Do your change management tools alert you to unplanned changes?
This article was originally published here on February 24, 2016.
Change management is great — funneling changes through a common set of processes to ensure the proper reviews occur and your CMDB is updated; however, how do you know what your change management process is missing? It’s the proverbial question: How do you know what you don’t know? The answer: Seek another point of view. Do your IT discovery tools alert you to unplanned changes? If not, then you may need some new tools.
IT Discovery can show you what Change Management missed
If you have decent change management, then your CMDB will generate a picture of your current IT environment and reflect any planned changes that have moved through your normal processes. How do you know, however, if your CMDB is accurate or if someone has been sneaking changes through the back door unnoticed? How do you know the planned changes were actually done as approved?
Last minute work-arounds are often left undocumented. Discovery tools can provide you an independent investigation of your IT environment — reporting what they see, not just what they expect. A comparison of the as-observed picture from your discovery tools and the as-expected picture from your CMDB can shine a light into the shadows, so you can see your IT environment clearly.
Multiple points of view give you more pieces to the puzzle
Discovery tools can be focused on a variety of different facets of your IT environment, from polling of network devices to software inventories to user access of online services. Each type of discovery provides a unique point of view of your environment, illuminating parts of the picture, which may not have been previously visible. Your IT environment is complex, with many hiding places. Using discovery to look at the environment from different angles reveals more pieces to the puzzle.
Comparing pictures is how you will learn the most from Change Management
The real value of discovery can be unlocked by combining individual points of view, from different discovery tools, into a comprehensive perspective, and then comparing that picture to what you already know from your CMDB and change management systems. Some of the insights about your IT environment that you will gain from this include:
- What has changed that wasn’t previously known to you?
- What is new in the environment that wasn’t previously known to you?
- What is missing either because it has been removed or isn’t working currently?
- What has moved to a new location?
- What is being used in a new way?
- What still exists even though it was supposedly removed?
Each of these represents either an unplanned change or a planned change of which you weren’t aware and warrants further investigation. Without discovery to alert you to these changes, you will continue to be blind to them and suffer increased risk from the unknown-unknowns in your environment.
What are you waiting for?
Take action today and illuminate your IT environment with discovery capabilities. When combined with the visualization and analysis capabilities of Virima, you will have the information to see into your blind spots and reveal the big picture to interpret what you see with confidence and clarity.
Regardless of how good your change management processes are or how often you clean your CMDB data to keep it accurate, these capabilities on their own won’t reveal what you are missing. How do you know what you don’t know? When it comes to planned and unplanned changes, the answer is Discovery.
Learn more about how Discovery could have easily spared two global organizations from very costly security incidents here.
Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!