Managing change is an integral part of any IT infrastructure professional’s life. Change is constant, and any mistake made in the process can have a profound impact on the functions of the infrastructure. To decrease the chance of these potential errors happening in the first place, it is vital to implement change management processes or policies based on industry-standard best practices. In this article, we discuss how a reliable change management procedure can help avoid downtime and save up to $540,000/hour for your network.
IT networks are rarely static. Moves, adds, changes are made daily. We differentiate two types of changes depending on the circumstances and their nature:
- Planned changes
- These follow a prescriptive process before they can be approved and implemented. The process includes a full range of assessment and two levels of approval.
- Emergency changes
- These are not planned and must be implemented as soon as possible to resolve a major incident or apply a security patch.
The successful management of these changes requires organized procedures to be effective; otherwise, the infrastructure is vulnerable and exposed to unexpected errors, which can result in downtime. According to Gartner, the average downtime can cost up to $5600/minute, which equals $140,000 to $540,000 per hour! A severe incident can potentially put an organization out of business. The leading causes of downtime are network outages, human error, and server failure.
But how can network infrastructure managers mitigate and minimize these risks?
First, the organization must put a change management strategy in place with defined KPIs and metrics to measure outcomes. Second, a powerful infrastructure management software solution must be implemented to plan, execute and track changes.
Successful implementation of an infrastructure management solution reduces the possibility of human error, which leads to lower risk and less downtime and consequently, less money lost. Furthermore, it enables personnel to plan and execute changes faster, increasing productivity and response time in case of emergencies. With a comprehensive work order system, IT professionals can see the result of their planned changes immediately, which gives them information about the possible consequences of said changes. By simulating moves and adds, it is easy to predict and prevent power outages and server failures with greater accuracy.
But, exactly how does infrastructure management software reduce failures and maximize uptime?
- Working with infrastructure management software increases transparency across the network. Through recorded change history, users can track what changes were made, at what time, and by whom. This history tracking feature helps to trace back issues after the fact, and processes can be improved to avoid system failures in the future.
- Work orders and workflows enable personnel to plan and manage changes. Clear steps in the process decrease the risk of human error, which results in higher efficiency and faster change implementation.
- Through user management features, organizations can regulate access and assign tasks to the relevant team members, resulting in better security and less room for errors.
- A useful tool to prevent connectivity issues is visualization. Visual presentation of the physical layer helps users to avoid planning changes that are physically impossible to execute.
- As the demand for data storage grows, today’s data centers can’t afford to manage their resources without maximizing efficiency. Capacity planning and power redundancy are critical elements in the prevention of network outage and server failure. With the right software solution to support these elements, the risk of downtime can be reduced significantly.
What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done, so goes the saying. Reporting is an integral part of any system. Infrastructure management solutions provide reporting features that network managers can use to identify vulnerabilities, opportunities to increase efficiency or possible expansion.
In conclusion, for successful change management, a specialized infrastructure management solution with a capable work order system is necessary. With the effective application of such software, IT professionals can plan, review and execute changes with precision and efficiency. All of these help the prevention of human errors and downtime, ultimately saving money for the organization. When considering the implementation of the right software solution, the following features are essential: Work orders and workflows, user management, robust reporting and a user- friendly interface.
If you want to know more about how PATCH MANAGER can help you make your infrastructure and change management more efficient, schedule an online personal demo with one of our representatives!