What Businesses Need to Know about ChatOps

Business.com / Technology Solutions / Last Modified: April 16, 2018
Image credit: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

ChatOps serves as a paradigm for efficiency. Learn how this technology is revolutionizing businesses and could improve communication and workflow in your business.

Made popular by Github, ChatOps is a collaborative powerhouse of transparency and open discussions among teams working toward a common goal. The software tool uses chatbots to track the latest updates regarding tasks and works in progress. Staff members log into ChatOps to view assignments and deadlines while sharing common concerns and solutions in a centralized location.

ChatOps is also known as conversation-driven DevOps, powered within an environment of development operations, that creates a more efficient workspace by bringing multidisciplinary teams together and eliminating silos. ChatOps is an integrative tool for developers deploying code and information-management specialists looking to streamline the process of sharing information.

Digital workspaces are being transformed with ChatOps. While the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, we should consider both the benefits and possible drawbacks of the software.

ChatOps shortens feedback loops.

Relaying information can be a timely process if feedback isn't given directly to an intended recipient. ChatOps reduces the communication barriers that delay the responses and feedback from employees as they try to understand their expectations. The structure of ChatOps shortens feedback loops by displaying information immediately. Since everyone can see new information in real time, there is less delay when taking action.  

ChatOps serves as a paradigm for efficiency. The shortened feedback loop ChatOps supports enhances productivity, saves company resources and builds customer loyalty, which is critical for business operations. As customers submit support tickets, queries can be addressed quickly by a specialist, or an entire department can contribute their ideas to come up with one comprehensive solution as the response.

It automates tasks and enhances security.

Automating tasks using ChatOps allows teams to focus on core objectives instead of small, repetitive tasks. Cutting down on these monotonous tasks limits human errors and alerts employees of upcoming duties and announcements. An automated system also triggers alerts that address potential security risks posed by cyber hackers.

Often, hacking attempts aren't noticeable as soon as they occur. If businesses can implement security measures quickly, it results in the prompt removal of sources with malicious intent. With ChatOps automation, the faster response time to potential hacking allows everyone to act immediately for the protection of important business information.

While ChatOps immediately identifies the source of potential threats, the notifications further alert administrators of login attempts and related issues that prevent team members from entering the system.

ChatOps is beneficial for onboarding new hires and training employees.

Deploying ChatOps as a primary point of communication has numerous benefits. The system appeals to introverts and extroverts by creating a flexible workspace for new workers who want to address large groups or send private messages. Personal messages sent in ChatOps allow users to ask questions, discuss tasks and learn new information. In fact, it's estimated that up to 62 percent of ChatOps users will use the direct messaging feature.  

New employees benefit from ChatOps as they work remotely (or on-site) to familiarize themselves with procedures and company culture. By simply viewing the actions and responses of fellow team members, new hires get a personal view of actions to take and the practices that are best to avoid while working. The roles of team members are also viewable in ChatOps, showing other employees who head various departments and offering the option for private conversations regarding specific issues and concerns.

It offers scalability and motivation.

As businesses grow, ChatOps will work at scale to accommodate additional employees and file sharing as more users access the platform. The instant and convenient exchange of information with ChatOps has been found to reduce email exchanges by 35 percent, thus increasing productivity. This happens because ChatOps prevents silos, allowing employees, developers and management to be part of meaningful conversations occurring within the company.

Employees need to know if they are meeting necessary goals and if their performance is up to par. By sharing the company's key performance indicator (KPI) in ChatOps, staff will stay motivated by the KPI measures as they see their successes and evaluate the changes that should be put in motion to hit the mark on an individual and company-wide level.

Avoid communication overload when implementing ChatOps.

ChatOps is becoming the new normal. While businesses are deploying ChatOps to strengthen communication, we should always consider potential setbacks. If announcements and group conversations are shown simultaneously, it's likely that employees may feel overwhelmed and avoid the system, or they may mistakenly overlook important information.

When communicating in ChatOps, administrators will have to divide the chats in order to conquer with efficiency. With so many conversations happening simultaneously, group chat rooms and chat spaces designated for specific roles and projects should be separate from the main page where a general conversation is dominant.

ChatOps is a constantly evolving platform.

Chatting in real time isn't new, but it has evolved to a new level of proficiency. Thinking back, many would agree that modem-driven Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) was the great-grandfather of the ChatOps we use today. BBS allowed anyone with a computer to dial-in, leave messages, chat, send and play games.

ChatOps must be functional, but managers must also build their company culture around ChatOps using creative approaches. Developers and staff should always be encouraged to view ChatOps as a valuable resource instead of a platform that disrupts their traditional means of communication for businesses to enjoy its benefits and avoid potential setbacks.

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