Risk is a major problem for IT managers and, in many cases, risk can come because of problems and change. Poor change management procedures can introduce risk. Similarly, IT teams that are unable to effectively manage their CMDB can position themselves for trouble because changes may not go as anticipated. Deploying an advanced IT service desk or an IT service management setup can help organizations take a proactive approach to eliminating risk, something that a recent Data Center Knowledge report emphasized as a vital consideration.
The news source explained that many organizations take a reactive approach to risk assessment and management in the data center. Speaking at the recent Data Center World conference, industry expert David Boston explained that this reactive methodology can create major operational and fiscal challenges, especially as data center complexity rises.
Understanding the risk management problem
Boston told audiences at the event that experience is a major problem in the risk management sphere because most IT managers have not worked in more than a few data centers during their careers, the report said.
This is not necessarily a weakness as it is a reality of the industry. Organizations gain value when IT managers have an intimate understanding of the configuration, and experience within the configuration is a major asset. This leads to a situation in which understanding industry-wide standards and best practices is critical because it can help IT leaders evaluate their configurations from a more balanced and objective perspective.
According to Data Center Knowledge, Boston explained that having a broad perspective is a critical component to risk assessment, and third-party help can pay dividends in this area. In many cases, consultants and specialists have seen hundreds of data centers during their professional careers. This creates a situation in which they can more easily evaluate data centers and identify points of risk. Boston said that he has been to many data centers that, despite robust configuration management efforts, still have single points of failure that can lead to outages and other problems.
"No matter how well the data center is planned, we still find single points of failure in almost all assessments," said Boston, Data Center Knowledge reported. "[IT leaders] tend to be effective in identifying what they know what to look for [sic]. Most have seen far fewer facilities in issues over their careers. Personal visits to several facilities add to best practices."
Handling risk through IT service management principles
Sometimes a single point of failure does not stem from facility-related data center problems like power, cooling and network issues. In some instances, organizations end up in a situation in which an incorrect change can introduce a flaw with a database that creates a data loss event. In others, changing the hardware to support new applications and services can also create a failure event if compatibility, data transit or integration concerns emerge.
Dealing with these configuration management points of failure can be a major issue for businesses in many sectors. A CMDB combined with change management solutions can be a particularly valuable tool when it comes to risk management.
The CMDB gives organizations the transparency they need to gain a clearer understanding of the IT configuration and evaluate risk more effectively.
Change management tools then give IT teams the functionality to make changes efficiently while understanding their broad impact on the technology setup as a whole. As a result, the combined capabilities of a CMDB and a change management system enable organizations to identify risk that comes up in day-to-day operations and manage it more effectively through effective strategic operations.