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3 Ways Change Management Controls Risk

01/14/2016 by: The SunView Team

Risk management is always a priority for IT departments. At the same time, IT organizations increasingly need to operate more quickly, become more responsive and function as service brokers for business units. Accomplishing this hinges on process acceleration, as IT teams need to get more responsive and flexible if they want to successfully achieve these goals. All of these operational shifts create new risk management challenges.

The changing risk management game
For a long time, IT organizations avoided risk by carefully planning every change task, going through multiple levels of approval from management and working with change advisory boards to identify all of the consequences of a potential change. From there, the process would be carefully scheduled and implemented, creating an end-to-end change framework that is incredibly time consuming.

Many IT teams are moving away from these processes and beginning to empower employees to complete changes with less oversight. Eliminating the red tape allows IT departments to establish a culture of flexibility and agility, something that is increasingly important as technology unites work to become service brokers.

However, this effort to become more flexible comes with major challenges in terms of avoiding risk. Modern change management solutions have adapted to meet these new operational demands, and they support risk management in a few key ways

1. Automatic Documentation
Every process in a change gets logged within the change management solution once it happens, and filed digitally in an accessible location. The days of waiting for an employee to go back to a workstation to log the change and hoping every detail is recorded are gone. This is invaluable as IT teams are tasked with making changes with greater speed and agility. Simply documenting every part of the change process ensures that, should the change have any unintended consequences, you can quickly undo the various changes until the configuration stabilizes, use the change log to identify what went wrong and minimize the risk.

2. Increased Use of Automation
Human error is a huge issue when it comes to risk management. Making sure your users do not make basic mistakes - even something as small as accidentally selecting the wrong server during a change - plays a key role in avoiding risk. A small mistake can derail IT stability, leaving your organizations facing a downtime event. Many change processes feature fairly tedious, simple tasks that can cause workers to disengage and become more prone to mistakes. Automating these repeatable processes minimizes the potential for human error and plays a key role in managing risk.

3. Visibility
Cutting the red tape that prevents organizations from completing change processes quickly doesn't mean eliminating managers from the equation. Modern change management solutions feature collaboration, process integration and documentation tools that give managers the visibility they need to identify problematic situations quickly and prevent downtime or data loss events from taking place. Generally speaking, streamlining change doesn't mean eliminating managerial approvals entirely. Instead, it involves understanding the operations that should and shouldn't need to go through high-level employees, and freeing your workers to adjust processes accordingly.

The visibility offered by modern change management tools ensure that your managers can provide the oversight they feel is necessary to maintain control over operations without slowing change processes to a crawl.

Change management strategies are shifting as IT organizations work to get more flexible and responsive in light of new business demands. Modern change management solutions can give your IT teams the tools they need to get more agile in how they interact with the business - particularly by eliminating barriers to rapid change operations - while still providing the core risk management functions needed to ensure stability.

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