By Chris Gordon, ITSM Managing Consultant, Logicalis US

Welcome to the first of many blogs in a series that gives IT leaders a better understanding into the realm of possibilities enabled by an effective IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy. Starting today with the value of building a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), these blogs will offer several ITSM best practices. Employing them can help you innovate and improve your IT processes and strategies so that they align to the needs of the Business.

In the Service Defined Enterprise, it is important for IT to provide value-driven Services for the Business to consume. It is also critical for IT to gain full insight into all infrastructure components that support their customers in order to deliver Service faster and cheaper than ever before.

A well-designed CMDB provides a central source of data to track hardware and software Assets as well as the relationship each Asset has with all the IT Services you provide. The CMDB also tracks all the Business users that rely on each IT Service.

Building a CMDB proves very useful across three foundational IT tasks:

  • Incident management for when things break or when you need to restore Services or search the Knowledge
  • Change management for when you want to proactively plan infrastructure changes or application code releases that impact users or interrupt Services.
  • Problem management to analyze trends and recognize reoccurring issues with Configuration Items and to build a strong Known Error Database that includes available workarounds and solutions to resolve Incidents faster.

An effective CMBD not only enables IT Asset inventory management but also serves as an inter-relational database. This helps IT understand the hierarchy of high-level Services down to the underlying infrastructure that runs those Services as well as the users of each Service and the dependencies among the components.

Moving Beyond Simply Keeping the Lights On

IT can thus proactively identify issues and establish standards. IT can also gain immediate access to information when troubleshooting problems—it’s all centralized in one federated, “golden” source of information. With such information at their fingertips, IT can also learn from prior Incident occurrences. Ultimately, a CMDB helps go beyond simply “keeping the lights on” to the point where IT can ensure that all IT Services benefit the Business in the most optimized and effective way possible.

For more information on ITSM strategies and best practices, contact Chris Gordon at Chris.Gordon@us.logicalis.com. And be sure to watch for our next blog—10 Things to Consider When Building a Configuration Management Database.