What's Up with Change and Release Management?
Recently Daniel Breston asked in the ITSM Reveiw, 'Change and Release Management: What are they? What's missing?'. He observes that, "Change is not about doing the change, and release is not about managing the approval of a request to change. Change helps me make a decision; it answers the question WHY with a 'yes' or 'no'. But 'yes' or 'no' to what?"
Breston says that "Change should control every aspect of a release (the doing process of an approved change), so we have to look at all of the places change gets involved to help design a fast, flowing stream across IT." However, Breston adds "You can't manually approve every request as this would block the flow in the IT value stream."
We are in full agreement here, now while Breston explores how to apply LeanIT into to established processes, below we explore how IT operations needs to take a new look at traditional approaches and current IT management tools to better address the state of change in today's IT organizations.
Downtime Impact on Reputation and Loyalty
Change and configuration management challenges are chronic, while the names of the company's have changed, the bottom line remains the same that these challenges lead to critical operational issues that can even reach the news, just look at these representative examples we have compiled from every year over the last 15 years.
Looking at Change with IT Operations Analytics
IT operations analytics translates abundant detailed configuration data and frequent changes into critical decision-support information, providing actionable insights that address practical day-to-day operations questions (like, when an incident occurs, can you quickly know "what changed"?).
New Generation of IT Management Tools
Tools should be seamlessly integrated into dynamic resource management and automated deployment. They should recognize and support traditional software stack and underlying virtual and cloud infrastructure. Growth of such tools will be a critical factor in the expansion of enterprises to the cloud as they will need the same level of safety and control to make the transition.
Managing IT environments with intelligent automated analytics will drive more sophisticated proactive processes like, for example, comparing environment states, validating releases, and verifying changes consistency to provide today's IT operations with actionable operational information helping to prevent or identify critical issues. So rather than continue to feed a bloated system, we should strive to simplify, rebuild and implement configuration management based on intelligent analytics, and turn the situation around from 'monitoring sucks' to what we can do about performance and availability.
The Shift in IT
One of the most pervasive shifts in IT has been the shift from manual to automated and from reactive to proactive management. So while attention is now getting placed on deployment and setting up servers, the need to understand and manage servers needs even more attention, especially that in many cases servers are provisioned automatically as well as the applications running on them.