Having to complete change operations suddenly because of a downtime event or similar problem is a process fraught with risk. However, making unplanned changes is a reality for IT departments, and finding ways to minimize risk is of the utmost importance. A good change management platform goes a long way toward making it easier to complete unplanned changes quickly and efficiently, but technology alone isn't going to get the job done. Instead, organizations need to establish efficient processes, train staff and practice responding to an emergency to ensure everybody is ready to leverage the benefits of a change management solution to handle an unplanned change smoothly.
Preparing for an Unplanned Change
Many organizations are forced into a situation in which IT operates primarily in a reactive manner. This means that IT teams spend most of their time reacting to what is happening around them and less time actually preparing for problems or taking a proactive approach to preventing future issues. The reactive emphasis comes out of necessity because many organizations lack the resources they need to get ahead, but the cost of unplanned downtime or data loss incidents has become so great that businesses need to get proactive about unplanned change.
Handling unplanned change well can lead to an outage or data loss event being averted, but responding quickly enough to issues hinges on preparing effectively. This process begins by using monitoring systems and advanced service management software to continually assess the status of IT systems and identify issues as they emerge.
For example, most hard disk failure events can be identified with some notice, giving IT teams time to switch over to backup, swap in a new disk and move information back onto that disk. Plenty of IT problems can be handled in similar fashion - identifying the issue and changing the configuration to avoid downtime - but process optimization and staff training is critical to enabling everybody to do what needs to be done in a timely fashion and without errors.
Using Technology to Help
A change management solution can play a key role in eliminating risks associated with unplanned change by ensuring users follow standardized best practices, get the authorization they need quickly and are aware of regulatory guidelines as they complete change operations. Furthermore, change management software feature documentation tools that create an audit trail, making it easier to analyze and verify change functions after the event. All told, the service management solution can enable IT teams to handle unplanned change as efficiently as possible.