Configuration Management (CMDB)

Configuration Management (CMDB)

Service Management Leadership can provide your organization with program-level Configuration Management (CMDB) expertise for transformation and improvement initiatives.  We have successfully led multiple CMDB (Configuration Management Database) remediation efforts and know-how to turn the CMDB into a trusted source for all Service Management practices and processes.

Most companies and firms see Configuration Management as a tool-based problem to solve.  We do not.  While the ITSM tool is vital for success, far too many have taken a tool-centric view and failed miserably.  The ITSM tool will do what it is programmed to do.  That is not the issue.  The problem most organizations are trying to solve is how to create a CMDB that enables great decisions by leadership and a solid foundation for the other Service Management processes which rely on the CMDB data.  For example, when reviewing a Change, understanding the potential impacts of the change is important when assessing the change for authorization.  The same goes for an incident where a database server is down.  The same goes for the other Service Management processes and practices.  The CMDB gives a visual of what application is down (or about to be) and the integrations that may be impacted.  Bad CMDB data costs organizations millions of dollars annually.

At its basics, a CMDB is made up of Configuration Items (CIs) and their respective relationships.  This is what differentiates Configuration Management from Asset Management, where Assets are tracked for financial (and similar) reasons.  In the CMDB, the value is in the relationships.  Knowing what server is connected to what database supporting what application is extremely valuable.  On this topic, we can help determine how granular you want to be with your CMDB.  This is a business – not technical – decision.

A strong Configuration Management process should have three things:

  • Defined process with roles and responsibilities identified. Every user or participant in the Configuration Management process needs to understand what is expected of them.  A RACI should be developed, and role-specific training provided.
  • Defined metrics strategically selected for your organization. Yes, most ITSM tools will have metrics in place.  However, every organization needs to ask the right questions to understand if the straight-out-of-the-box metrics align with the strategic initiatives and requirements of the organization.
  • Scope of CI Classes and Attributes your company wants to track. Each CI Class and Attribute tracked comes at a cost.  The cost comes from the tool and personnel to keep the CMDB up-to-date.  These Attributes come in two types: discoverable and non-discoverable.  The discoverable ones will be populated via discovery.  The non-discoverable Attributes are the ones that will determine the success of your CMDB.  These will include CI Class Owner and all people data.

Service Mapping and Application Portfolio Management also fall into our scope of expertise.  Like Configuration Management, many are too reliant on the ITSM tools.  Service Mapping is more of an art than a science.  How can a tool know your organization well enough to split applications into services?  It cannot.  Your organization has too much to lose if this is done poorly.  Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are based on the services defined.

While there are endless technical service providers to help your ServiceNow, BMC Remedy or Helix, or  CMDB by another ITSM tool provider, Service Management Leadership is the one to help you mature and remediate your CMDB, yielding value for your business customers.  We take a program-level view of the CMDB, knowing how it works for different ITSM tools and ensuring you get the best outcomes from it.

Contact us today for an initial consultation about how we can add value to your next CMDB initiative.

Click below to see a short video on our Configuration Management (CMDB) Services