Prepare effectively for network change management

Effective Change Management: How to Prepare For Network Changes

November 30, 2016
How network monitoring can help with change management

These days, the vast majority of businesses utilize change management strategies to ensure that any shifts or updates are carried out in a streamlined manner successfully.  Taking this approach can mean the difference between an initiative that brings value to the organization or one that falls flat on its face. Change management is essential when introducing anything new into an enterprise, and these strategies are even more important when it comes to the company's network infrastructure.

In the current technology age, the network represents the foundation of a corporation. Without network support, a considerable number of tasks and processes would be impossible, particularly those that require an internet connection. Because the majority of organizational tasks are completed online, adminisrtators must ensure that changes to the network infrastructure are made with great care.

Network changes can include a variety of actions and processes, including deploying a new cloud platform, adjusting the capacit of the network, or governing the devices that can access the network. In addition, new technological approaches like virtualization also call for network changes. Even adding new hardware or software components can require a change to the network architecture. 

As the cloud, BYOD, and other technological trends continue to be adopted by enterprises, an increasing number of organizations will have to examine their network from a position of change management. 

What to Consider Before Making Changes

According to TechTarget contributor Thomas Scire, network stakeholders should consider the following things before making a change in infrastructure:

  • Network complexity: Scire points out that the physical pieces that make up the network, such as switches or routers, come with their own complex functionalities. Whenever there is a change to the physical infrastructure of a network, administrators must ensure that each component works together properly based on its purpose and unique features.
  • Redundancy: Specific network changes, like the addition of new cloud platforms, typically require administrators to re-examine their redundancy to ensure that, if the network goes down, there are other resources ready to step in. Scire suggests taking a look at the overall network design, as well as any dual uplinks, switches, and gateways in place.
  • Network management and monitoring tools: Engineers should ensure that the new process or system being adjusted or added to the network will work with the network management and monitoring tools already in place. Network monitoring tools may also have to be modified to ensure that they enable the user to view a new technology as well.

Tips for Successful Network Change Management

Mind Tools notes that there are several best practices organizations can leverage with their change management strategies, including:

  • Explaining the change in detail, as well as the reason for the change.
  • Including all interested stakeholders in the process.
  • Planning ahead of time how and when the change will take place, as well as when and how it will be explained to staff.
  • Considering any additional employee training that might be helpful to streamline the process.

How Network Monitoring Helps with Change Management

With any change to the network infrastructure, you must maintain the ability to oversee and monitor the state of the network. A monitoring, mapping, and alerting tool like Intermapper can help you maintain visibility into your network across multiple platforms, which makes it a great tool that will scale to meet the needs of your changing network. Intermapper's solution allows for real-time network status updates, visual traffic flow, and remote management of the network.

Embrace the Change

Prepare for future network changes now by starting a free trial of Intermapper.

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