Enterprise Bulletin – 2Q 2020

Scicom Infrastructure Services

Enterprise Bulletin 2Q 2020

Written By:
Sanjay Jain
Country Manager, India
Scicom Infrastructure Services, Inc.


As CARES Act program rolled out, a joint effort by the Federal government and major financial institutions, Scicom’s survey of several financial institutions revealed that on an average, online and mobile banking traffic increased by 66%. With countries across the globe going into lockdown and moving their entire workforce to work from home, IT teams are busy with upgrades to the network infrastructure and core business systems to meet additional capacity demands. Organizations across industry verticals are deliberating on application, infrastructure and workplace changes in the current scenario as well as post-pandemic era.

74% of Companies Plan to Permanently Shift to More Remote Work Post COVID-19
Gartner, Apr 03, 2020

As a result, IT leaders will have to manage the increased pace of changes to quickly create, deploy, manage and govern dynamic business environments.

  • Security – As companies expand the number of people working remotely, IT teams will be reviewing security infrastructure and updating security policies for robust identity and access management. Additionally, IT will need to consider the hardware remote employees use (company-issued or personal devices), and the networks they will be on (public or private). IT will also need to update system access to provide additional permissions or restrict them.
  • Scale – IT leaders will need to scale-up infrastructure, bandwidth, and network capacity to cope with higher remote workforce. The infrastructure and application capacity will also need to be expanded to provide positive customer experience.
  • Capability – IT teams will need to adopt cloud-based solutions quickly for seamless, scalable, and cost-effective user experience regardless of physical location. Additional collaboration capabilities for secured messaging, video conferencing and file-sharing will need to be deployed.

In order to provide stable and reliable services, IT teams will need to evolve the practice of Change Management for efficient and prompt handling of all changes.

IT organizations, when considering a change, should strive to:

  • Optimize, not necessarily minimize, IT and business risk exposure associated with the change (given that some risks might be accepted and managed accordingly)
  • Minimize the severity of any impact or disruption brought about by the change
  • Ensure the change is delivered the first time and without the need for rollback and/or rework
  • Provide business stakeholders with appropriate and timely communication about the change
working pencil in hand

According to DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) 2018 report, teams across industry verticals are classified as High, Medium, and Low performers based upon four metrics. High performers demonstrate faster lead time for changes to production, increased deployment frequency to production, faster time to restore service to production, and reduction in the change failure rate to production.

Aspect of Software Delivery Performance High Medium Low
Deployment frequency Between once per hour and once per day Between once per week and once per month Between once per week and once per month
Lead time for changes Between one day and one week Between one week and one month Between one month and six months
Time to restore services Less than one day Less than one day Between one week and one month
Change failure rate 0-15% 0-15% 46-60%

In times of the COVID-19 outbreak, the challenge for high performers will be to optimize the change stability whereas medium and lower performers must adapt quickly to narrow the gap.

“85% of all performance incidents can be traced back to changes.”
Will Cappelli, Research VP, Gartner

A change failure can impact enterprises’ bottom line from direct loss of revenues through potential reputation damage and loss of customers to indirect effects such as decrease in productivity. Infrastructure failures can cost as much as $100,000 per hour. Production outages cost roughly $5,000 per minute. Critical applications can cost organizations $500,000 to $1 million per hour in some cases.

Adapt to Change Management New Reality

Organizations around the world need to take proactive steps to maintain as much operational continuity as possible. IT leaders should immediately look to expand capabilities to adapt to challenging landscape. In an ever more dynamic environment, they are not only required to manage growing services and roll-out newer technologies but manage existing ones as well.

people coming together

IT organizations should review existing processes and leverage technology capabilities for increased change efficiency and lowered risks.

  • Post-Change Validation

With shorter change windows, automation should be at the forefront to rapidly compare post-change environment with target or baselined environment.  Automated checks performed periodically can report impact of a change before it can cause an issue.

  • Monitoring Alerts

As applications scale and infrastructure changes are applied, IT change teams will need to work closely with enterprise NOC. This will help in tracking the new configuration state and correlate those changes to potential impacts on server, network, and application performance.

80% of the mean time to repair is spent in what has changed
  • Change Aggregators

It is critical to determine potential changes that cause an incident or an outage. A change aggregator with AI capability that gathers and analyzes change data from multiple sources can assist IT teams with quick root cause analysis and probable solution.

  • Synthetic Testing

Organizations that are rushing to deploy applications are likely to not have tested those applications and updates as thoroughly as they once might have. Continuous testing and synthetic monitoring will ensure the issues are detected and resolved before end users are impacted.

  • Dependency Matrix

A Forrester survey revealed 56% of IT managers “do not have a complete view of dependencies between applications or between applications and infrastructure.” IT leaders should consider discovery and dependency mapping technology that will empower them to better manager change risks.

  • Change Handbook

One area that gets overlooked by change teams is building a knowledge base of clear deployment instructions. Machine-learning based knowledge repository will help IT organizations to move towards automating deployments as well as enable them to get virtual support in a work environment that is highly distributed.

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has created stability, performance, security, and compliance challenges for IT organizations but also provides an opportunity to innovate and create change management solutions to prepare for challenges ahead and meet customer expectations.