Workflow of the week- How to Automate JIRA ITIL-based and IT Service Management Processes

Though JIRA is “an issue and project tracker for teams building great software” (as defined by Atlasian), it is used by many IT groups to manage ITSM processes, such as incident management, change management, and problem management.

One of the JIRA challenges in the context of ITSM is the efficient management of large volumes of tickets or ‘issues’ in the JIRA terminology. Specifically, the need is for smarter, automated workflows that can cut manual work involved with creating and changing issues manually. Take a look at this simple workflow from the JIRA documentation. Considering the fact that this logical process now must be carried out manually for a huge number of tickets and for each project within the JIRA.

Watch the JIRA Integration with eyeShare on YouTube:

We figured out, why shouldn’t we automate these workflows and create a much more efficient JIRA ITIL and ITSM experience?

How does the JIRA (ITIL) Process Automation Work?

First, a 20-second background promo about eyeShare, our IT process automation product. eyeShare integrates with IT Service Management systems and tools to automate workflows (SCOM 2012, Active Directory, ServiceNow, Solarwinds, to name a few). Therefore, it was quite natural for us to implement an out-of-the-box JIRA integration.

The JIRA Automation can take many forms and angles. Here are some of the typical scenarios:

  • Automatic issue opening – eyeShare automatically opens a JIRA issue in response to a trigger. The trigger may be from SNMP trap, alert from a monitoring tool, a simple email sent by a user, call Web Service in eyeShare or some other method.
  • Issue status change – eyeShare sends an alert (via SMS, email or even phone call) to remote personnel to approve a status change. For example, a user requests a server restart. eyeShare automatically opens a JIRA ‘issue’ (change request), then eyeShare sends an SMS notification to a proper IT or business staff for approval. Once approved (eyeShare supports a two-way communication allowing you to reply back the same way you got the notification), the eyeShare workflow updates the status to “in progress”. Optionally, it would also send an alert notification to the responsible personnel to perform additional actions.
  • Automatic remediation – eyeShare may also remediate issues automatically;  for instance: reset passwords, restart services, monitor backup jobs and file transfers or any other task that you may want to automate. You can see here some of eyeShare’s pre-packaged IT process automation workflows.
  • Escalation and issue ownership – for more critical issues, eyeShare may run automatic notification and escalation procedures to enforce issue ownership and escalate the problem up to decision makers as needed. For instance, an SMS alert is sent to an on call person regarding a severe issue, and then eyeShare pauses to wait for a response. After a few minutes of no response, the workflow escalates the issue by sending an SMS alert to 2nd level pre-designated managers for handling the issue till closure.
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