Why Are Change Management Processes Important In IT For Business?
Whether you work with an internal or external IT organization, it’s important to understand whether or not they follow change management processes.
Leaders of small and large businesses may be familiar with change management processes for manufacturing procedures, but often don’t realize their critical role in the care and maintenance of their technology infrastructure.
At Kelser, we provide comprehensive managed IT support solutions to businesses, and our change management processes ensure checks and balances to guide our actions.
In this article, we’ll explore change management processes in general and their relevance to IT activities in particular. And don’t worry, we won’t try to convince you to work with us.
At Kelser, we believe in providing unbiased, easy-to-understand information that business leaders can use to make important technology decisions for their organization. What matters most is that you have everything you need to be an educated consumer.
We know that not every business executive is a technology expert, and that’s okay.
The good news is that after reading this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of change management processes and how they can make your technology experience smoother for everyone involved.
What Is A Change Management Process?
A change management process is a tool that helps minimize the opportunity for human errors to interfere with the outcome of a given task.
With change management processes in place, there is a structure, process, and set of tools that people know (and use) to achieve a smooth transition to a change in their work expectations.
What Does A Change Management Process Look Like In IT?
Change management processes are typically used for repeatable activities. Below are two examples in which IT change management processes would be appropriate.
Your business needs a new server. The IT organization should have a change management process that includes scheduling the project, ordering and installing hardware, and communicating with affected employees.
Related article: In-House Vs. Cloud-based Servers: The Pros & Cons For Business
Your business is booming. You are opening a new branch of your business. What things need to happen? How will things change for your current employees?
In addition to the potential HR, legal, and finance impacts, opening a new facility should require an IT change management record for coordinating the changes to the organization’s existing IT environment. There are a lot of moving parts, and change management processes ensure they all happen.
Maybe new devices must be ordered, or the organization needs more server bandwidth to accommodate the additional workflow. Does the internet service provider offer service in the new location? Maybe there are other infrastructure or support changes that need to happen.
IT change management processes ensure that infrastructure changes are planned and communicated to impacted current users (especially for changes that will occur during work hours).
What Are The Key Components Of IT Change Management Processes?
Effective IT change management processes share some commonalities.
For starters, they are based on a comprehensive framework.
They also clearly define the steps and identify who is responsible for what.
They also feature specific policies and procedures that hold everyone to the same standard.
And they establish procedures for technical and non-technical tasks (such as communication).
Why Are IT Change Management Processes Important?
Change management processes ensure that checks and balances are in place to guarantee successful (and smooth) implementation of IT changes.
In addition, change management best practices standardize expectations for everyone involved, eliminating unwanted surprises.
Change management processes also protect your organization from the financial and reputational risks associated with unexpected and costly mistakes like network outages.
What Benefits Do IT Change Management Processes Offer Your Business?
Change management processes offer IT organizations (and thereby the businesses they are part of) improved efficiency.
They eliminate the guess work and the need for re-work. There are no surprises.
They minimize the impact of IT changes on your organization, reduce downtime for users and your infrastructure, and demonstrate the value you place on communication.
And both customers and employees benefit from the transparency and accountability that are inherent in change management processes.
What Could Happen If Your IT Organization Doesn’t Use Change Management Processes?
We’ve explored the benefits of IT change management processes. Now let’s look at what can happen if your IT organization doesn’t use change management processes.
There are tangible consequences like loss of connectivity and the resulting impacts of downtime on users and customers, and potential loss of revenue, among other things.
There also are intangible consequences, including user frustration, customer dissatisfaction, and loss of reputation.
How Can Organizations Implement Effective IT Change Management Processes?
To effectively implement IT change management processes, it’s important that you follow a structured approach. There are many IT change management frameworks available that you can use as a template for your organization.
Once you identify a framework, there are several key steps to take:
Select your IT change management goals, identify a team of stakeholders, and develop a plan.
Implement your IT change management process.
Monitor your processes regularly. Figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust accordingly.
Best Practices for IT Change Management Processes
Ensure the success of your change management processes by adopting IT industry best practices. Some resources to consider include the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Agile change management tools.
What’s The Bottom Line?
This article presented a comprehensive, easy-to-understand look at IT change management processes.
This article is based on my 25 years in IT. I’ve seen organizations that do IT change management well and those that don’t. I’ve had a front-row seat to great successes and significant failures.
With the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, you have the information you need to understand IT change management processes, recognize what they look like and the key components, and appreciate why they are important.
We’ve covered the benefits IT change management processes offer, what can happen to organizations that don’t use them, how to implement effective IT change management processes, and best practices.
At this point, you are ready to move forward. If you have a full complement of internal IT people, they may be able to take the lead on implementation. If you don’t, you may be considering working with an external IT provider.
Related article: Internal & External IT Support: When Is Combining Resources Best?
If you are considering external IT support, my one piece of advice is to explore several providers so you get one that is the right fit for your organization.
I know it may sound weird to encourage you to contact other providers rather than try to sell you our solution, but the reality is that there is plenty of work for everyone and it’s extremely important that you find an IT partner that is the best fit for your organization.
If you don’t explore different providers, you’ll end up with wasted time and effort and a partnership that doesn’t work.
At Kelser, we’re committed to providing the honest information business leaders need to make important technology decisions for their organization. We understand that you are an expert at running your business, but you are likely not an IT expert. We’re here to help by providing unbiased technology insight.
If you do find yourself considering external IT support, we’d love the opportunity to chat about what is working and not working with your technology support team and see if we'd be a good fit to work together. But, we don’t believe our managed IT support solution is right for everyone.
We are not in the business of the hard sell. We want to help you find the solution that’s right for you.
If you’d like to chat with a human (which incidentally is our favorite way to communicate) click the link below to set up a 15-minute, no obligation call with one of our IT solutions experts. We’d welcome the opportunity to learn about your business and priorities.
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Every IT infrastructure needs the same elements of care, just on a different scale. If you lead a small or medium-sized business (SMB), managed IT provides a comprehensive, cost-effective IT solution giving you the expertise you need at a fraction of the cost of internal staff.
Not sure whether managed IT support would be right for you? Click the button below for a no-cost, self-guided checklist that will help you explore whether there are gaps in your current IT infrastructure and determine whether managed IT support may be a good fit for your organization.
Use the checklist to:
✔️Evaluate your current IT infrastructure and processes
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Many SMBs have either a small internal or external IT support team to handle the organization's everyday technology needs. But, that small team may not have the time or expertise to provide long-term strategy, cybersecurity, and project planning.