For many IT teams at some of the most innovative companies, ChatOps is redefining the way IT operates. By fostering collaboration and pulling common processes into the chat apps where employees spend the most time, ChatOps promises to help IT staff work smarter, not harder.
But even for the most tech-savvy IT teams, scaling ChatOps can be a challenge. Custom code is expensive and difficult to maintain, and open-source bots may not have all the features an enterprise needs.
That’s why many teams choose to use an intelligent automation platform to create and maintain their ChatOps framework. With our
Here are a few of the most popular ways that companies around the world are using Workato to bring the true power of ChatOps to their IT teams!
Related: 3 examples of IT automation
1) Using ChatOps for Incident Resolution
At Workato, we’ve seen firsthand how ChatOps helps digital-first companies like Coupa streamline their incident management.
“We’re developers and we can certainly write our own integrations, but we felt like there were solutions that are better suited for handling this type of orchestration instead of doing it in-house,” explains Hans Gustavson, a Senior Site Reliability Engineer at Coupa.
Whether it’s a security issue, an emerging incident, or an ongoing project, their team receives real-time alerts via a chat app like Slack or Microsoft Teams. And with features like drop-down menus and buttons, these notifications are also actionable—so they can execute tasks without logging into other apps.
“What we really liked is Workato’s concept of a recipe—the workflow is intuitive and it doesn’t require deep expertise in coding or development. There are a lot of use cases and scenarios where we want to introduce bots or automation using Workato to help us manage a particular activity, Gustavson continues.
With a bit more orchestration, they turned their chat app into a central place for triaging these alerts. When their monitoring software—such as Pingdom—picks up a problem. Workato can both move this alert into a traditional paging software like PagerDuty, create an incident in Jira, and notify the Slack channel of their choice.
At Nutanix, a similar workflow enables the IT team to assign tickets 2x faster by allowing engineers to claim issues using buttons.
“I wanted to allow people to do what they really want to do, which is to just work from wherever they are. At Nutanix, that tends to be in Slack – which they can access from their computer or phones seamlessly,” explains Sebastian Goodwin, Head of Cybersecurity at the company.
“Thanks to this automation, our percentage of triaged and assigned tickets is now 100%. Nothing falls through the cracks,” he says. “It has also improved the average time-to-assignment. We assign tickets 2x faster than before.”
Goodwin also says that Workato was much faster to implement than custom-coding their own ChatOps solution: “We were able to sit down and learn how to use it, and a couple hours later, it was up and running. We had built something that was usable that quickly. That was impressive.”
2) ChatOps for Provisioning
When a new employee starts work, IT is responsible for making sure they have everything they need to be productive from Day 1. This often requires provisioning them across a wide range of apps and procuring any physical assets (like laptops or chargers) they’ll need.
Usually, hiring managers need to submit a ticket in an app like ServiceNow, asking IT to provision the new employee. But for big companies like the largest public financial app, a high volume of provisioning requests can create quite a backlog. In fact, this company generates over 60,000 request tickets every year. Because all of those tickets were handled manually, it was a huge drain on their IT resources; every ticket took about 30 minutes to resolve.
The company had a great idea: why not let people order things right from Slack? Now, employees can ask Workbot to order the items they need. They simply enter the request right in Slack using drop-down menus, buttons, or typing commands. Then Workbot automatically creates the request in ServiceNow.
What’s truly time-saving, however, is that the IT team—or whoever provides the goods from the service request—can also do their job from Slack. Whenever a new service request is created, they receive a Slack notification from Workbot; they can securely approve it with the click of a button. Not navigating to ServiceNow to file a ticket 60,000 times makes everyone more productive, and it reduces the time spent on these requests by 20%!
3) Faster Procurement and Asset Management
It’s also easy to adapt this provisioning workflow to include a procurement step. At Grab, Asia’s leading startup, ChatOps will soon allow employees to quickly request assets they need directly from Slack.
“They’ll be able to just say, ‘Hey, Workbot, I need a new computer monitor,’” says Shawn Song, Senior Manager of IT Systems. “Then Workbot will send their manager a Slack notification; the manager can approve or reject the request by just clicking a button.”
If the request is approved, Workbot will automatically generate a ticket. Then, IT will be notified of a new IT request in the IT Slack Channel. IT can simply input the new asset’s serial number into Slack, and Workbot will both register the monitor to the asset management system and notify the user to pick up their request in Slack.
Similarly, at the #1 chip manufacturer, a big pain point was that different items have different lead times associated with them. Items such as new laptops were frequently coming in too early and taking up space in the office for weeks, while other resources—like app usernames—often weren’t ready in time.
As a solution, the company built a Workato recipe that calculates the lead time required for each item a manager has requested and compares it to the new hire’s start date. Every night, the recipe checks to see if it’s time to order any items and sends a status email to the manager (e.g. “Your employee starts work in 5 days; here’s the status of what you ordered; do you want to expedite this order? Cancel it?”).
Once all items have been ordered, Workato sends an email (but this can easily be a message in a chat app) to the manager so they are up to date on the process and don’t have to waste time checking on the status of their order.
This workflow can also include other systems, like a spend management or payroll app. If you’re concerned about staying within budget, you can make sure that all asset requests are synced with the correct systems so you’ll never have to guess about your spending.
4) Enabling Employee Self-Service for Common Issues
Businesses are also using Workato to bring the power of ChatOps to common employee processes, like asking the IT team for help.
Shing Chyuan Tan is a Regional IT Systems Engineer at Grab who is leading the People Operations automations and integrations. He is working to enable employees to self-service when it comes to software/application deployments, such as printers, through ChatOps.
“Right now, employees have to contact IT to install printer drivers. IT has to get their username, get their hostname, then issue the command to install the printer driver to their machine,” Tan says.
Soon, employees will be able to tell Workbot, “I want to install a printer.” The bot will allow you to select which office you’re in from a drop-down list in Slack, and then it will automatically install the correct drivers for you.
The workflow means that employees who travel frequently can stay productive on the go. “Eventually, we’ll set it up so that when an employee travels into another city or another office, Workbot will prompt them with, ‘Hey, I see you’re in a different office. Do you want to install the printer drivers?’” he explains.
ChatOps can make almost any IT process faster, more agile, and more collaboration-based. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg; with Workato and some imagination, the sky’s truly the limit!