How did the Cloud Transform the World of Change Management?
Change management is extremely important for organizations embracing and deciding to go through with all kinds of technology initiatives. However, since much of the focus on cloud services over the last few years have been on Agile, or in general rapid deployments, many fail to realize this concept. Moving your business to a SaaS model (based in the cloud of course) not only has technology implications, but also various business implications. Business operations and processes can be encapsulated as services. Thus, they can be delivered expeditiously. This is even true for online products like software or other services.
In reacting to the evolution of cloud computing, change management professionals should look into technology, strategic and development changes. It should also focus on other related impacts. For instance, when you need a particular software, do you just install the first thing you see on the internet or do you check specifications, price, compatibility etc. In simple words, you determine how a specific change will impact your system. However, when organizations are excited to move to the cloud, they fail to consider some important aspects of change management.
Here are some ways in which the cloud has improved change management:
Enhanced Productivity - SaaS can easily enhance productivity by providing application or infrastructure platforms and other resources to bring changes in customer service. Employees are able to respond to customers quickly and efficiently.
Mobility Services - SaaS also brings mobility changes to an organization. A company is able to use mobility services at an affordable price. With SaaS implemented in your organization, you don’t have to worry about maintaining and integrating databases and servers. You can rather focus on managing services.
Process Driven Change Management - Business Process Management or BPM-based solutions can provide support for processes driven change management initiatives. In such a situation, business models can drive specific changes and ensure traceability by linking various business processes to specific changes in the analysis and requirements documentation. However, a business may have to refine structured approaches like Information Technology Infrastructure Library with IT Service Management to support dynamic ad rapid SaaS deployments.
There are many important considerations to evaluate change management :
● Organization - SaaS changes the existing roles and responsibilities of your employees.
● Business Operations - Since SaaS changes various business processes, it causes operational changes.
● Procurement - SaaS changes the way services are procured.
● Technology - SaaS solutions can easily offer scalable access. Moreover, they also enable advanced analytics and data collection.
● Development - SaaS ensures proper deployment and integration.
When an organization does not focus on a coherent approach for governance, it struggles with having silos of SaaS deployments. In case particular services have their own procedures and policies, it may lead to some serious problems regarding centralized management. Without proper alignment of enterprise security and architecture, it can quickly lead to a difficult situation. Therefore, SaaS solutions should always give proper attention to service management and interoperability.
With enterprise-level SaaS solutions, hybrid services can be easily leveraged. However, situation can also quickly spin out of your control. Thus, it is very important to have a sound strategy and vision to address important elements like service management, policy management, interactions between data and applications, performance, availability and control related to change management.
By Christopher Smith,
Christopher is an organizational development manager at WalkMe, and editor of the blog Change, which looks at the issues and ideas relating to change management, performance management, and organizational transition. Follow him on Twitter at @changemblog.