IT departments need to be ready for every type of disaster. Usually when you hear phrases like disaster preparation, you are reminded of when you need to be ready for hurricanes, tornadoes and similar cataclysms that can impact your data center. However, your people may be an even greater threat. The potential problems caused by simple human error are substantial, and it doesn't take much for a person to make a small mistake that leads to an outage. You don't just need to protect against natural disasters, you also need to position your workers to avoid making mistakes that will affect your network.
Change management solutions can play a key role in helping you prepare for, prevent and overcome disasters, thus minimizing their impact on your organization.
1. Prevent Errors
Change management platforms can automate repeatable processes so your users aren't constantly dealing with tedious processes that often surround making changes. Few things lead to human error more easily than a mind that has gone numb with boredom, and optimizing the processes around changes let your workers focus on the task at hand. Keeping your employees engaged is only one benefit when it comes to error prevention.
You can also use change management tools to build reminders, checks and balances into your change operations. Depending on the situation, you may want to just have alerts listed alongside change processes, but sometimes you might prefer managerial approvals. Balancing productivity and stability is key here, but whatever you decide, change management tools will help you enforce best practices and avoid errors.
2. Respond to Emergencies
One of the best parts about change management is that the combination of automation tools, scheduling functionality and collaboration features makes it easier for users to make changes quickly and efficiently. You'll need this functionality when trying to respond to a disaster. Of course, being able to make changes in a hurry will be meaningless if you make those adjustments and they result in more problems. A good change management platform will help to create the transparency you need to avoid such errors. Furthermore, change management tools automatically document the processes users follow. As such, even if something does go wrong, you'll have the ability to look back at what changes were made and undo them until you've resolved the issue.
Disaster response efforts force organizations to operate much more quickly than they may be accustomed to, but a good change management platform provides all the tools needed to kick operations up a gear without creating new problems.
3. Avoid Regulatory Problems
Disasters happen, and while regulatory standards mandate that you protect against them, what will really get you into trouble is if your response to an emergency event is not up to snuff. Self auditing is key to dealing with this challenge. If your workers are taking time to document change operations, including detailing the situations that led to downtime, you'll be able to show that to regulatory auditors to prove you were doing what was required. This can help you avoid a fine, but you probably don't have extra staff members who can follow technicians around documenting their processes and gathering approval signatures as needed.
Change management platforms automatically document the actions that are taken while they are being made. This frees up your staff to focus on responding to the disaster without having to worry about creating an audit trail on their own.
Preparing for audits isn't the only way change management helps with regulatory compliance. You can also build reminders and authorizations into the system to make sure that regulatory compliance is maintained even under the most extreme circumstances.
IT disasters come in many forms, and change management can help you deal with all of them.