Matthew Willis
Matthew Willis

A UK-based digital copywriter, Matt is a skilled and passionate scribe with a keen interest in an array of subjects; his varied written work can range from deliberations on advances in the tech industry to recommendations about the top wildlife-spotting destinations. When he doesn’t have his fingers attached to a keyboard, you'll likely find him hunting down obscure soul records, professing (inaccurately) to be an expert on craft beer, or binge-watching documentaries about sharks.

How Chatbots Can Help You DevOps Better

DevOps — it’s a phrase many of you may be familiar with, but it’s also one of the most confusing in terms of pinning down its actual meaning.

Despite the mists of bewilderment surrounding DevOps (something we’ve covered before here at Instatus — check our Ultimate Guide To DevOps), this combination of practices and tools is a cornerstone of many successful businesses around the world; even if plenty of people are left perplexed by its true definition.

In the post-pandemic age of business, collaboration and communication have never been more critical, and it’s no longer standard practice to work from an office. In fact, it’s relatively commonplace for companies to oversee global workforces, with employees communicating exclusively via video conferencing and private messaging clients.

DevOps is all about improving communication, but what if we told you that chatbots can help to improve your DevOps framework, through something known as ChatOps? Or, perhaps we’re jumping the gun, and you’d like to get to grips with what DevOps is. In any case, read on — we’ll explain everything you need to know.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The definition of DevOps
  • The core principles of DevOps
  • The definition of ChatOps
  • How chatbots can help your DevOps

What is DevOps, anyway?

Before we dive into how chatbots and ChatOps may be able to help with DevOps, let’s define what we’re talking about when we discuss how DevOps can aid your business.

Combining software development and IT operations (that’s where the name comes from), DevOps focuses on automating processes and promoting a culture of cooperation and collaboration between traditionally separate teams (e.g. software developers, information technology operators, quality assurance specialists etc).

It also improves communication between team members by encouraging them to share information more freely. Above all, the goal of DevOps is to drive efficiency, innovation, and agile decision-making within your business. It’s a fantastic way to grow your business at scale, too — something we’ve discussed before in our article on DevOps Benefits.

Hopefully, this helps to clear some of your confusion. To clarify our point though, let’s take a look at some of the core principles of DevOps:


Automation is a key DevOps principle that removes the mundane and repetitive tasks from your workflow so you can focus on the creative aspects of your work. Automation tools can be programmed to perform tasks like software testing, deploying software to production, managing databases, and creating user accounts.

Many tools are available that automate various operations, like continuous integration and continuous delivery tools, configuration management tools, and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers.

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is a software development practice that emphasizes creating software in short cycles that are tested and validated before the next release. It uses risk-based testing and planning to ensure that modular code is properly tested, documented, and integrated across the entire project before being deployed to production.

Continuous delivery software tools help organizations automate software delivery by automating the build and deployment process. They can also be programmed to perform tasks like validating performance metrics, monitoring network traffic, and managing vendor relationships.


Collaboration is another key principle of DevOps. Since the pandemic in 2020, most organizations now use virtual workspaces where team members can collaborate, share files, and schedule team meetings to facilitate effective communication.

This provides a central hub where team members can share and access project documentation, customer relationship management tools, and instant messaging — all key elements of the DevOps framework.


A major tenet of DevOps is its focus on company culture. When organizations are transitioning to a DevOps model, they want to change how people work and approach problems. To have success with this type of change, you need buy-in from key stakeholders and a collaborative effort from your entire team.

Hopefully, all of the above helps to clear up any confusion around what DevOps is. Put simply, DevOps is the practice of combining your business departments to deliver high-quality work at a faster rate.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the DevOps development process, check out our previous post on the DevOps Development Lifecycle.

So, what’s ChatOps?

First coined by the developers at Github, ChatOps is a new approach to workflow management. ChatOps is, according to IBM: “The practice of using real-time chat clients to facilitate software development and operations.”

In other words, ChatOps focuses on executing tasks and commands from within a chat room, opening up visibility to every team member involved in the project, from software engineers to marketing executives — think of it as a sort of conversational DevOps.

