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Tempo's cloud transformation: Driving enterprise success

From Team '23

Tempo Team

Like the Wright brothers over a century ago, the journey into the cloud(s) was one that required innovation and incredible effort, but it has proven to be incredibly worthwhile.

Back in 2016, Tempo Software made the strategic decision to start moving its products into the cloud – focusing on key pillars such as solution parity, application performance, and seamless migrations from on-premise.

From there, we moved to security and compliance and the creation of a trust center to meet the needs of our enterprise customers.

Our investments in these areas have not only strengthened our enterprise readiness but have also yielded tangible results. Today, we're witnessing accelerated growth in the cloud landscape, fueled by our solutions tailored for agile and DevOps, ITSM, flexible Portfolio Management, and more.

In this article, we’d like to cover how we actually did it. Not a celebration, but a retrospective of Tempo’s cloud transformation, how it changed our business, and the future it created for Tempo and can for other businesses as well.

From enhancing scalability and performance to fortifying security measures, every step we've taken has propelled us towards our ultimate goal: Accelerating the value we deliver to customers in the cloud. So far, so good – in 2023 we matured from an application company, to a solution company, to a platform upon which our customers can connect their strategy to their work. Those were big milestones, all enabled by our cloud journey

(OK, so maybe we’re celebrating a little).

Embracing cloud-first practices: A proactive stance

They call it a “migration” or a “journey” for a reason – moving to the cloud isn’t quick and it certainly isn’t something to start without preparation and gathering resources. Tempo's cloud transformation began back in 2016 when we decided to become a cloud-first company with our products Timesheets, Planner, and Cost Tracker. We realized that for our tools to grow and keep up with what our customers needed, we had to make the move to the cloud.

Additionally, we were (and still are) a mostly Jira-native company with many of our customers using the Atlassian suite. With Atlassian making the move over to the cloud, we had to do right by what our customers wanted and anticipate where the future was going to stay at the pinnacle of the marketplace.

At that time, it was deemed more important to move fast and have a single codebase for cloud and server (now data center, or DC).

This worked well, and we made our server codebase compatible with the cloud in little over a year with only 10 developers/SREs involved in the process. However, this also came with a few downsides.

  • We couldn’t optimize solutions for each platform

  • Making changes led to bugs appearing on different platforms

  • Needing to know details of both led to a less-than-ideal developer experience

We did our very best but not every couple is meant to be together forever. In 2017, we decided to fork our codebases and allow our tools to grow independently.

This isn’t to say that you can’t make it work – just that these are things you and your teams will need to be aware of if you decide to take the same approach to your cloud transformation. We decided to develop things for cloud first for speedy implementation and feedback from our customers, and so we would have more direct access to our logs and metrics for troubleshooting.

Would this split approach require more work? Yes. However, to fully embrace the potential that the cloud would have for our software, the decision was made and we look back at it now as the correct one as it led to considerable growth for both versions.

Creating a foundation of trust and security

When it came to our cloud transformation – it was more than just trying to improve our builds.

In the realm of enterprise software, trust and security are non-negotiable and we had to make a lot of major steps to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of our customers’ data.

Here is a breakdown on what we had to do to provide peace of mind to our enterprise-level customers:

Establishment of a trust center

Tempo set up a robust trust center, acting as a repository of security information and certifications. This center, fortified with certifications such as SOC 2 Type 2, serves as a testament to our dedication to safeguarding customer data integrity and confidentiality.

Adherence to stringent standards

Tempo adheres rigorously to industry-leading security standards and obtains certifications to demonstrate our commitment to data protection and compliance. This includes adhering to GDPR, SOC 2, and ISO 27001 standards, facilitating seamless integration of our solutions into enterprise environments.

Continuous security enhancements

Tempo continually invests in enhancing our security infrastructure and practices, ensuring that our solutions remain resilient against emerging threats. By staying ahead of the curve and implementing robust security measures, we bolster enterprise readiness, enabling organizations to leverage our solutions with confidence.

Atlassian marketplace certifications

As a trusted partner in the Atlassian ecosystem, Tempo has obtained various certifications and accreditations from the Atlassian Marketplace. This includes the Marketplace Privacy and Security tab, which provides customers with insights into the security measures implemented in our solutions.

