Why Our IT Department Started Using Slack

Slack has become a very popular platform for internal business communications. For those that aren’t familiar, Slack is a messaging platform with some extended features that make it very useful for teams. My favorite feature is the concept of “channels” where you can combine messages related to a particular topic.

So back to why we decided to use Slack. Quick answer, system outages. When systems are unavailable for any reason, we end up texting, emailing, and calling. As the response grows, we typically need to add people to the effort. So now there are multiple threads on multiple platforms that they need to catch up on. Slack solves that.

Now they can jump on our #system_outage channel, and the entire effort from every member of the team is right there. It also becomes a historical record of who did what and when to resolve the issue. This can be searched later if we have similar problems.

What’s next? We look to expand the use of Slack to cover all sorts of team communication and collaboration. We are looking at a #change_management channel to consolidate communication and track approval of changes to the production environment. We’ve started a #support channel for our helpdesk team to work with the application and infrastructure teams to solve problems. Next we plan to see how it works for projects where, for example, we could hold virtual daily stand-ups.


Greg Laird