Confronting the Velocity of Change with Agile IT Operations
The velocity of change is something we all have to deal with, like it or not. Whenever changes take place, there is the potential for mistakes or issues. Unfortunately, there is nothing consistent about the business environment, except change. That’s why it’s imperative that IT infrastructures be responsive to this change, to meet the challenges head-on before they become problems.
Easier Said Than Done? Not Quite!
There are a few things we know with complete certainty. One of them is that change is always taking place. With that in mind, continuous integration and agile development are the new norm. Changes are made in every way possible, including upgrading applications, retiring defunct hardware and patching existing systems, et al. During all of these processes, every effort is made to ensure that changes take place smoothly and efficiently.
But risks remain…
A big part of the problem is that there is simply a lack of time to test everything that needs to be tested. The production environment places rigid time constraints on us for mission-critical systems, with no margin for error. And what happens in testing and what happens in the real world are often too far apart. Sandbox testing may not work as expected in production. And there is the risk that in between different IT layers, we missed a critical vendor best practice.
IT teams are often blindsided by problems that hit them. It is especially difficult to maintain dependability when the landscape is continually changing, often without your knowledge. Not having full control can result in IT configuration glitches that can hit us at any given.
Fortunately, there are ways to use automation to speed up your testing process and make it more accurate. Also, methods can be used to validate the correctness of configuration changes before they impact the business. And if all teams and key team members can collaborate with one another and see all the potential risks, the entire IT environment will function much better.
How to See What’s Coming
Taking a proactive approach cuts down on testing time and increases reliability and agility. This means using systems that perform routine scans for scores of vendor best practice violations which allow your IT teams to detect risks of downtime and data loss, misconfigurations, and other single points of failure. The same can be done for your production rollout, and any discrepancies between production and staging environments can also be found.
The great thing about these automated systems is that you can identify individual risks and visualize problems. Of course we all know that it is preferable to eliminate risks before they have had a chance to impact on your business. In this vein, it’s possible to pinpoint issues, eliminate risks in your sandbox, provide unified infrastructure views and direct all necessary information to the right people in your IT support team.
As you’re tackling all of these problems, you can formulate best practice methods for confronting the velocity of change. Risk analysis, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and slow-to–respond vendors are cases in point. Management of IT teams is possible with corporate KPI’s, all within the ambit of continuous process improvement.
What Results Can You Expect?
For starters, you will dramatically cut down on your downtime and data loss. And from a day-to-day point of view, you will spend far less time and resources on testing, auditing and putting out fires. Company morale will be boosted, allowing for greater agility and resiliency in the highly competitive IT operational environment. Continuity Software’s AvailabilityGuard adopts a multipronged approach to transforming your IT operations by detecting problems, alerting IT teams, and helping to correct issues – it’s forward thinking, 365 days a year!
You can learn more about best practices for agile IT operations in our free eBook: Agile IT Operations.