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By Chris Gordon, ITSM Managing Consultant, Logicalis US

A key component of any ITSM strategy is the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). If your company is about to build one, or if you need to refine an existing CMDB, here are the top 10 considerations to ensure success:

  1. Identify key stakeholders and make sure they understand the benefits and the goals of the project.
  1. Secure stakeholder buy-in so they will be supportive when you need information or acceptance when establishing Governance and integration points.
  1. Rely on a phased approach—you can’t build a CMDB all at once. Start by building a Mapping of Configuration Items (CIs) that can effectively demonstrate the value CMDB provides. This helps maintain stakeholder buy-in.
  1. Understand the processes/dependencies for where CMDB data ties into critical systems. This helps prioritize Incidents and can enable faster triage assessment or Service restoration.
  1. Build the right level of Governance around the CMDB data model in a way that makes sense and follows the “gold standard.”
  1. Create standards for Asset discovery and the reconciliation process for maintaining accurate data within a federated model. You also need to ensure data is refreshed regularly.
  1. Qualify and validate any “trusted data sources” that help populate the CMDB so you know the source contains accurate information.
  1. Establish the right level of class hierarchy and attributes of data when mapping Services or important Assets or CIs to populate the CMDB. This involves setting the Governance and ownership around the information you need to manage the Assets.
  1. Understand the basics of importing, merging and reconciling data in the CMDB, particularly for data that comes in without an automated discovery solution.

10. Build a portfolio of Services that Business users can subscribe to in a Service                              catalog that also includes documentation on the operational processes used to                        deliver and support those Services.

The first three steps typically set the stage for success in relation to the final seven steps. If you properly identify all the stakeholders and then secure and maintain their buy-in, you will likely find a way to work your way through any speed bumps that pop up further down the road.

Strategically Aligning IT with Business Priorities

Taking these steps towards building out a CMDB will enable smarter tactical ability to share knowledge across Level 1-2-3 support and drive a more pro-active approach for Service Delivery and Service Operations. IT will also be able to align and rapidly mature Asset Management, Service Level Management, Change Management and other key areas that will swing the momentum in favor of being less reactive and more strategically aligned with Business priorities.

For more information on ITSM strategies and best practices, contact Chris Gordon at And be sure to watch for our next blog—Aligning Your Organization Process for DevOps.

This is the second in a series of blogs that gives IT leaders a better understanding into the realm of possibilities enabled by an effective IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy. Each of these blogs offers ITSM best practices that can help you innovate and improve your IT processes and strategies so that they align to the needs of the Business.

To view of all of Chris Gordon’s ITSM blogs published to date, visit