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Recognizing New Configuration Risks Introduced by Digital Transformation


Recognizing New Configuration Risks Introduced by Digital Transformation


This content is brought to you by Evolven. Evolven Change Analytics is a unique AIOps solution that tracks and analyzes all actual changes carried out in the enterprise cloud environment. Evolven helps leading enterprises cut the number of incidents, slash troubleshoot time, and eliminate unauthorized changes. Learn more

Three key takeaways:

  • Digital transformation, while an essential initiative for enterprises, brings its share of challenges. From process and decision-making transitions to the dynamic state of its complex cloud environments, organizations need to be prepared to face these issues head-on.
  • Decentralization of decision making driven by an agile DevOps approach may lead to departure from traditional ITIL processes and the weakening of risk controls. An automated risk gateway powered by AI-based Evolven Configuration Risk Intelligence helps to balance control and speed, identifying and mitigating risks prior to production.
  • Evolven’s Configuration Risk Intelligence solution provides the visibility needed to shift from old environments to new ones. Incidents happen fast in the cloud, so knowing the state of an environment is essential: Armed with ongoing insights, Evolven’s technology tracks the specific configuration changes at the root of performance and availability issues.

Embracing digital transformation is an absolute must in today’s landscape.

Enterprises that aren’t moving toward an agile, cloud-based approach will be left behind. But reaching the other side of digital transformation is rarely a straight line.

Digital transformation efforts come with their fair share of challenges, and doing so without a proper plan can lead to major disruptions or slowdowns as processes and environments change.

To be prepared, it’s essential for enterprises to understand what happens in their environment in real time. Evolven’s Configuration Risk Intelligence solution illuminates these common blind spots.

Read on to understand how Evolven alleviates three major challenges of digital transformation.

1. Digital Transformation Takes Time

Like most large-scale projects, digital transformation doesn’t take place with the touch of a single button — far from it! Instead of happening all at once, digital transformation is an ongoing process.

The process brings massive complexities as you manage old and new related processes and technologies. For example, when transitioning an application to a cloud-based environment, the application still talks to the old back office — even as you are in the process of re-architecting.

Gartner calls this “bimodal IT,” a practice accounting for multiple systems or styles of work: one that is predictable and one that is exploratory. This state moves toward the new configurations that digital transformation brings, even while the impact of the old ways is visible in the meantime.

In practice, the teams involved experience interactions between the traditional processes and systems of the “old world” and the agile processes and new technologies of the “new world.”

These transitional periods bring an increased need for visibility — into both the new cloud environment(s) and the old legacy environment — to improve operations and drive effective cooperation across an organization. Visibility helps to bridge the differences in processes and tools between the two.

A key aspect of this required visibility is to see the history of configuration states of old and new environments and the changes happening across the hybrid cloud through both old and new processes — all via a single pane of glass.

  • How Evolven Helps:

During digital transformation, Evolven provides the essential insights you need to guide the process through enhanced visibility of your enterprise.

Our configuration risk intelligence solution helps you understand what was actually done, deployed or changed in both old and new environments.  Using AI-based analytics, Evolven detects and prioritizes risks triggered by the actual, granular changes in configuration, application, infrastructure, and data so that you can prevent and rapidly resolve stability, compliance, and security issues.

In the case of a microservice-based front-end application, for example, we can quickly identify the backend changes that led to a performance issue. Connecting these two worlds is difficult to do manually, but Evolven automates the information you need to identify and resolve issues and ease the transformation process.

2. Digital Transformation Shifts Risk and Decision-Making

One of the major benefits of digital transformation is the increased agility and flexibility that it brings. New processes allow you to adapt rapidly and adjust your infrastructure and applications to meet ever-changing business requirements.

But this change demands a shift toward agility where individual teams also  handle decision-making — doing away with centralized management decisions that stifle the nimble approach.

As teams become the decision-makers and run processes in the new, resilient environment, risk may seem deceptively low — but it’s still there. Risks caused by  interdependencies between teams may also become more difficult to identify as each team focuses on local risk.

The question then becomes, how do you control the risk? Who is responsible for the risk? Striking a balance is essential here: Having a change control board to review every change the developers make isn’t feasible, but risk still needs to be addressed.

  • How Evolven Helps:

This is where Evolven’s automated risk engine comes in.

The risk engine can be integrated into the CI/CD pipelines, adding an automated risk gateway as part of the pipeline. From there, our technology creates a new version of the change and configuration risk management process, essentially automating the manual CAB-led approach.

This provides the balance needed to assess and minimize risk without slowing down the process. The gateway tracks changes going through CI/CD, identifying and escalating risks to leadership as necessary, and eliminating the need for lengthy risk review processes.

3. The Cloud Environment Is Dynamic

The final challenge of digital transformation concerns the transition to the cloud itself.

The cloud presents an extremely dynamic environment, containing many ephemeral objects and ongoing automatic changes. This means it’s difficult to know what state the environment is in at any given moment.

In the case of an issue or problem in the cloud, the solution may appear to be to roll back to a previous version of the application.

But not unlike an issue in your traditional on-premises environments, you need to gather information to know what went wrong in the environment so you can solve the underlying problem. Rolling back to a previous version carries a major drawback: The cloud environment changes so quickly that it can be incredibly difficult to analyze and identify exactly WHY an issue occurred — even mere minutes later.

And while the mean time to resolution (MTTR) for the incident may happen quickly, mean time to resolution for the problem behind the incident dramatically increases because of the cloud’s ever-changing state.

  • How Evolven Helps:

At each point in time, Evolven knows the state of the environment.

But even more importantly, it can automatically correlate problems with the actual, granular configuration changes responsible for an issue. This improves investigation efforts, leading from a symptomatic approach (think traces, logs and metrics) to identifying the root issue — the actual change that caused the symptoms — at hand.

As a result, productivity increases, too. Instead of dedicating valuable time and effort to merely reversing an incident, your team can focus on managing and solving the deeper problem instead.

Facing the Challenges of Digital Transformation

The struggles of digital transformation are significant and present a challenge for teams moving through the transition from old to new processes, complex systems and multiple environments. But these challenges aren’t insurmountable.

Evolven enables your teams to become more proactive and prevent issues before they occur, moving even more confidently into the future to realize your goals for digital transformation. Configuration Risk Intelligence gives you the tools needed to help your teams focus on preventing  risks — rather than solving incidents — and ensuring a stable, secure and compliant environment for clients and staff. 

Evolven is an AI-driven platform that uses machine learning to automatically collect information about configuration changes carried out in your environment. Request a demo to see for yourself how Evolven can help you navigate the risk of configuration changes and the challenges of digital transformation.

About the Author
Sasha Gilenson
Sasha Gilenson enjoyed a long and successful career at Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP), having led the company's QA organization, participating in establishing Mercury's Software as a Service (SaaS), as well as leading a Business Unit in Europe and Asia.

Sasha played a key role in the development of Mercury's worldwide Business Technology Optimization (BTO) strategy and drove field operations of the Wireless Business Unit, all while taking on the duties as the Mercury's top "guru" in quality processes and IT practices domain. In this capacity, Sasha has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies on technology and process optimization, and in turn, acquired a comprehensive and rare knowledge of the market and industry practices.

Sasha holds an M.Sc. in Computer Science from Latvian University and MBA from London Business School.