In a recent survey of 40 corporate IT managers, conducted by industry expert Harris Kern, close to 60 percent admitted that their change handling processes are not effective, particularly when it comes to communicating and coordinating changes to the production environment. Among those polled, 95 percent said that not all changes were properly logged, and 90 percent believed that changes were not thoroughly tested. That’s why the need for IT change management has become increasingly urgent.
For companies looking to better control the way alterations and modifications are made to their technology infrastructures, IT change management can help them implement and enforce related formal policies and procedures across their business. According to Wikipedia, IT change management is a set of standardized methods “for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to controlled IT infrastructure, in order to minimize the number and impact of any related incidents upon service.”
When modifications occur, only a comprehensive IT change management plan can ensure smooth, seamless transition for all involved – including systems, It staff, and end users.
Today’s companies require more frequent changes to their IT environments than ever before, due to internal problems or changing employee requirements, as well as external factors like customer demands, market dynamics, or regulatory changes. IT change management can help organizations implement change in the most efficient way possible, while enabling them to balance the need for change with the costs and potential risks involved.
In order to comply with IT change management policies, based on ITIL guidelines, companies must follow a series of controlled and highly structured steps, including:
- A formal request for change (RFC)
- Review and approval of the proposed change
- Creation of a detailed project plan
- Review and refinement of the plan by a team of stakeholders
- Plan implementation
- Results assessment and reporting
When implementing changes, it is crucial to closely link IT change management processes to activities related to IT problem management. This will ensure that any issues caused by the change will be immediately detected and promptly corrected.