IT Service Support: Change Management
Unless change is controlled within an organization, IT services will be at the mercy of ad hoc modifications to routers, servers, and software. Ad hoc changes can and will cost organizations revenue, and create unnecessary frustration as users must wait for the completion of unannounced upgrade or the rollback of a failed patch.
Change Management ensures that any change that will affect an IT service must be done using a standardized methodology. It attempts to reduce or eliminate service interruptions or incidents related to these changes.
As a side note, a key underpinning of Change Management is its ability to alter how an organization thinks about changes. Specifically, rather than discussing an actual change, a Request for Change (RFC) is discussed. While a simple concept, this change in vocabulary reinforces the mindset in Change Management that all changes must be subject to critical analysis and testing prior to deployment.
There are several activities associated with Change Management, including:
• Filtering Changes. Reviewing submitted RFCs to determine validity and need.
• Implementing Changes. Managing and implementing changes to hardware and software and managing the change management process itself.
• Review and Close. Reviewing the status of RFCs and closing any that have been completed and validated.
• Report. Provide management information about Incident Management quality and operations.
Table provides a review of the capabilities of each product to address the ITIL activities for Change Management.
Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) ‐ called Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager 2007 in its most recent release ‐ is used within Microsoft environments to manage changes to target systems. It offers the following capabilities:
• Deployment Planning. Reports which provide information on hardware, software, and version information.
• Deployment Based on Group. Allows an administrator to distribute software to systems within groups, where a group can be defined using properties such as hardware, Active Directory (AD) organization units, and AD group membership.
• Patch Updates. Automates the deployment of patches to critical Windows servers and applications.
Change Management Product URLs
Radmind http://webapps.itcs.umich.edu/radmind/i ... /Main_Page
Systems Management Server http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/default.mspx
IT Infrastructure Library V2/V3 and IT Service Management discussions
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