Managing change in a complex, customized IBM i environment can be a daunting task. Whatever applications or modifications you’re developing, acquiring, and integrating into your IBM i ecosystem must work efficiently and effectively with minimal risk and effort.
In addition to the newer applications that are available for the IBM i, some companies are running home-grown, heavily-customized solutions that are the lifeblood of the organization. They often have been running for a long time and are very stable. Many use a best-of-breed strategy, running several applications from different vendors, each integrated to other systems and chosen to address a particular need. All of this, of course, adds up to a lot of complexity and may not take change very easily.
With that in mind, good change management in a customized IBM i-based IT infrastructure should feature:
- Design and development strategies that lower risk to existing business functions and the business in general
- Rapid implementation time
- Processes that provide a single solution while employing several underlying technologies
- User involvement early and often
So how do you encourage and support good change management from the very beginning? You start by developing applications for an IBM i environment with change in mind. That means:
- Using development strategies that minimize their impact on existing programs
- Layer new functionality to ensure that it doesn’t affect existing core functionality
- Take advantage of existing functionality as you bring information into a new layer of apps
- Create reusable objects to ensure a more supportable environment, single-point updates, and easier unit testing
In fact, IT departments should be adopting change management standards along with their development standards as a part of its normal strategy.
The goals should be to:
- Lower risk to the business when deploying new functionality
- Introduce new functionality to the business as fast as possible
- Provide the most supportable solution for the future
To learn more about change management in enterprise IBM i environments, download our white paper, Change Management in Customized Environments.