Wow, lots of changes!
As I look back over the last year, I could not have imagined so many unplanned changes.
From a personal perspective, so much is different. We are staying local versus freedom of movement. Face masks versus smiley faces and facial expressions—isolation versus gatherings.
It is the same from the business perspective. You work from home versus working from an office & business travel, using your own devices versus using office equipment. Back-to-back video calls & conferences versus in-person meetings, water cooler discussions, coffee chats, and even breaks!
However, be under no illusion; even when we plan for changes, things can still go wrong.
The British bank, TSB, extensively planned a transfer of records and accounts of 5.2 million customers from Lloyds banking group (former owner) to Spanish bank Sabadell (current owner). However, it resulted in a 3-week online banking outage for 1.9 Million customers losing them £330m and 80,000 customers. The CEO Paul Pester resigned.
In healthcare, NHS Wales had a full day without access to patient medical records, blood deliveries, x-ray results and more, when a routine IT firewall change was applied, causing a significant outage across two data centers. Patients' lives were put at risk.
These issues were preventable.
Like Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime minister, said, 'The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.'
The pace of change in our IT environments is accelerating. In this last year alone, Microsoft updated Windows 10 more than 1,280 times. At the current trajectory of change, we could expect Microsoft to bring out nearly 60,000 changes by the year 2030! Now is the time to start embracing this faster pace of change.
This figure may seem high, but in fact, the number of changes affecting your business is even higher as we consider the different layers of IT infrastructure such as hardware, operating system, security, and applications, plus the cadence of changes for each.
The impact of failed IT changes can be catastrophic: Financial impact (including loss of earnings, financial penalties, and compensation), loss of customers, termination of leadership employment, and long-term brand damage.
With the help of Login VSI, a large UK retail bank can test and compare every single iteration of their desktop image to validate any performance impacts.
Login VSI helps reduce risks associated with making IT changes
Testing their environment using synthetic (or robot) users gives them results. They can confidently decide if they want to roll out changes to their real users, optimize the environment, or supply more resources to cope with the workload.
A global distribution organization uses our solution to test that all the features of their 4,000 in-house build applications are working correctly after making changes to the operating system before rolling the change out to all their employees. By automating this process, they have accelerated the pace of change by 40%, and those people who did the manual testing previously are now able to focus on fixing the issues.
A large UK investment firm has placed a single synthetic user alongside their real users to monitor their systems' availability and performance after implementing changes, acting as an early warning system. The synthetic users work 24x7, and because they perform repeatable and consistent tasks, they can trend the performance over time and quickly spot any anomalies. Support staff can triage the issues and get working on a solution before any real people have logged in. Thus saving time and money and improving the employee satisfaction scores.
Meanwhile, back at my home office, one nice change I really can appreciate is the daily lunch walks with my dogs in daylight during the winter months!
Stay safe, folks!