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Analysis: Change Management Technology

Because all this is complicated to implement, many feel it's easier to avoid CM. In our reader poll for this article, about half of respondents said they don't have a formal change-control-approval process and have no plans to deploy one. And these aren't just small and midsize businesses--only 16 percent of poll respondents work for organizations with total revenue below $1 million. Meanwhile, a greater number of companies are facing external pressures--from clients, vendors and the government--to secure their information. And Gartner studies say CM can reduce unplanned downtime by 25 percent to 35 percent, cut planned downtime by as much as 25 percent and provide better customer service.

So, What's the Disconnect?

The main reason most IT pros give for not having developed or not adhering to CM processes is, simply, that it takes too long. But this reasoning is painfully shortsighted. Sure, it might be faster and more efficient to configure your computer to automatically log you onto the network every day, but the gains derived will be lost the minute an intruder uses your authenticated machine to steal company secrets. The same holds for CM: Although it may be more efficient on the front end to simply install patches, change ACLs (access control lists) and implement production systems ad hoc, in the long run this will cost you time and money.

Effective CM involves a blend of technology and process. Here we examine the technology side of the equation and profile CM offerings from BMC Software's Remedy Solutions and Computer Associates. In "Get Right With Change," we lay out an 11-step program to develop CM teams, policies and procedures.

Automation, Baby

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