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Sometimes the easiest way to get through to these people, is to create the exact situation such tools and lifecycles would prevent occurring.
Why is production down?
I don't know, we can't review who changed something, but if we had "insert VCS here" we would have that overview
Why can't you just restore the database?
we don't have backups, but if we had....
Over time, these things are removed and you have new issues to manifest 😉
Ah, the "fix it" is permission from where I stand 😏
Currently place I work started where you are now, well that and only a prod server so everything was built and tested in prod in real time 🤡
Some of my most successfully bad deployments exist in that time line too.
We (the two devs we were back then) gave up on breaking things in just introduced vcs and started migrating everything across. Over time we went from GitHub being a "backup" to "GitHub" being the source of truth. It sounds like you need to get creative and introduce the tech - given the business / company provides such ambitious autonomy.