There is no escape: Atlassian to send Jira into places only Excel dares to tread

HR, finance, marketing and more in the crosshairs for Jira Work Management


Atlassian has released Jira Work Management, which it plans to slip into fields beyond the usual IT and software suspects.

The Jira product itself, which Atlassian initially built its house on, is coming up on its third decade, having started life in 2002 as an issue tracker. It has grown over the years to encompass agile project management and, late last year, was extended to handle IT Service Management.

It is therefore not too surprising that the company has turned its gaze to other areas of the enterprise with Jira Work Management, aimed at teams in HR, finance and marketing.

While it may sound a little like the company might be impinging on areas occupied by ERP systems, chief revenue officer Cameron Deatsch told The Register that "the people's toes we're stepping on are email and spreadsheets" as the company seeks to extend its work tracking and assignment technology into pastures new.

To tempt those reluctant to leave the embrace of Excel, there are views and default templates aimed at different areas of the business. Users preferring something with an .xlsx extension are catered for by the List view, Outlook hounds might prefer the Calendar view, Gantt fans have the Timeline view, while the Board display is a handy workflow visualiser.

There is little here to scare the horses, and the changes feel more evolutionary than revolutionary. Status categories now have helpful colours and the language used has been switched from the stories and bugs of the software world to tasks and assets (in the case of something like marketing or design) or candidate (for recruitment).

For companies already accustomed to Jira, it's a relatively straightforward extension once one is on the correct tier. While those on the freebie tier get access to the new toys, more than 10 users or extra storage requires a jump to the paid-for product. Atlassian told us that versions for the Premium and Enterprise tiers would be along soon but, alas, the new functionality was very much cloud only.

"Jira Work Management is a Software-as-a-Service offering from Atlassian," explained Deatsch. "It's yet another carrot for our on-prem customer base to go off and start using our cloud."

And, presumably, coughing up for those subscriptions. In its FY2021 Q2 results, the company boasted of a year-on-year growth of 23 per cent to $501m in revenue, of which $311m came from subscriptions while perpetual licence revenues continued to dwindle.

Deatsch would not be drawn on the travails facing Jira rival Basecamp, but he did laugh: "No bullshit is actually one of our key values that we share."

"It's up there on our website," he added. ®

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