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Archive for the ‘Product’ Category

Integrating with existing apps and data sources

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

When we talk about integrating with systems like CMDBS, we recognize that these systems have very valuable information about business services, applications, and technology objects in general. And if you have all that information and one of your challenges is keeping it accurate, there are products like ours that make it really easy to update technology objects, business services, and so on—and keep this information constantly current and accurate.

The kind of reports that every IT manager dreams about

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

ITinvolve for Change Management’s Results Manager gives you the kind of “out-of-the-box” report capability that IT managers usually only dream about.  That’s because it generates reports that are filled with actionable information.  Our detailed and summary reports enable individuals at all levels to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their change management processes and activities. And just as important, get valuable insights into the application of policies across the entire IT environment.

Take a look at this screen capture of a change success rate report that only took a couple of seconds to produce.  You can easily compare the total number of changes (blue) against the number of Emergency Changes (red) as well as successful (green) and failed changes (yellow)

 

Some of the reports that IT Manager’s love include:

IT Assets by Owner: Provides details about the number and types of objects owned by individual IT team members to help identify where staff may be overburdened and work load balancing required.

Changes by Type and Status: Allows change owners to see status of their changes from initiation to final review and approval.  Improves change management efficiency and demonstrates when and where workloads may require additional resources.

Change Planning and Outcome Detail: Shows all changes by owner, time from proposal to completion, and the result of the change in terms of success or failure to measure change owner performance.

Change Planning and Outcome Summary: Summarizes the total number of changes, average time spent in process, and outcomes such as success/failure and emergency vs. planned changes.  Measures the efficiency and productivity of IT staff both individually and as a team, and is an ideal tool for setting and evaluating performance goals.

Learn more about Results Manager under the product section of our web site and watch the short instructional video that helps explain how it works.

 

Reducing the risk of changes

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

IT environments have gotten so complex that a “simple” network change can cause massive impacts, because you don’t know all of the business applications and objects that are connected to that network.

That lack of visibility opens doors to all kinds of unnecessary risks that are assumed just because you don’t have the tools to help you visualize and understand impacts and risks. That’s where ITinvolve comes in and helps you see, “Wow if I change this, that network is not going to be able to handle the load.” That kind of visibility is lacking in today’s complex environments, and we think that’s part of the reason why a lot of the teams have to put more people on the incident side to put out fires instead of being able to be proactive.

 

The Future of IT Operations – Principle 5: Access to the collective knowledge of people is a fundamental imperative for operational success

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

This is part six of  a six part series from our CEO – Logan Wray

Principle 5: Access to the collective knowledge of people is a fundamental imperative for operational success

We believe that to operate IT with the utmost efficiency and least risk, IT professionals need to operate within a context where everyone is responsible for the accuracy of his own key information, and accountable for sharing it with the rest of stakeholders involved in a specific problem or issue. That means designing a tool where individual IT team members are responsible for the content and accuracy of the data surrounding their role and responsibilities. This is not to say that all current information sources are not utilized. Rather, a single environment is needed to effectively capture that information such that it is effectively utilized by all those that need it

Never sit through another three-hour CAB meeting again

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

We’ve all been there.  Stuck on the phone while reviewing a seemingly endless list of changes that have to be approved.  Knowing we could be doing a lot of other things more that need our attention.  That’s why ITinvolve for Change Management is so appreciated by our customers.  It lets them avoid those marathon CAB meetings for good.

That’s because they now have a tool that enables their staff to review and collaborate on proposed IT changes in advance—anywhere, at any time.  ITinvolve lets you review and discuss changes, conflicts and sort out issues to smooth and streamline the change review and approval process—saving you tons of time and effort.

Here’s a screen capture example of a communications string that shows how reviews and approvals can take place online at any time through a “virtual CAB” type of review.

 

See how you can make your change review and approval process easier, faster and more effective with ITinvolve for Change Management.  Check out our Change Lifecycle Manager under the product section of our web site and watch the short video that helps explain how it works.

 

The Future of IT Operations – Principle 3: Present intelligent and relevant analysis to stakeholders automatically

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

This is part four of  a six part series from our CEO – Logan Wray

Principle 3: Present intelligent and relevant analysis to stakeholders automatically

Current service desk tools simply do not have the analytic functionality needed to present information required by IT professionals to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively today. What is needed is a way to take the collective knowledge of individuals and data sources involved, analyze the relationships and dependencies related to a specific issue, and then provide the relevant information to the IT operations users to help them make better decisions.

Service management tools need to stop making IT users spend valuable time searching for information among multiple sources, and then forcing them to spend even more effort to sort out and analyze key information once they’ve found it. Rather, the tool itself should help each IT professional analyze key relationships and dependencies and then automatically present this information to stakeholders.

