The Role of Your CMDB for Effective IT Management

The role of your CMDB in effective IT management

Table of Contents

The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) contains information about the enterprise’s logical and physical assets. Modern service management platforms provide core functionality referenced by all service management practices, including business-facing rules. The CMDB management process uniquely positions itself for effective IT management through its core functionality. It holds information about configuration items (CIs) and their relationships to other CIs, including business services.

Practice and Process Support

In modern service management in larger, more mature organizations, the CMDB process makes sense as a source of truth. It plays a central role in supporting and automating service management activities. It will be helpful to look at the indented interrelationships of a few of these more closely:

  • Event management needs information about the affected configuration item, its history of changes/maintenance, and its relationship to other configuration items.
  • Incident management has similar data requirements. Both require information about support and escalation teams, asset usage, business criticality, recent changes, and known errors (problems).
  • Event and incident management both interface with problem management. This practice uses data to perform root cause analysis, understanding the history and relationships of an asset to identify the cause of repetitive incidents or events.
  • Change management requires information on maintenance windows, approvers, audit status, and asset usage. It ensures appropriate scheduling and provides risk information through understanding assets’ relationships with other CIs.
  • A common data store is necessary for audit and operational processes to house changes to applications. It also requires a mechanism to trigger automated deployment capabilities upon approval.
  • Information security management needs a way to make sense of the thousands of security vulnerabilities. Thus understanding which ones affect assets in the environment and how critical those assets are.

Process automation and predictive intelligence require a central hub for storing information used in various areas. When established and utilized as a single source of truth, the CMDB uniquely positions itself to become the data hub for these practices within the IT domain. This ensures streamlined processes and effective utilization of data for improved outcomes.

The CMDB management process can receive configuration data from various sources. It includes monitoring systems, discovery tools, application code repositories, Agile tools, local CMDBs, and others. However, several critical aspects enable the CMDB to be the needed source of truth.

Let’s find out several critical aspects that enable the CMDB to be the source of truth

  • The technical information in the CMDB needs to be automatically populated and updated whenever a change is made (authorized or not). When data is provided manually, the source of truth becomes questionable, as a typo can render it useless.
  • Service mapping is critical to success. This is because it provides the relationships that convert an asset management listing into a configuration management system. The relationship of a CI to a business service or application is crucial data for issue prioritization. It also aids in understanding the impact and use of a CI in its environment.
  • Real-time visualizations provide more insight into the CMDB. It does visually representing the organization’s infrastructure and the dependencies between all managed devices. Also, it allows IT staff to quickly understand where an issue might be. Finally, restore service outages quicker and with fewer people involved.
  • Processes and adoption are needed to ensure the availability and accuracy of non-discoverable data required to support services.
  • Integration to change management processes may be vital for keeping the non-discoverable data accurate over time, auditing changes to technical information discovered against authorized changes, and investigating the reason for data changes that do not correspond to known, authorized changes.

These criteria for making the CMDB IT asset management a source of truth are critical for having data that is trustworthy and are a valid reason many CMDB initiatives have failed to become this source of truth: when data is manually maintained, and people find differences in the data between tools, the CMDB is no longer trustworthy and thus, no longer a source of truth.

The need for a source of truth that everyone can use is pretty clear but worth calling out

  • For efficiency, the organization should use the data hub tool for everyday work and make it available to all IT staff.
  • The old practice of a technical silo where one individual has access to all the data repositories always failed to live up to the organization’s needs because only the silo had access to the data making it challenging for others to access.
  • The discovery of the data must be automated and trustworthy, so everyone is working with the same data; if not, people will draw different conclusions.
  • An effective root cause analysis and risk assessment require everyone to work from the same data set.
  • The data must always be accurate; if not, it will lead to incorrect decisions and loss of faith in the data.

The CMDB management process works as a highly embedded tool in every application within a service management platform. When it is correctly installed into the system, automated, and maintained, CMDB meets all of the criteria needed to be the source of truth on which daily decisions are made and promotes efficient data collation.

Financial Management

Another aspect of the CMDB management process as a source of truth and data point that allows correlation is the use of the CMDB as a central hub for the financial management of services. Suppose time tracking and other financial information are stored in the “tickets” within the service management platform; it’s possible to get an accurate picture of costs to support, operate, repair, and maintain all of the configuration items used by a service. While some mechanism needs to be developed to apportion shared costs, this can be made possible when the CMDB is the central source of information.

As you start to look at the CMDB’s IT assets management potential from this standpoint, it becomes far easier to make a business case for spending time and money building and then maintaining the CMDB tool. With the demand for high availability and service performance seen in most IT organizations, it’s almost more a question of “why are you not using the CMDB as a source of truth for service management” rather than “why should it be?”

Choose Virima CMDB for better IT management

Virima CMDB is the most intuitive and powerful solution for managing IT assets, services, and dependencies. It leverages automated discovery to populate and maintain accurate data, while dashboards and ViVID Services Maps provide insightful CMDB visualizations of asset relationships, service dependencies, and availability status. With Virima CMDB, you can:

  • Monitor the state of your device inventory
  • Track the status of current or future projects through a simple dashboard
  • Determine which devices are likely to fail in advance
  • Ensure that all critical systems are running smoothly
  • Improve the efficiency of your change management processes by automating the evaluation of impact and prioritization of changes.
  • Reduce time spent on manual data entry by providing a single point of access to all your critical IT assets.
  • Gain greater visibility into IT infrastructure components with up-to-date information at every level of your organization.

Want to know more about what Virima CMDB can do for your organization? Schedule a demo today with our team to find out!

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