Atlassian is a profitable $4.65 billion company, and the Jira project-management software has been its flagship product since the company was founded in 2002.
For most of those 14 years, the company, and Jira in particular, were very much focused on the software programmer market. This led to a curious oversight: Atlassian never made an official Jira app for smartphones.
“We were focused on software developers, and they were in front of their computers,” says Cameron Deatsch, Atlassian’s head of growth.
Today, that changes with the launch of the first official Jira app – still based on the version aimed at software teams but with an eye toward expanding beyond programmers. Indeed, the reason Atlassian is finally making a Jira app is a great indicator of the company’s long-term ambitions.
See, Jira started as a way for developers to log the bugs they found in software for their colleagues to work on. But over the past 14 or so years, Jira has found a home in 35,000 companies, and not every user is a programmer. That’s why the company has split Jira into three versions, all designed for different markets.
Actor and Honest Company cofounder Jessica Alba put a fine point on it at Salesforce’s massive Dreamforce conference in September, when she said, “I do not know how to code, but I can open a ticket in Jira.”
- REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
For Deatsch and Atlassian, Alba’s comments lit a fire under their posteriors to get an app out the door; maybe programmers spend all day in front of their computers, but she probably doesn’t. And neither do any of Atlassian’s much-desired nontechnical users.
“If Jessica Alba is submitting a Jira ticket, I assume she wants to do it on mobile,” Deatsch tells Business Insider.
The Jira apps, for iPhone and Android, are launching alongside an app for Atlassian’s Confluence product, which lets teams make their own internal Wiki pages. Before these apps, Atlassian customers had to use the mobile website or turn to third-party applications of varying quality.