Atlassian launches JIRA version for business leaders beyond IT

Atlassian will offer three flavors of its popular JIRA software development tool that is called JIRA Core and tailored for line of business leaders.

Atlassian said Tuesday that it will break up its JIRA software development tool into three parts with one aimed at business leaders in what could turn out to be a big market expansion.

Strategically, Atlassian is following its customers with JIRA usage. JIRA was initially launched as an agile software development tool used to track projects and work. From there, JIRA wound up being used by project managers and other non-developers who had to collaborate with software developers. Atlassian, which now has 50,000 customers across 165 countries, said JIRA is being split up into three platforms based on role. Here's a look:

JIRA Software, which is the version most folks see the most. This version is for software developers with best practices, queue management and collaboration tools. JIRA Software is aimed at developers, designers, quality assurance engineers and product managers.

  • JIRA Service Desk, which will be used for IT teams who have to handle employee requests and help tickets.
  • JIRA Core, which simplifies task management and processes for business executives in human resources, finance and marketing.
  • JIRA Software and Core start at $10 per month. JIRA Service Desk starts at $10 a month for up to three agents.

Atlassian President Jay Simons said the move to take its flagship product and expand it reflects the reality of how JIRA is used. "IT departments realized JIRA was a Swiss Army knife for collaboration needs and that allowed non-developers to work with it," said Simons. "The goal is to follow where customers already taking us."


The problem was that there were software development terms and processes that didn't quite work for a broader business audience.

If Atlassian's strategy sounds a bit familiar that's because ServiceNow has taken a similar approach. ServiceNow started as an IT service desk platform and then wound up being used for other roles such as human resources. Simons noted that Atlassian often runs into ServiceNow in the field.

What remains to be seen is how JIRA Core builds its base. Atlassian's initial plan is to target enterprises that are already using JIRA for software development to pitch JIRA Core, said Simons.

By prepackaging JIRA for specific groups, Atlassian is likely to grow wallet share in the enterprise.

While ServiceNow is a competitor in many respects, Simons noted that Atlassian is really competing with the "legacy of email and Office." It will be worth watching whether JIRA Core can become an inbox and system of record for work. The risk is that business execs may stick with email and attachments to collaborate.