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How Does DevOps Change Management Change How Companies Handle Change?

02/02/2016 by: The SunView Team

When companies integrate DevOps into their business, they effectively enhance how they communicate interdepartmentally and how they create valuable customer-facing products and services, as well as develop onsite IT with applications that simplify processes and make them more intuitive. Every for-profit or nonprofit organization has goals, values and a mission, but these things aren't static. To that end, they require flexible, adaptive tools that hone processes over time. DevOps as a whole reduces technical inefficiencies and disconnects so ingrained in how companies operate, especially in the realm of IT, they might otherwise go unidentified.

DevOps helped bring change management into modernity and out of a time when software developers and operations personnel ran in separate packs. Now compressed into a single, streamlined body, DevOps has begun expanding the capabilities of change management as one component of IT Service Management. As much as a modern DevOps team has coalesced around old school notions of what change management was, a new era of change management has grown in its place, restructured at a molecular level to meet contemporary business standards. How does change management 2.0, for lack of a better word, change a DevOps-integrated enterprise?

DevOps Change Management Alters how Businesses Perceive and Institute Change
Call it whatever you want - switching things up, going in a new direction, retooling - many businesses have a severe aversion to change, especially successful ones. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

But for software to consistently align with a company's developing vision or its client's evolving needs, the products and services offered must have the power to hit a moving target. To develop and deliver applications at pace with today's commercial environment, everything released must be subject to eventual change.

Seven out of every 10 change management programs fail because of pushback or half measures on the part of employees, according to McKinsey & Company. While this research focused on general change management and not its IT counterpart by the same name, it illustrates a point we believe holds water for both. As many businesses taking on DevOps have learned, rewriting the corporate doctrine around change management isn't enough. Companies must also actively incorporate advanced digital tools and use them: automated regression testing, cloud-based development environments, as well as enhanced lines of communication between DevOps teams and CAB members. That said, the first step is throwing outdated perceptions about change in the recycling bin, both in a general sense and as it applies to IT.


Change Management Tools Optimize Changes and How They're Made
All previous discussions aside, businesses are not completely unjustified in their wariness to change. With every passing year, IT configurations constitute a larger and larger portion of a given enterprise - In fact, many companies' operations have been subsumed by IT entirely. Therefore, adaptive change management strategies ostensibly pose a greater threat to conducting business.

But that's simply not the case, as DevOps Zone explained in a recent article, because application changes rarely deploy to independent software platforms. Instead, change more often than not impacts multiple applications and how they interact with each other. Revamping code for in-house applications may impact how customers experience or use various SaaS products. To that end, change management tools must now, more than ever, be capable of not only optimizing change requests, but minimizing their scope to only what's most essential. To do otherwise would jeopardize the configuration and create extra work in a process designed to be simpler and more nimble.