With a chatbot customized to work with selected plugins and scripts, teams can automate tasks and collaborate to work better, cheaper, and faster — all in real-time during command execution.

Chances are, you probably already use some form of chat client — Slack, Campfire, and Flowdock are all popular choices. ChatOps simply harnesses the power of these platforms and, through automation, places everyone’s actions and notifications in one place.

How can ChatOps help my business?

Let’s dig into some examples of how chatbots can help your DevOps framework through ChatOps.

Continuous monitoring via triggers 

One of the first steps you may take in building a ChatOps-based culture is setting up a real-time monitoring system with triggers to alert operators inline and in real-time.

With a monitoring system that integrates with other apps and services, you can set up alerts that notify operators when critical events happen and send them contextual information to speed up response times.

You may want to tie actions to events, creating a chain of actions based on changing conditions. For example, if a server goes offline, a trigger can send an alert to your team and trigger an action, such as reviewing the cause of the outage and taking action to resolve it.

This approach is critical for organizations that want to break away from a purely incident-response-based model. With a trigger-based monitoring system, your team can respond to changes in the system as well as unplanned outages proactively, rather than reactively.

ChatOps boosts the reliability and scalability of your business operations — two elements we’re well-versed in here at Instatus. Don’t just take our word for it though, check out our top 6 best status page services for your needs while you’re here.

Collaborative tooling with Slack

ChatOps can be implemented through most messaging tools, but the most frequent choice is Slack. Because it’s a collaboration platform, it has all the functionality you need to set up a ChatOps solution.

Slack provides its built-in Slackbot, but there are plenty of other third-party solutions as well. For example, bots such as are easily integrated with Slack, allowing you to use the chat client as a collaborative workspace to reply to customers.

Hubot is an extremely popular bot that you can program to do just about anything you want — indeed, the developers actively encourage users to personalize their Hubot and make it a ‘source of merriment’ for the workplace.

As a simple example, Hubot can send a message to your team if something goes wrong, pointing out the issue and suggesting a solution. However, this is only scratching the surface. Hubot is capable of posting images, translating languages, and integrating with Google Maps.

Keep in mind though, the bot you choose will determine the language that you'll use for all aspects of ChatOps integration and implementation.

Automating complicated manual tasks and increasing visibility

Additionally, ChatOps can make the software development process more transparent and clear. For example, teams using Slack can:

  • See exactly when certain events were triggered
  • See the outcomes of those events
  • Enhance organizational accountability as a result

By implementing a chatbot, you can quickly reduce the number of tedious tasks that are so often prone to human error. Deployments and performance tests can be set to run automatically, saving your team precious hours.

Better yet, once your task is being handled in full view of any other departments you may be collaborating with, it’s a quick way for them to make requests without raising support tickets.

To summarize

Still on the fence about whether ChatOps may be right for your business? Here’s a summary of how this approach may benefit your company.

  • Productivity: Provides business information in real-time, improving business processes.
  • Transparency: Creates alignment between communication and documentation.
  • Automation: Detects and executes commands in real-time as well as updating the console.
  • Engagement: Promotes an aligned communication and decision-making culture among distributed teams.
  • Security and compliance: Documents current and historical tasks to enhance safety and compliance.
  • Collaboration: Improves communication between teams and departments by removing silos.

There’s no shortage of ChatOps tools and plugins available for your business to take full advantage of. To begin with, start simple and familiarize yourself with how your chatbot can add the most value to your teams.

Test out different bot integrations and scripts before sticking with the ones that work best. Remember, trial and error is nothing to be afraid of — it’s all part of the process. For more DevOps tips and tricks, check out our articles on DevOps artifacts and the DevOps skills needed to help your team succeed.

Instatus status pages
Hey, want to get a free status page?

Get a beautiful status page that's free forever.
With unlimited team members & unlimited subscribers!

Check out Instatus

Start here
Create your status page or login

Learn more
Check help and pricing

Talk to a human
Chat with us or send an email

Statuspage vs Instatus
Compare or Switch!

Changesblog and open stats

Twitter, now and affiliates

Policies·© Instatus, Inc