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Chatbots: Upping the ante on DevOps automation

DevOps enables companies to expedite the feedback and delivery systems of their product or service and eases complex workflows to augment productivity of both the engineering and operation teams.

With DevOps, the TAT on receiving feedback, fixing the issue and go to market (GTM) time is considerably reduced. Given that the fundamental paradigm in DevOps is to shrink iterations and increase accuracy during the iterative process, utilizing chatbots seems a natural progression in the DevOps journey. According to Chatbot Magazine, there are two types of Chatbots: one function-based on rules and one on advanced machine learning. The function-based Chatbots can be built to respond to specific requests. Advanced machine learning bots use artificial intelligence (AI) ; this type of bot gets smarter using previous interactions with people.

Chatbots are increasingly gaining popularity in DevOps automation. According to the Devops website “ChatOps allows users to stay on top of everything including orchestrating workflows right from chat platforms such as Slack”. It emphasizes the importance of the bot to integrate with the automation process. As an emerging communication medium, Chatbot combined with DevOps automation provides the much needed nudge to engineers and operation teams to increase communication, transparency and collaboration.

We think that chatbots are certainly going to be integrated with DevOps automation and in fact become hygiene. Some of the reasons we think this is going to happen are:

Instant feedback

The biggest advantage about a Chatbot is that organizations can get instant feedback. DevOps automation focuses on “failing quickly” and being able to decrease the SDLC, and fix issues as and when they appear; Chatbot facilitates this process by listening and analyzing customer’s needs as and when they are revealed.

Effective way to communicate

Every organization is looking to increase customer communication and provide their customers with a better experience. Once an organization has identified as issue that needs resolution, Chatbots are a great enabler that offer easy and effective ways to solve the communication gaps bringing clarity and direct communication. This helps eliminate the dilution, miscommunication or opacity of the communication.

Adaptability to different businesses and services

The Chatbot can provide a host of services including payment services, customer services, news and media services, weather services, chatting services, targeted selling, cross-selling and so on. Additionally, bots can be developed to suit any business’s specific needs.

Easy to create and use

Often people get intimidated by the idea of creating a bot. However, in this age there are many tools that help create Chatbots with ease. Octane AI, wit.ai, howdy’s botkit, api.ai, textit.in, Motion.ai, Watson, and so on are just some of the examples of tools that can be used to create a chatbot based on the organization’s needs. Additionally, one can even outsource the building of this bot based on the requirement.
Also, organizations can create rules to provide thresholds for alerts and so on; while on the customer end, they can choose to run or block a particular chat, and be provided actionable content. Making the entire process easy to access and control.

Increase engineer productivity

Keeping track of all CRs (change requests) is difficult and engineering or operations’ teams tend to slip up once in a while. Usually with human intervention, a customer requirement could easily not be captured. With DevOps automation in combination with Chatbots, workflows can be streamlines. Chatbots can automatically compile the list of changes and inform both the engineering and operations team enabling easy tracking. This reduces innumerable man hours, thus having a direct impact on business productivity, by allowing teams to focus on their core strengths of developing, designing architecting, etc., instead of having to spend their time on compilation and tracking.

Reduced cost

Given that artificial intelligence and Chatbots have reached a stage where they are more humanized, combined with the technological advances in this area, the cost of creating a Chatbot is getting cheaper. Using it in-house is easier on the wallet and can be built based on your requirement. With DevOps automating repetitive processes and chatbots, it paves the way for easier, smoother, and faster product development.

Available on multiple platforms

Just some of the platforms that you can use Chatbots are Kit, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Skype. This means that organizations can reach their customers across platforms and keep them engaged based on their browsing patterns.

Conclusion

Finally, it is important to dispel some of the myths that exist on Chatbots. Chatbots, like DevOps automation, are not going to replace humans. They only serve as a platform that ease the pain points of customers, operations, and engineering alike, while ensuring continuous delivery.

There is no one size that fits all solutions while creating Chatbots for your organization. If every organization integrates its Chatbots with DevOps automation it goes without saying that markets will see a lot more innovation faster, customers will be better serviced and businesses will benefit more . There is of course no single solution that solves all problems across different industries; it has to be focused for the specific need of the organization. Adapting to change is inevitable, but the direction the organization chooses to take will determine a business’s rate of success.

Referenced in the article:

https://chatbotsmagazine.com/the-complete-beginner-s-guide-to-chatbots-8280b7b906ca

https://devops.com/using-chatbots-automation-better-devops/

Other references:

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/what-are-chatbots-why-does-big-tech-love-them-so-n572201

http://digitalonus.com/files/Whitepaper.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps

https://chatbotsmagazine.com/the-complete-beginner-s-guide-to-chatbots-8280b7b906ca

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/what-are-chatbots-why-does-big-tech-love-them-so-n572201

https://theagileadmin.com/what-is-devops/

https://devops.com/using-chatbots-automation-better-devops/

https://chatbotsmagazine.com/the-state-of-chatbot-commerce-in-2017-78763f48227b

https://chatbotsmagazine.com/how-chatbots-can-automate-and-enhance-customer-communications-a732bdcf5c03

http://digitalonus.com/automation/