A Practical Guide to VDI Change Management
Part 1: IT Change Management in general
The first in an 8-part series, this practical guide to VDI Change Management will guide you through the transformation of the IT department from a back-end function into a core competency for every modern organization.
Change Management maintains the proper balance between the need for change and the potential detrimental impact of changes (ITIL©).
IT is a business function, not a back-end function anymore
In the early days the information technology (IT) department was mainly a back-end function in most organizations. IT and finance, for example, were the departments that were quite remote from the business. Sales and marketing roles were front and center in the day to day optics of the company. The main task of IT in front-end activities was to facilitate the productivity of sales and marketing. Today all this has changed!
After joining Gartner and other strategic analyst conferences for many years, one major change has become very clear. IT has transformed into a core competency for every modern organization, and CIO’s have become the most important drivers of business innovation today. Tasks and responsibilities of IT executives have grown past hardware, software and networks, towards much larger goals such as business innovation, business continuity, and corporate governance.
Change Management is an essential part of modern IT management
As IT infrastructures become more embedded into every function of a company, they start to form the essential fabric of the entire organization and all its processes. The optimal and uninterrupted working of systems becomes a critical success factor for every organization, and failure is always very costly in loss of time, money and possibly even image. For this reason, many large organizations turn to very structured approaches in managing their IT projects and operations, such as ITIL* and ITSM*.
As change is inevitable and accelerating, change management has become an essential IT service management (ITSM) discipline. The objective of change management is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to the IT infrastructure, thereby minimizing the number and impact of any disruptions to IT services.
The primary objectives of change management include:
- Minimal disruption of IT services
- Reduction in back-out (roll-back) activities**
- Economic use of resources involved in the change
In the description of its ‘IT Change Management Policy Documentation Guidelines of 2017’, Gartner also recognizes the role of change management in reducing risks after change: “effective IT change management processes balance the ability to enable change, with the need to mitigate the risks resulting from releasing changes to the computing environment.”
Many large organizations have a structured process for their regular planned changes as part of their Release Cycle Management, which is basically another name for the change management concept.
Change Management is the process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes, enabling beneficial changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT services (ITIL©).
* ITIL (formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. Source Wikipedia.
**Back-out (roll-back) activities are activities you need to perform to restore an IT service to the previous state.
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