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3 Ways Change Management Plans Can Help Companies Avoid Outages

11/14/2013 by: The SunView Team

Any outage can lead to downtime, unavailable applications, customer backlash and similar problems. Avoiding such issues is integral to avoiding revenue losses and other problems, but ensuring constant uptime can be incredibly difficult. While maintaining 100 percent uptime is, for all intents and purposes, impossible, an IT service desk featuring change management functionality can make it much easier to stay as close to perfect reliability as possible.

In many cases, outages are created because of alterations to the configuration that lead to unintended consequences. There are a few ways that a change management platform, particularly one that also includes a CMDB, can pay dividends in this area:

1. Organizing Change
Many organizations leave IT managers to make system adjustments based on need and trying to coordinate change through emails and other informal collaboration tools. This methodology can become extremely problematic because IT solutions often end up intertwined with one another. Interdependencies between servers, storage systems and other hardware combine with the need to integrate data and applications across a wide base of end-user devices to create a major complexity challenge for IT leaders. If a change is made in one area, the subsequent impact of that change can be felt throughout the IT configuration.

At the same time, changes must also be unified across the IT department to ensure different technology employees make the right changes at the right time. Change management solutions provide a layer of organization that is critical in this area.

2. Enabling Collaboration
As discussed, one of the greatest challenges that comes with change is developing a way to align operations between workers to prevent adjustments from disrupting one another. Outages can easily occur when one worker completes a portion of a change when the proper steps to set up for that adjustment have not yet been completed. This is where collaboration is vital, and change management solutions can help. Avoiding an outage depends heavily on coordinating change across many areas, creating a situation where clearly communicating process completion stages is integral to operational success.

3. Controlling Change
Some changes are planned and scheduled. Following these timelines precisely is integral to avoiding risk and successfully managing change processes. The layer of control created by planned changes is critical to keeping IT projects on track, and a change management platform accomplishes this by aligning processes across different branches of the IT department and service desk. However, this control is even more beneficial when dealing with unplanned changes.

Emergencies can happen with relative frequency in many IT departments, contributing to a situation in which employees must quickly make unplanned changes and manage projects effectively. An effective change management platform can be integral to success in this area because it positions organizations to add a layer of intelligence to the unexpected change process.

All of these change management functions can be enhanced by developing a CMDB system.

Using a CMDB to Take Change Management to the Next Level
On its own, a change management platform can prove integral to supporting organized, concise changes. Putting a CMDB into place creates transparency, allowing IT leaders to quickly and accurately pin down what change needs to be made and the affect that adjustment will have on the rest of the configuration. As such, organizations can respond more quickly when unplanned changes are necessary and more easily maintain consistency during planned changed processes.

On top of all this, a CMDB can also provide an added layer of control through authorizations that ensure changes are not made without the proper oversight.

Stability is central to avoiding outages. IT teams that want to ensure stable operations often stand to gain the greatest benefits if they deploy a change management platform and a CMDB.