Additionally, our apps are recognized as cloud fortified, signifying their resilience and security in cloud environments. We also actively participate in the marketplace bug bounty program, allowing us to address potential vulnerabilities promptly and enhance the overall security posture of our solutions.

Optimized performance

Beyond security, Tempo has invested in performance optimization, enhancing scalability to support large enterprises seamlessly. Architectural improvements have resulted in significant reductions in API loads, ensuring optimal system performance and reliability.

The payoff of cloud transformation

The process took years, and the technical details will be different for every company, but the payoffs of becoming cloud-first were clear.

Here's a closer look at how Tempo's cloud transformation has fueled our growth and success:

  • Tempo's strategic alignment with cloud technology has propelled us towards accelerated growth. In 2023 the number of customers on cloud surged, reflecting the increasing demand for cloud solutions. Tempo was positioned to meet that demand in cloud with solutions our customers want and we met our customers where they were in their own digital transformation to cloud. This growth trajectory underscores the effectiveness of our cloud transformation strategy and affirms our position as a leader in the cloud ecosystem. The right solutions + cloud deployments = a trajectory of growth in the Atlassian ecosystem.

  • As a testament to our enhanced enterprise readiness, Tempo has experienced a significant uptick in enterprise deals and partnerships. Enterprises are increasingly turning to our cloud solutions, recognizing their scalability, security, and compatibility with modern IT environments. Our ability to cater to the unique needs of large organizations has solidified our reputation as a preferred vendor in the enterprise space.

  • We’ve even done our bit to help others with their migrations. In 2023, Tempo supported 995 customer cloud migrations, with an impressive customer satisfaction score of 4.88 (out of 5). This exceptional rating reflects the effectiveness of our migration support initiatives and reinforces the trust that enterprises place in our cloud solutions.

Tempo's cloud transformation has been instrumental in driving our enterprise success. Through unparalleled growth, expanded enterprise deals, industry recognition, and unwavering customer trust, we've demonstrated the tangible benefits of embracing cloud technology.

Leading the way toward a cloud-first future

As we reflect on our journey towards cloud transformation, one thing is clear: The future belongs to the cloud. Tempo remains committed to empowering enterprises with agile, scalable, and secure solutions that maximize their investments in cloud technologies.

With a relentless focus on excellence and innovation, we're poised to lead the way towards a cloud-first future, where possibilities are limitless, and success knows no bounds.

Vision and execution

Knowing that it would take years to fully implement our cloud transformation alongside our usual feature work, Tempo laid the groundwork of what (and why) we wanted to become cloud first and laid out a vision of what we wanted for our tools at the time. This list isn’t exhaustive, but is an example of what we were aiming for and what the cloud could enable us to do:

  • Faster builds (5-15 minutes as it was around one hour pre-cloud).

  • A mono repository for our cloud modules.

  • Using feature flags to have more control over when and how a change is made available to customers.

  • Rapid development focusing on a stream of small incremental changes where each change is covered by unit tests.

  • Better logging, monitoring, and alerting so we can respond quickly to problems.

  • Faster cycle time (24 hours or less).

We broke the process down into three parts. Phase one was preparing the pipeline which involved merging the product repositories and the sub-module repositories into a single mono repository, forking that into two codebases (Cloud and On Premise), and improving those builds.

Phase two involved making production logs and development available to devs, getting an active on-call team to respond to issues 24/7, and making sure everything was working properly.

From there, phase three: Continuous delivery. We established a culture of making small incremental changes, more testing, and deploying more often. That meant going from monthly to weekly to daily releases.

As anyone that works in tech knows, the work is never done and continuous improvement is the goal. But with the steps we’ve made so far, we’re in a strong position to serve our enterprise customers and meet their high demands.

Want to learn more about Tempo’s cloud transformation?

We’ll be at Atlassian’s flagship event – Team ‘24 – April 30, so swing by booth #11. Or follow us on LinkedIn to stay ahead of what we’re working on. We’ve got some big announcements coming!