issue, help you come up with ideas and writing, define the unique language of your organization, and help you write complex queries in Atlassian Analytics.
One point especially hit home - where they asked their AI Agent to help change the tone of a response to something more empathetic. This was especially on mind because just a few nights ago, a fellow Community Leader told me they were using ChatGPT to do just this after getting the idea from my blog. And here it is, native in Jira.
Anyways, I don't want to go too deep into AI here, as it more than deserves it's own article, so subscribe to get the latest updates when they release!
The last thing I want to cover today is Beacon. This product was announced as part of Atlassian's "Point A" program, and is now out in Beta.
This tool monitors your Atlassian Cloud instance for unusual activity like logins that looks out of place or strange search patterns, and alerts your team to a potential breach of access, either with a JSM Ticket, Slack notification, or both.
One new feature I glossed over last week was the availability of "Bring Your Own Key" Encryption. This feature allows your organization to hold the keys to your data hosted by Atlassian, meaning only those you grant permission to it can see the data at rest. Let me explain.
Jira, Confluence, and the rest of the Atlassian Cloud Platform will still need to be able to decrypt your data to run - that is impossible to get around. The question here is who else can decrypt that data and use it. To decrypt the data, you need the keys, and until this point, Atlassian was the sole owner of those keys. Now you get to specify, using AWS Key Management Service (KMS), which keys are used to encrypt your data, meaning you and Atlassian Cloud's software are the only ones with access to your data. This arrangement will be a major relief to organizations storing highly sensitive data.
Your data will only be as safe as your keys, so proper security is still paramount. It's not unheard of for someone to gain access to encryption keys after breaking into a Dropbox or stealing a laptop that had them on it. But as long as you maintain security around them, your data is much safer.
Atlassian states, "This new tab will provide important details about cloud app security and privacy all in one place, helping customers with security and compliance requirements assess apps during the procurement process."
So, Apps in your Cloud environment have always been a thorny subject - especially regarding security and compliance. I want to say this was fixed with Forge, but in the older Connect framework, your data associated with Apps was stored on the App Vendors Systems rather than with Atlassian. Yes, this means that even today, you can't always be 100% sure where your App Data is. You can imagine that if your organization is required to have strong security compliance, this is a nightmare scenario and a massive reason some are still unable to go to Cloud.
Now, it's on Marketplace Partners to update their Apps to change how this works, but Atlassian is giving them an easy, uniform way to show how their Apps work right in the marketplace. This feature means once this is in place, you can tell if the App complies with your Security and Compliance regulations, meaning you can have confidence while testing a new add-on.
Listen, we all know situations where you must collaborate with others outside your organization. And this can be challenging. For example, as a consultant, I have had several emails from various domains so that I can be granted access to a customer's systems to do agreed-upon work. That is why I'm shocked no one thought of this sooner.
Soon, you can grant external users access to your Atlassian Cloud instances. You can also enforce that these users outside your organization must comply with two-factor verification and set how often they must verify.
Still, this is such a simple concept that I'm surprised we are just now talking about it.
For years now, I have had teams ask for one simple thing. "Hey, can we assign this to a team rather than a person?" This request just makes sense. Of course, some tasks require only one person, but more often than not, it's an entire team responsible for a piece of work, not just an individual. So why is it, for twenty years now, issues could only be assigned to one and only one person at a time?
Atlassian is finally fixing this. You can define a Team within the Atlassian Platform, making the Team either invite-only or public. And then, you treat this new Team as you would any user account in Jira. Once formed, You can @mention them in Confluence Document or Jira Comment. You also get a dedicated page for the Team, where you can define goals, work being done, etc.
Atlassian said these Teams are not tied to your org chart, which is great, don't get me wrong. But hear me out - can we also auto-populate certain Teams from the Org Chart? I want to preserve the ability to form ad-hoc Teams centered around specific goals, but I don't want to have everyone re-create their internal teams on the Org Chart. That should be done for them. Can I have both? I have yet to find out, but I intend to play around with this feature more and find out!
Are there features you are looking forward to? Did I miss anything that you are excited about? Let me know! I love reading your comments, either here or on Social Media!
So - I actually have a bit of a plan for the next month's articles. Next week, I intend to discuss the best App demos of the conference. The following week, we are looking at someone currently on Atlassian Server with several limitations and seeing their possible moves as the EOL looms. I'm still researching this one, but the answer (#clickBait) may surprise you. Then I'll take another look at Custom Charts for Jira in my first App Review in a long time.
Oh, and somewhere in there, I'll be doing a bonus article looking at the Best Swag of Team '23. Also, I'm working with the Community Leaders to prepare a Trello Board where you can vote for your favorites ahead of time, so be looking out for that!
And where will you find the announcement? Why, on my Social Media profiles, which you can find on my Linktree. While there, be sure to Like, Comment, and Follow for more blog posts, updates, and general Atlassian Community thoughts.
But until next time, my name is Rodney, asking, "Have you updated your Jira issues today?"
Sr. Atlassian Engineer
The Jira Guy, LLC
13 accepted answers