With the success of today’s businesses tied so firmly to the performance of their IT departments, it should come as no surprise that any situation which causes IT processes to be slower, clumsier or less effective will have a devastating impact on the profitability of the business. However, in the typical enterprise IT department, change management is exactly this type of drain on resources: responding to incidents can be costly and time-consuming, and prominent analyst firms estimate that 50 to 80 percent of incidents are caused by poorly implemented change.1

In looking at the big picture, several phenomena seem to have converged in order to make change management so problematic at this stage. For years, the IT industry has maintained a focus on technology itself - investing at a rapid pace in machines that are smaller, faster or better than their predecessors - with the result being that the contents of any given IT estate are now incredibly diverse and not especially standardized. IT has also traditionally yielded its direction to developers, whose advances in creating new platforms and applications have resulted in very complex application environments, and an emphasis on external services, like service-oriented architecture (SOA) and software as a service (SaaS), designed for speeding up time to value. Finally, businesses have long relied on the tribal knowledge of IT “gurus” in order to run a part of the business few people were expected to know anything about.

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