A Comprehensive Approach to Practicing ITIL Change Management

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When running a data center’s mission-critical data processing relies in large part on the automated initiation, execution, management, integration, and recovery of batch-mode IT process¬ing—scripts, jobs, tasks, and other non-interactive IT processes that manipulate a specific data set. These processes may be application-oriented or system-oriented, such as data backup, grid and cluster support, virtual load balancing, storage management, or data export-transform-load operations. Batch process¬ing in a modern enterprise is a foundation technology for many critical business services, so it is imperative to maintain consistent and reliable batch processing.

At the same time, change is inevitable and profitable businesses demand almost continual change, so they can provide new products and services, build com¬petitive advantage, and continually improve customer service. Without change, a business will stagnate, and inevitably be overtaken by its competitors. However, with change comes risk, and the potential for problems. EMA estimates, for example, that faulty configuration changes are responsible for around 60% of downtime in an average enterprise.

It is therefore important to establish practices and pro¬cedures for change management that account for the ef¬fect of changes on systems, applications, and especially business services. With change management, change control, and application and infrastructure mapping tools, this can be a relatively simple and standardized process. However, these tools invariably do not account for batch processing, leaving many critical business ser¬vices vulnerable to unexpected outages. It takes a deep understanding of the batch processes, and their often complex interdependencies, to ensure that configuration changes do not adversely affect the batch environment.

BMC Software is providing a solution for change management, by integrating their batch process automation so¬lution, BMC CONTROL-M, with their CMDB solution, BMC Atrium. This innovative solution based on ITIL best practices directly addresses the problems of inte¬grating change management and batch processing. BMC Software’s solution discovers batch services, records them in unique records in the CMDB, associates them with other enterprise configuration elements, forecasts the impact of change on batch processing, and correlates that impact with business services, thereby predicting the full impact of any change on business users.

Independent research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) has completed a comprehensive white paper on the best practices for ITIL change management. Click here to download a copy of the this free white paper.

About the Author

Kevin Normandeau, is a veteran of the technology publishing industry having worked at a variety of technology sites including PC World; AOL Computing; Network World; Geek.com and International Data Group (IDG). Kevin lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. When he is not in front of the computer (which is most of the time) he likes to get out to ski, hike and mountain bike.

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