ITSM Change Management

Change management is an IT practice that aims to minimize IT service disruptions while applying changes to systems and services.

This process involves tracking and recording of changes to provide auditable data. The ability to leverage data about previous changes allow organizations to adapt their methods in a manner that equalizes risks and speed.

Whether you’re releasing new services, managing existing ones, or resolving issues in code, ITSM change practices can break down silos, provide visibility, prevent roadblocks, meet regulatory standards, and minimize risks.

What is IT Change Management?

When we talk about change management, it covers every aspect of IT services including technology, people, and processes as well as its impact on customers.

To provide a better context, IT change management ensures that the changes made within an organization are seamlessly and successfully rolled out and the lasting benefits are achieved by overseeing the human aspects of the modifications.

This can be done by properly assessing risks, knowing what changes to authorize, and managing a change schedule in order to optimize service and product changes.

ITSM Change Management

Why is IT change management important?

Today, enterprises have several critical expectations for their IT department. First, they are looking to have steady, reliable services so their organization can boost productivity and meet end-user expectations. Second, they would want to apply regular service updates to easily adjust with the changing security environment, costs, and business requirements. Without meeting these, it could cause significant consequences like productivity and revenue loss.

Organizations that fail to adapt for the future might not be able to keep up with the development of the business and fall behind their competitors. If improvements are executed too slowly, their employees will move to places with less clunky processes, and customers will opt for other organizations that provide them more value.

To have a smooth sailing process, change management can ship updates while ensuring stability and reducing risks. It can also help accomplish the following:

  • Create a structure to manage the change process
  • Focus on necessary changes to control resources properly
  • Use relevant data to make better decisions
  • Get necessary stakeholders from dev and IT to get on-board your project
  • Test changes to avoid incidents
  • Simplifying and enhancing the flow of changes to deliver value faster.

What are Different Types of Change Management?

Standard changes

These are routine changes that do not present a lot of risks, and often replicated and pre-approved. They're done on a regular basis and follow a documented, approved procedure.

Some examples of standard changes include adding memory or storage, replacing a malfunctioning router with an identical working router, and building a new database case. Since presumably, these processes have already been through change management's risk evaluation and approval process, they do not need to go through it again.

For many organizations, standard changes gives them the best opportunity to automate. This can free up their teams’ time so they could take care of other important tasks.

Normal changes

Normal changes refer to changes that do not have a specified, pre-approved procedure. For instance, activities like upgrading to a modern project management software and moving to a new data center. These changes aren't consistent or repeatable, and they’re also not considered as emergencies. As a result, they can go into the typical change management queue for risk assessment and approval.

Normal changes, like data migration, are high risk and may need risk assessment and approval from a change advisory board (CAB). Meanwhile, website changes aren’t too risky and can be reviewed and approved quickly by a designated authority.

Emergency changes

Emergency changes occur to respond to unexpected challenges such as security vulnerabilities and exploits. They reflect a crisis or an opportunity that must be handled right away without putting oneself at risk.

As a risk mitigation technique, an appropriate level of risk is expected and strict protocols are followed. Before an emergency change may be enforced, it must obtain relevant approvals and authorizations. However, this does not necessarily mean lengthy meetings between stakeholders; rather it is a high-level oversight on top of the change management procedure. At any point of the change management process, all stakeholders must take immediate action. As a result, the emergency changes are not fully checked, and necessary decisions are taken based on a risk-reward tradeoff.

Some examples of emergency changes are implementing a security patch, dealing with server disruption, and resolving a data breach.

Final Thoughts

In order for organizations to provide quality services and deploy improvements seamlessly, ITSM change management is critical. As changes are inevitable, it is essential to simplify the process by following a set of guidelines. Effective change management reduces risk, optimizes costs, and accelerates time to market.

Are you looking for an ITSM tool? Contact ITarian now to talk with our experts.

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