Change Management is Shifting - Here's How

Responsiveness and agility are the name of the game in the IT sector, and change management is evolving in response to fit these needs. Organizations are moving away from legacy models of managing change toward operational schemes that emphasize autonomy for IT workers and giving them the freedom to enact key changes in response to new business demands as they arise. This methodology that focuses on delivering business value and empowering your IT staff is promising, but it doesn't come without making meaningful adjustments to the way your IT teams operate.

Bringing change management processes into line with what your business needs hinges on being able to accelerate operations and automate processes. Understanding the nuances of why and how change management practices are shifting is paramount if you want to take full advantage of the move toward efficient, responsive change processes.

Why Change Management is Moving in a New Direction
In many ways, the shift to more responsive change processes stems from a transition to cloud computing. At its core, the cloud is built around clusters of interconnected systems that are controlled with automation and orchestration systems to let them act effectively as self-managed systems. Cloud clusters can move and provision virtual machines as needed to meet business demands, providing a level of responsiveness and flexibility that business users were not previously accustomed to. As more organizations have taken a deep dive into the cloud, their employees have begun to expect IT departments to provide comparable responsiveness to cloud vendors.

The need to become cloud-like within the corporate IT department has led to considerable demand for solutions that lets workers cut through red tape and meet user demands with greater efficiency. This, combined with the consumerization of IT movement, has created a demand for process automation and coordination solutions within IT departments, and modern change management solutions are using a combination of automation, collaboration tools, and documentation functions to help IT teams keep up with changing demands.

How Change Management is Changing
A typical change life cycle in legacy models would usually include bringing the proposed change before the change advisory board, scheduling the processes - often across multiple user groups - and waiting for managerial approval to move forward during the most sensitive parts of the change. All told, you are looking at an incredibly time-consuming and cumbersome process that can hold back the pace of innovation.

Conversely, modern change management solutions are emphasizing responsiveness by empowering workers to skip the bureaucracy and get right to work. When it comes to the majority of change requests that an IT organization handles, workers can plan the change and enact it, and the change management platform will document every step along the way. This documentation makes the difference.

Historically, change processes have been slow and cumbersome because organizations needed to minimize risk through careful planning. With automated documentation in place, organizations can avoid risk by quickly going back and undoing the change step-by-step until the IT configuration is stable. The ability to revert the IT setup to past working conditions makes it easy to alleviate risk because the amount of time when data or hardware assets are vulnerable is minimized. At the same time, organizations experience a huge increase in IT responsiveness because employees do not need to o through extended review processes before making a change.

Cloudification has become a buzzword across the IT world, and the overarching principle here is simple - organizations need to deliver cloud-like functionality within their IT department, even if they are not using cloud architectures. Modern change management solutions are changing to make that possible through automated documentation that alters traditional risk management paradigms.

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