Network change management software: Top 6 features to consider
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Network change management software: Top 6 features to consider

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A recent market analysis report reveals a stark reality: incorrect manual network configuration changes cause a significant majority of network downtime. This report also says, these changes also contribute to application performance degradation. Without a doubt, this underscores the critical importance of efficient network change management software.

Managing changes in today’s digital infrastructure is crucial. Every tweak, upgrade, or configuration change can impact operations. Therefore, network change management software is the solution—a toolkit that simplifies these complexities.

Picture a digital command center where updates happen seamlessly. Whether you’re managing a small business network or a large enterprise, free network change management software simplifies complex tasks. In addition, it also ensures minimal downtime and maximum reliability.

In this guide, we delve into the essential features that make change management software significantly critical. Let’s begin!

What is a network change management software?

Network change management software helps businesses control and monitor changes within their network infrastructure. Additionally, it tracks updates, configuration items, and expansions systematically, ensuring smooth operations. IT teams can efficiently plan and execute change management best practices with this software. Consequently, this reduces downtime and prevents errors.

Moreover, change management software offers a centralized platform for tracking changes and maintaining compliance. By automating change processes and providing real-time IT visibility, the software boosts operational IT efficiency and security.

Challenges in choosing the free network change management software

Choosing the right change management software can be challenging due to several factors:

  • Complexity of needs: Different organizations have unique requirements, making it crucial to find software that fits specific needs.
  • Integration issues: Ensuring the software integrates seamlessly with existing systems and tools can be difficult.
  • Scaling ability: Furthermore, the software must be able to grow with the organization, handling increased network complexity and size.
  • Ease of use: A user-friendly interface is essential for efficient adoption by the IT team.
  • Security concerns: In addition, change management software must provide robust IT security features. This feature is extremely necessary to protect sensitive data and comply with regulations.
  • Cost: Budget constraints can limit options, making it necessary to balance cost with features and benefits.
  • Ability to customize: Subsequently, the ability to customize the network change management software to fit specific processes and workflows is important for many organizations.
  • Performance impact: Ensuring that the free network change management software does not negatively impact network performance is vital.

Thorough knowledge of network change management software features can address these challenges. Moreover, by understanding the software’s capabilities, organizations can ensure it meets their specific needs. You can also ensure the network change management software can integrate seamlessly with the existing system or not.

In the upcoming section, you will learn about all the key features you need to look for while choosing a network change management software.

Essential features for selecting network change management software

Here are the essential features for selecting free network change management software:

1- Choose a network change management software that has RBAC security feature

Preventing configuration changes and unauthorized access is crucial in network management. Therefore, controlling access to devices, specifying permissible changes, and verifying their accuracy becomes essential when choosing a free network change management software. 

RBAC stands for Role-Based Access Control. It restricts network access to tasks aligned with an individual’s expertise or authority, thereby minimizing error risks. Consequently, in a complex global corporate network, these measures are critical for maintaining seamless operations and ensuring integrity.

  • To prevent errors and unauthorized access, assign devices based on each IT operator’s expertise.
  • Maintain exclusivity and integrity by restricting access to critical equipment to authorized personnel. 
  • Implement a comprehensive review process for all change requests to meticulously assess and approve or reject configuration changes. 
  • Enhance network security by adopting RBAC and other recommended practices.

2- Your network change management software should support firmware vulnerability feature

Firmware protects all network devices from external threats such as data breaches and hacking attempts. It scans devices regularly for threats and updates itself continuously to prevent new risks. Consequently, here’s how firmware threat scanning helps IT teams.

  • Every device in the network undergoes firmware threat scanning with the latest updates.
  • Given the evolving nature of software threats, this process is ongoing. Moreover, regular assessments ensure that each threat scan remains accurate by keeping pace with the latest developments.
  • This feature ensures robust system security and network integrity associated with free network change management software.

3- Select a network change management software with automated log & tracking feature

Given that each error could potentially lead to incidents affecting numerous users, network administration stands as a critical and sensitive responsibility. Maintaining strict oversight over the ‘who, what, and when’ of network activities is crucial for minimizing issues from changes.

