How managing change delivers satisfied customers

Do you accept or resist change? Successful IT shops are more effective and efficient when they pay attention to detail.

Just like that, it’s a new year! For those few fleeting moments, we make personal commitments to be somewhat different or successful in our daily routines. Sadly, studies indicate that less than half of us will actually achieve our goals before the end of the year. But within IT, if we can keep to our goals, we’ll be more effective and efficient.

From a business perspective, about this time every year strategists and vendors bombard us with “year in review” reports and “10 new things you need to watch out for next year” projections. When business leaders read them, they often match up their own goals to see how well they did, or even reset their planning for the year based on what others might see.

Efficient businesses don’t rely on “soothsayers”; they possess skills to measure corporate effectiveness through periodic reviews of plans and budgets. Doing so ensures good service and satisfied customers — an arduous task which requires an ability to adjust as new challenges arrive.

These evaluations often compare what’s different from the original plan to actual results, namely, something has changed. Do you like change? A change is the act or instance of making or becoming different. Some folks can deal with it, others have difficulty planning for it. Those who accept or experience it know it’s quite a challenge. If you don’t understand what has changed or why, clearly you’ll experience unfavorable results. Identifying and implementing change can be excruciating for folks because it involves taking — or making — time to understand the impacts and benefits of a change.

If it’s your goal to live a healthier lifestyle, you probably will join a health club and change your diet. You will make plans to find a suitable club, measure your progress, adjust your plan, face the challenges and finally meet your goal.

It’s the same in technology. At least once a year, business leaders and information technology plans merge, creating a technology vision or strategy. To support that plan, the IT department must possess a well-designed, systemic approach to recognize, plan for and deliver on planned changes with little to no disruption. IT is a service organization with expectations for delivering exemplary services, availability and performance.

When you consider the rate of change in an organization or evaluate the investment in resources (skilled staff, business tools and budgets), business practices should guide the stakeholders and IT department to frequently review strategic objectives to ensure targets are met. If left unmanaged or with no controls in place, the organization can be placed in high-risk situations.

Business executives should expect that the IT organization use service management disciplines to minimize hardware or software outages, especially when transitioning to newer deployments or contemplating releases into production. Structured IT shops guarantee their services by assuring their customers of availability, capacity, continuity and security of those services. It must demonstrate competencies in detecting, analyzing and determining the appropriate control actions when failures or outages of services occur.

Author: Normand Brien
With 30 years of proven results as a technology and business enhancer, and the IT Channel Lead for Concentric Business Solutions, Norm Brien is a successful leading technology strategy consultant specializing in identifying a company’s weaknesses and opportunities and turning them into its main strengths.