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Change is hard. Change in IT is even harder. The pace of change in IT organizations is increasing as new technology allows fast provisioning and implementation of new applications and infrastructure. Consumerization is also driving users to demand modern, easy-to-use solutions. This adds up to a quickening pace of change both at the strategic and tactical level. IT organizations are responding by improving best practices around governance. The IT change control board is one of those best practices.
As shown in Figure 2 from the full report, IT Change Control Board Adoption and Best Practices, 74% of organizations currently make at least some use of IT change control boards, which is up from 62% in 2016.
“Despite the pace of change, or perhaps because of it, more organizations are looking for ways to manage those changes,” said David Wagner, vice president of research for Computer Economics, based in Irvine, Calif. “The advantage of a change control board is that it can bring order to an otherwise haphazard process. But that only works if the board understands that its job is to facilitate change and not hamper it.”
What is an IT change control board? It is a tactical committee of users and IT management that meets to prioritize, review, and approve IT changes. While the IT steering committee provides overall direction and long-term guidance for the IT function, the change control board typically gives users a voice in short-term IT priorities. A well-run change control board creates a partnership between the IT organization and various user communities within the organization so that IT is not alone in making decisions on short-term change requests. The change control board also is important for ensuring that standard procedures are followed and potential disruptions to the production environment and existing business processes are identified and minimized.
In the full study, we first look at adoption trends for IT change control boards by organization size and sector. We also discuss the elements that every IT change control board policy should contain, and steps IT organizations should take before establishing such a board.