Change management solutions can vary wildly in how they support your operational needs. Some will focus on stability above all else, while others emphasize speed and responsiveness. Finding the right balance between the two is key, and your specific operational needs will play a critical role in this process. On one hand, you need your change management tools to give you the visibility into operations needed to maintain oversight of operations. On the other, you need to eliminate red tape and position your IT teams to respond quickly to business demands.
The unique balancing act that comes into play with change management creates a situation in which you need to be incredibly strategic in your purchasing decision. Three issues that you must address in this process include:
The IT service management sector has been going through a modernization movement in the past couple of years. As the industry has moved away from treating the IT Infrastructure Library as law and instead begun using ITIL as a guideline, new opportunities for innovation have emerged. In response, change management solutions have become much less plodding in their nature. Instead of putting checks and balances on top of other checks and balances within change processes, companies are increasingly focusing on building a solid foundational structure and accelerating operations around that.
You need to make sure you are choosing a change management platform that is built for the needs of modern IT departments, not one that is so attached to ITIL that it won't be flexible enough to meet your operational requirements. This doesn't mean that you avoid ITIL like the plague. Instead, you want your change management solution to be built on an ITIL framework, but include functions that let you customize and optimize workflows around that base.
2. Automation Features
IT organizations need to maximize the value of their personnel if they want to deliver value to the rest of the business. Think of it this way, the technology itself is always valuable, but if your staff isn't positioned to manage it, deliver new services and become more responsive to the business, that technology won't deliver significant value. With the rise of cloud computing and advanced forms of virtualization, more technology processes are being automated, so much so that manual processes will struggle to keep up. If you want your staff to be able to focus on creating a great user experience, you will need a change management solution that features automation so your staff can become responsive and flexible enough to keep up with operational demands. Furthermore, automating tedious processes lets your staff spend more time and operations that require creative thinking, maximizing its value.
3. Ease of Deployment
The demand for speed and responsiveness on the IT service desk has created an operational climate where, to say the least, businesses cannot afford to have their deployment process get bogged down in an extended release cycle. The change management solution must be tightly integrated into the IT configuration, and traditionally this process has required an extended software installation and work with specialized consultants. This is changing, however, as modern IT service desk solutions are increasingly delivered through the cloud. This simplifies deployment dramatically and lets you avoid the costs and time commitment associated with a more traditional solution.
You need a change management solution that will drive business efficiency, and spending months installing complex software isn't exactly a model of operational agility. A cloud-based change management module is much simpler to deploy, accelerating the pace of innovation and driving operational gains.
Investing in change management can drive technology innovation, and choosing the right solution is key to achieving this end.