The power of the digital footprint
The art of turning a fast growing trend into a company asset
Almost every company in the world is moving its data and apps to the cloud. Along with COVID-19 that encouraged more and more people to work remotely and from multiple sites — organizational communication is extensively migrating to SaaS products. If in 1980 we learned that “Video Killed the Radio Star”, it seems that in the 2020s this is happening every year: Slack killed the Email star, Jira killed the Kanban Star, and more and more tools show up on a monthly basis. This is good news: the one thing that all these tools have in common, is that they prove that our digital footprint is here to not only stay, but to grow. Constantly.
Yet another Friday
Imagine that you got a call from ye olde PagerDuty bot, announcing that an R&D incident in production has been found (in fact, you don’t need to imagine — if you’re a developer, you live this!).
What happens next? You get beamed to battle. But alas, most often you’re armed with the minimum: the name of the failed services and some error messages.
Does it have to be this way? I mean, ideally, you’d also get a list of past similar incidents, so you don’t have to frantically search for the feature owner, the last one that changed the code, or any relevant documentation.
Fact of the matter is, your digital footprint knows. It knows everything. It knows of past incidents, and even if it doesn’t “know” exactly how to fix this one — it knows how to close the loop with someone who does. The path to the solution is right in front of you.
Our studies have shown that most of the incidents are repeated multiple times, so — if the team has already encountered such an incident before, a proper conversation on Slack, tickets on Jira and PRs on Github should be a significant leg-up in mitigating the issue.
Conversation becomes a guide
Amazing, so how should we do this right?
When we work with so many cloud applications and what we call Digital Transparency, with wide visibility to the team, we usually start with the textbook approach to handle incidents together:
- We create a dedicated public channel / group for the incident mitigation.
- We share thoughts, statuses and steps taken to handle the issue.
- We lock-in on a solution.
- Any Action item will be reflected with a Jira ticket.
- Any code change should be addressed in a Git Pull request.
- Any further lessons learned might be documented in Confluence.
Making sure that we publish this data ensures that future team members will be able to reuse this knowledge and reproduce it, even if they are not familiar with those who created it.
How many times have we chased people to document thoroughly, only to find that it was a “lost cause”? What if the entire process simply “became” its own documentation?
log4shell as an example
For those who aren’t familiar, Log4Shell (CVE-2021–44228) was a zero-day vulnerability in Log4j, involving arbitrary code execution that was found on November 24th, 2021. It was referred to in the media as “the worst cyber security flaw to date”, and impacted millions of devices. Here at Akooda, putting security always at the top of our minds — we were quick to check all relevant updates within hours, keeping our customers safe, online, and at peace.
Let’s loop in and see how Akooda surfaced the available digital footprint, which tells us everything we need to know.
Once Akooda’s R&D team had been notified about the vulnerability, a discussion started on Slack. Akooda AI systems quickly found the trend and marked it up. Akooda simply “detected” some interactions and flagged log4shell as a cross company project.
Here, we group them by stage, as described in the previous section:
And here, we put the work effort on the timeline:
On this chart, we can easily find the sequence of the incident handling done by us — from the beginning of the incident to its end.
Now, let’s see who was working on this, along with external teams that participated:
(yes, we even reached out to our friends at neo4j to make sure they’re up to speed on their end as well!)
Our digital footprint just became searchable, understandable and actionable. The next time we encounter an issue? We’ll bring up everything at the click of a button. Instant ROI.
Summing it up
Call me biased (well, I am!), but Akooda is the tool I always wished I had. It perfectly wraps up any digital footprint in your organization, in order to understand what’s really going on, from the bird’s eye view to any small interaction.
Besides that, Akooda is able to detect trends, analyze them and even break them to the smallest pieces — in order to convert the digital footprint to a story that can be reused and remove friction.
There is a lot of unknown we can reveal, that will make a revolution in the work experience of big organizations.