DevOps are kind of like the guardian angels of businesses. They work away in the background, making sure all systems are running smoothly. It’s so important for DevOps to be alerted the moment something goes wrong. Because you need them to swoop in and save the day — ASAP. 

Emails are the default for alerting DevOps teams, but they get lost in cluttered inboxes and notification fatigue. That’s where SMS steps in, delivering instant alerts to your team when it matters most. 

In this blog we’ll talk about why SMS takes the spotlight for DevOps alerting. We’ll explore how you can set up an effective DevOps monitoring and alerting system. Read on. 

  • Why email DevOps Alerts don’t cut it
  • How to implement SMS for DevOps Alerts
  • How to set up DevOps Alerts on ClickSend

Email alerts don’t cut it for DevOps monitoring and alerting

Email is great for many things. But, it’s not the best choice of communication for DevOps alerts. And there’s three reasons why. 

No delays on damage control
When your system, website or app go down — every second counts. As they say, time is money. Emails can experience delays, server overload or simply be redirected into spam folders. Which means your important DevOps email alerts get missed.

With SMS, the message goes straight to your team members’ mobile phones. The alert is delivered in seconds and most likely read in minutes. Text messages are direct, actionable and perfect for people management. So your team can start fixing the bug quickly. 

Less alert fatigue
If you work in DevOps, your inbox isn’t just flooded. It’s very likely that your inbox is inundated with a deluge of emails. It’s easy for critical alerts to get buried under a sea of less important emails. 

SMS grabs attention because it feels immediate, especially when you compare email vs SMS. It cuts through the clutter and noise, providing teams with a direct update on urgent bugs. This minimises the risk of oversight or delay.

Improve visibility and urgency of alerts

Email alert with 'This should've been an SMS...' as the subject line and reasons why SMS is better for alerts than email.

Let’s face it, you often overlook your emails or push them to the side to deal with later. A study by PR Newswire revealed that over half of consumers ignore retailer emails due to inbox overload. Email just doesn’t have the same level of urgency as SMS. 

SMS offers more reliable, real-time alerting. It captures attention quickly — which is important for time poor DevOps teams that work on focus-heavy tasks and experience alert fatigue. 

For DevOps alerts SMS is reliable, immediate, and efficient. Especially when compared to the limitations of email. This makes texts a better choice for rapid response demands of DevOps.

How to implement SMS for DevOps Alerts

Once you’re set on using SMS for DevOps alerting — what’s next? Just follow these five steps. 

1. Choose a reliable SMS provider

Not all SMS providers are equal. A crucial step in implementing SMS for DevOps alerting is selecting a reliable SMS provider, and platforms like ClickSend stand out for their effectiveness.

It’s really important that you choose a reputable SMS provider so that your important alert messages get delivered. For example ClickSend has hundreds of integrations, 99.95% uptime and only ever uses direct routes.

You’ll save a lot of time if you find a solution that can easily integrate with your existing tech stack and tools.

Integration is key, it allows DevOps teams to receive automated and real-time alerts directly within their existing workflows. 

2. Define escalation policies

Your next step is to define a clear bug escalation policy. You should begin by creating a method for alerts to be sent to the right person or team. Whether through a tiered system or direct assignments, having a well-defined escalation process guarantees that critical issues reach the appropriate people quickly.

It’s essential in preventing alert fatigue and making sure that each alert triggers a fast and effective response.

3. Craft your message carefully

With SMS, you only have 160 characters — use it wisely. An alert should contain enough contextual information to help your team quickly get started on diagnostic activities.

You may be able to use custom placeholders to auto-fill the SMS with details of the issue. 

4. DevOps monitoring and alerting

Once you’ve set up your system and DevOps alerting tools, make sure you monitor your system to see how successful it is. One KPI you might want to measure is Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) or Lead Time. 

You also might want to review trends in system performance and resource utilisation over time to identify bottlenecks. Regularly reviewing trends can help you address issues before they impact your system’s reliability or performance.

5. Make security a priority

As you know, robust security measures are non-negotiable when dealing with sensitive information. Considering encryption is important — make sure that only authorised people can access data for bug triages, even if the alert is intercepted. 

Choosing a provider like ClickSend that prioritises security offers additional peace of mind. With features such as secure API connections and two-factor authentication, ClickSend goes the extra mile to protect the integrity of your DevOps alerting system.

How to set up DevOps Alerts on ClickSend

Using an integration does streamline the alerting workflow, ensuring that critical messages are seamlessly transmitted to the right teams at the right time.

To use the full potential of ClickSend in your DevOps alerting strategy, consider using a range of DevOps alerting tools. You can leverage integrations with Zapier for automated workflows, Uptime Kuma for monitoring system performance, and DataDog for in-depth analytics. 

This combination ensures that your DevOps team not only receives timely alerts but also benefits from a holistic view of system health and performance. It can also help to minimise alert fatigue by allowing you to spread the work across your team.  

Ready to elevate your DevOps alerting strategy with ClickSend? Chat to our support team and they’ll help to connect you with a technical expert.