For IT operations teams overseeing extensive networks, manual IT asset tracking of each change can quickly become overwhelming. Nevertheless, logging remains a need because:

  • It provides a documented history of all changes made. Hence, this capability facilitates review and correlation with any service disruptions that may occur.
  • Immediate alerts can notify administrators or operators of potentially concerning actions as they happen.
  • Analyzing logs of network configuration change management helps root causes analysis of outages when they occur.
  • Implementing change management ensures accurate recording of network changes. Despite this, it also provides timely alerts for critical changes, informed by outage analysis to preempt future errors.

4- Choose a network change management software with an RCA feature

When you’re picking network change management software, it’s important to choose one that includes a root cause analysis (RCA) feature. RCA helps quickly find out why network problems happen by tracing them back to their source. This capability speeds up fixing problems and reduces how long systems are down, which helps keep business running smoothly.

Here’s why root cause analysis (RCA) is so important in network change management software:

  • Finds the exact reason for network problems quickly, making troubleshooting and fixing them faster.
  • Reduces how much network problems affect business by quickly finding and fixing their causes.
  • Let you take steps to stop similar problems from happening again in the future.
  • Makes networks more stable and dependable by fully dealing with what’s causing issues.

If you’re seeking an IT management solution that addresses your challenges through detailed root cause analysis, Virima is an excellent choice. Beyond this, exploring Virima’s service mapping capabilities is crucial for comprehensive visualization and mapping of your IT infrastructure. This mapping unveils interdependencies among components. In addition, it offers essential insights into how the system changes impact your operations in near real-time. Such visibility is vital for conducting effective root cause analysis.

Also read: Using IT Visibility business service mapping for incident management and problem resolution

5- Your network change management software must comply with industry standards

Industry standards set the bar for best practices across the company. Network change management software primarily evaluates compliance with these standards and internal requirements. Therefore, compliance tests become crucial for vulnerability management

Therefore, emphasizing the importance of IT compliance audits is essential. Each violation triggers an ongoing process, potentially costing significant resources if not promptly addressed.

Regular compliance audits are essential because:

  • They ensure adherence to regional rules and prevent violations. 
  • Additionally, every organization has its regulations. Use IT regulatory compliance tests to ensure alignment with internal standards and legal requirements. 
  • Lastly, conduct regular compliance checks to promptly identify and correct any issues.

In IT standards like HIPAA, SOX, and PCI, network management operates similarly to other industries governed by mandated standards. As a result, IT compliance automation acts as a fail-safe against vulnerabilities and data breaches.

6- Backup and restore feature is an add-on to network change management software

To keep networks running smoothly, it’s crucial to regularly back up both startup and running configurations. As a result, this ensures a reliable backup in case of failures. Here’s how to effectively use backups in any free network change management software:

  • Keep startup and running configurations synchronized effectively to prevent missing updates.
  • Promptly backup configurations and frequent changes.
  • Select the most stable configuration for backup to ensure reliability during outages.
  • Automate the backup process to streamline network maintenance and to effectively minimize IT downtime.
  • Regularly test backups to confirm their effectiveness in restoring network functionality after failures.

By implementing these practices, IT teams can ensure network resilience and minimize disruptions. 

Also read: Service mapping and disaster recovery planning

So far, you have come to know that effective network change management requires visibility into the entire network environment. To fulfill this need, you can opt for Virima- an end-to-end IT management solution with advanced change management functionalities. Let’s learn how it helps to enhance network change management processes.

Why choose Virima for your all-in-one network change management software solution

Virima’s automated IT discovery automatically finds physical and virtual IT  assets, hardware setups, and operating systems across both on-premises and cloud environments. This comprehensive view of the IT infrastructure and its component dependencies is essential for managing changes effectively.

Moreover, Virima Visual Impact Display tool visually illustrates the interconnection of applications and their supporting infrastructure. This visual clarity from service mapping helps IT teams assess change impact analysis. Altogether, it aids in better planning and risk evaluation.

Virima seamlessly integrates change management processes, automates procedures, and ensures compliance with standards. Additionally, the CMDB logs all changes with documentation, enhancing transparency and accountability. These features collectively improve efficiency, reduce risks, and ensure compliance, making Virima ideal for effective network change management software.

Experience streamlined network change management with Virima’s comprehensive IT discovery, service mapping, and IT asset management solutions. 

Discover how Virima can optimize your IT operations today!

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