Configuration and Change Management best practices are growing faster than ever. It can be difficult to keep up with the changes and make the right IT management decisions. Perhaps you are deciding on which technology to move forward with in your data center? Or do you already have a product in-house but aren’t sure how to make the most of it? You may just need a little (IT) social networking to get you going!
Have you ever wondered how some people know so much about a particular topic or technology? They always seem to have the answers or know someone who might know someone who has the answer….right? These ‘go-to’ people have a good network of contacts, friends, colleagues they can rely on. The bigger your network, the more likely you will get enough information to make a decision you are comfortable with. You might be thinking ‘Okay, but I don't have that network, and what does it have to do with Change Management?’
Everyone has to start somewhere to get their network going. I suggest starting with LinkedIn or a local itSMF group. These are two excellent starting points that can significantly increase your social support for many areas, including Configuration and Change Management. In addition to expanding your industry contacts, these venues can help you identify an IT consultant who can deliver the exact expertise you need.
LinkedIn: This is a social network website that has more of a business, professional and organizational focus. Interested in Configuration or Change Management? IT Consultants who support it? Technologies that support it? Want to know if anyone has experienced problems with the most recent upgrade? Those support groups and discussions are common on this site. For ideas on where to start, visit the Evergreen Systems LinkedIn page and check out the groups that our consultants participate in including the LinkedIn group for ITIL/ITSM and the LinkedIn group for Configuration Management.
The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (itSMF): In addition to several websites that you can peruse - itSMF International and itSMF USA - you may be lucky and find that there is an itSMF meeting near you. Usually there is a meeting once a month, and you can meet with others and exchange ideas on what has worked and perhaps what to avoid. And yes, there is an itSMF International Group on LinkedIn and an itSMF USA LinkedIn Group.
IT Consultant – When your car breaks down, do you always take it to the same mechanic? If he/she is any good, you do. He/she knows the history of the car and consistently fixes your car problems and provides sound advice for preventive maintenance. An IT consultant isn’t much different. Over time, a good IT consultant knows your business, your people and your network. He/She will provide timely information on the latest trends in Change Management and make appropriate recommendations for your business. And if the consultant doesn’t have an immediate answer to your question, he/she will rely on his/her social network to get the answer you need. It’s not always about what you know, but sometimes who you know.
Your network may not double overnight nor will you get all of your Change Management questions answered right away. Be patient. It will take some time. But if you are persistent and participate, you may be surprised at the response and support you’ll get back. And you'll also find great resources and tips along the way...like the free research we publish at Evergreen Systems. Why don't you check out our white paper "Developing the Business Case for Change and Configuration Management and the CMDB" now?
About the Author: Ron Ruminski has over 20 years of experience working in IT. He has worn many hats in IT including help desk technician, server and network administration, enterprise monitoring and configuration management. Before coming to Evergreen, he worked in the health care industry assisting with an ITIL implementation and managed the enterprise monitoring and the configuration management teams. You can email Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.