By presenting users with key information through a concept that we call Active Knowledge Delivery, appropriate stakeholders are automatically alerted to the potential impact of incidents or changes and brought into the discussion, helping them resolve operational tasks with unprecedented speed. This kind of capability—one that IT professionals could only dream of until now— would be able to bring the analysis and knowledge necessary to improve the performance of operational tasks to the right people at the right time, in the context of their specific role or job.

Stay tuned for Principle 4: Enable IT individuals and teams to collaborate in context

The Future of IT Operations – Principle 2: Find better ways to see the IT environment and how it relates to others

Monday, August 27th, 2012

This is part three of  a six part series from our CEO – Logan Wray

Principle 2: Find better ways to see the IT environment and how it relates to others

One of the key advantages that humans can use to assess and solve problems is the ability to visualize. White boarding or drawing a picture is often the fastest and clearest way to understand relationships and dependencies in a very complex situation. IT operations is no exception.

IT team members would benefit enormously from being able to see relevant relationships and quickly understand the dependencies and potential impacts from a variety of perspectives.

IT professionals told us they are looking for better ways to see their entire IT environment from their particular point of view, without having to sketch it out in VISIO every few weeks as it evolves and changes. And, just as important, they want a way to look at what is going on from the point of view of other colleagues and stakeholders who share the IT environment.

To genuinely grasp and manage the complexity of today’s constantly evolving, highly diverse and complex IT environments, IT professionals need better ways to visualize the vast array of evolving relationships between systems, applications, services, policies, people, physical or virtual devices, or functional areas. When assessing and resolving incidents, searching for the root causes of problems, or proposing changes, IT team members would benefit enormously from being able to see relevant relationships and quickly understand the dependencies and potential impacts from a variety of perspectives.

Stay tuned for Principle 3: Present intelligent and relevant analysis to stakeholders automatically

Compliance and Security

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

The ITinvolve solution not only helps from a change management perspective—but it also helps the compliance and security groups. A lot of the times the security groups in an IT environment tend to receive criticism because they come after the fact, late in the process, to basically assess all the risk they see associated with a change. And part of the problem is that they have no view into what’s happening around changes. They don’t have an avenue to relate the concerns and risks they see until a CAB meeting; in many cases, that’s the first time they’re hearing about these changes, so of course they’re going to react and of course they’re going to be concerned about it.

With the ITinvolve solution, one of the cool things we created was Perspectives. In a Perspective, a security or compliance person can group the policies around technology objects so that they have a view into how, through a change, you could move yourself out of compliance to a particular regulation. As a change owner tries to work through a change, the security people will be automatically brought into visibility of the change, and they’ll see whether the change has anything to do with the policies they care about. And this way, if they have a concern, they can collaborate with the change owner at that moment, early on, instead of right before a decision is made. So from a compliance sense, Perspectives gives the peace of mind to the change owner of knowing that the security team has also looked at their changes and blessed them, and now they’re not wondering if they’re going to run into an issue at the end of the approval process. It’s a win-win situation, and it’s an example of how tools should enable people to work together rather than create separations between teams.

Improving Effectiveness and Efficiency

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

We’ve heard from many companies that the change approval process needs to be more effective and efficient. At ITinvolve, we believe that the change approval process should be based on effective impact analysis. A lot of companies in large environments are approving hundreds of changes on a weekly basis, in some cases involving hundred people in marathon meetings. In these meetings they often review ever change in detail to help reduce the amount f problems that occur from changes implemented—we knew there had to be a better way.

The simple solution was to stop forcing everything to these change meetings. We wanted to take the information about changes and the opinions from people that could be affected by the change, and make that information readily available in a simple view where the change owner could understand the position of all the stakeholders who could be impacted. That meant that CAB members who have approval power could see that information—the position of all the stakeholders as well as the change manager himself—and at that point there is no need to wait for everything to be part of that meeting.

At any time when stakeholders agree that impact has been properly assessed, changes can be approved—and this can be done on-line. This makes IT staff more productive, eliminates unnecessary costs and makes the overall change approval process more effective.

Understanding IT change impacts for dummies

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Assessing the potential impacts of a proposed change to your IT environment is a constant challenge for IT professionals.  Fortunately ITinvolve for Change Management makes it easy for everyone.

Our Change Impact Analyzer functionality lets you quickly and effectively assess how a proposed change will affect other related objects in your IT environment…things like physical devices, to various regulatory, security, or compliance policies, to applications and business services, and even other stakeholders.

  • Identifies all of the key relationships between objects, including physical, logical, regulatory, compliance, and related business services
  • Identifies all of the impacted stakeholders for automatic notification, enabling proper collaboration to occur before the change is made
  • Displays upstream and downstream impacts to physical objects
  • Automatically analyzes risks of a proposed change, including business services impacted, security requirements and compliance concerns using patent-pending technology
  • Identifies and notifies users of change collisions

Take a look at this short video to get a better idea of how we can help you assess the potential impact of a change before you implement it.