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Change and Release Management - Why They Should Be Prioritized

04/03/2014 by: The SunView Team

Many businesses have long gotten by with service desk solutions that focus on incident and problem management. These two core aspects of service desk operations are critical to sustaining business functionality and supporting users. However, increased IT complexity has created an environment in which organizations must also be careful to optimize change and release processes if they want to keep up with day-to-day requirements.

The consumerization of IT movement is putting pressure on technology managers to develop more responsive technical and operational architectures. This means improving support, service management, application delivery and many other facets of the IT segment of a business. The end result is a situation in which the service management scheme becomes much more important and functions like change and release management become significantly more important.

Considering Change Management in a Consumerized IT Segment
Change is often necessary to address problems, update the configuration to meet user requirements or establish a more secure data transmission scheme by aligning firewalls and other security tools with the way information reaches end users. The consumerization of IT has created a situation in which data workflows are much more complex then they were in the days when IT was able to tightly control all of the hardware deployed by end-users. This creates an operational environment in which frequent change is necessary to avoid data protection problems. At the same time, any change that is not handled perfectly can lead to a data loss incident or similar problem, making a robust change management platform a necessity.

The other issue brought on by the consumerization of IT is the rise in the number of devices and operating systems run by end-users. This creates more potential for problems as the programming complexity for such a usage environment is staggering. This can lead to an increase in the number of change requests service desk teams face and make having an advanced change management platform critical, especially as the consumerization of IT often leads to users expecting a more rapid response to their problems.

Understanding the Importance of Release Management in a Contemporary IT Context
Many organizations are turning to proprietary applications and services to meet the demands created by the bring-your-own-device movement and other mobile-focused trends. At the same time, employees increasingly expect to get new solutions quickly and will often turn to alternate means to get applications if the company is unable to meet their needs. As such, getting applications from development into production is extremely important.

Many businesses are working to improve release capabilities by implementing DevOps strategies. The thought here is that integrating development and operations teams will prevent either group from making short-sighted decisions that adversely impact the other. For example, developers may be advised to simplify an aspect of an application because adding complexity would create new release challenges. The problem is that development teams are focused on time to market, while production groups emphasize stability above all else.

Balancing these priorities in a DevOps environment depends on having advanced management tools in place to optimize processes and improve general operations across development and production environments. Release management platforms make this possible, creating the procedural excellence needed to deal with increased release complexity brought on by the consumerization of IT movement.

Advanced service management capabilities are often the sign of a mature, well run IT department. Implementing change and release management solutions are a key component of achieving this goal, as both of the systems give IT teams the functionality they need to keep up with consumerization of IT challenges without sacrificing functionality and control.