Successful CMDB implementation in six steps

Successful CMDB implementation in six steps

The value of a well-implemented Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is undisputed. It requires a clear plan on how the database will be used and maintained within the organization. Below is a list of six steps that you should have in place to ensure the success of your CMDB implementation best practices to get the maximum value from your configuration management activities.

Step 1. Determine business objectives

What problems are you trying to solve by implementing a CMDB? Defining clear business objectives for Change and Configuration Management is crucial. It helps understand the needed configuration, its source, users, and the importance of data quality to the organization.

Having a clear set of business objectives before starting implementation will enable you to deliver value more quickly. Also, help you to avoid the adoption challenges that IT organizations often face after deploying something new. 

Step 2. CMDB discovery tools

The second step of CMDB implementation best practices includes the following. To manage IT change effectively, you need efficient discovery tools. It isn’t practical to manually update configuration data when systems or dependencies change. Robust IT discovery tools such as the one Virima offers, enable you, through the use of installed agents, to see everything in your IT environment. It helps you identify changes as soon as they occur. Also, helps you capture configuration data that you’ll need for security and compliance activities.

Step 3. ITSM system integration

The third step of CMDB implementation best practices: A CMDB is simply a database – a place to store information. Your IT Service Management (ITSM) system offers tools, workflows, and interfaces. These enable users to interact with configuration data and convert it into tangible business value.

Whether opting for an out-of-the-box CMDB or enhancing it with Virima’s CMDB, integration is crucial. Properly integrate your CMDB database and ITSM system for optimal functionality.

If you don’t, you are at risk of losing capabilities for data analysis, real-time business insights, and workflow integration. The capabilities of your CMDB support and enhance various ITSM processes, including incident, problem, change, release, and others. Strong integration between your ITSM system and CMDB database can make these processes run more effectively and efficiently.

(Also read, A CMDB Without Discovery is Just a Database)

Step 4. Equip data owners/data stewards with the right tools

The fourth step of CMDB implementation best practices: Configuration management data for your organization is continuously changing. Every time you add, remove, or change a system, update your configuration data to maintain accuracy. The primary cause of most failed CMDB implementations is not system deficiencies but the failure to assign ownership of configuration data to the right people within the organization.

  1. CMDB implementation best practices includes to assign two groups or individuals to each piece of data
  2. Also, CMDB implementation best practices includes a data owner, typically a business stakeholder, who owns the source system of the incoming data.

A data steward who is either a business analyst or an IT staff member is responsible for keeping the configuration data up to date. 

Data owners and data stewards have shared accountability for your data quality. They can help you measure quality, highlight gaps/issues in your data, and provide updates when needed. 

CMDB automation is an important part of enabling your data owners and data stewards to do their jobs effectively. These staff members need to spend their time focusing on the quality of data and making decisions based on the data, not performing mechanical update processes in your CMDB implementation. Automated IT discovery and integrations with configuration item data sources are a big productivity enhancer.

(Also read, Intelligent Automation: the solution to your IT skills shortage)

Step 5. Data management and retention plan

The fifth step of CMDB implementation best practices: Populating data into your CMDB database is important, but archiving and purging obsolete data is equally critical to the success of your configuration management initiative. One of the most significant quality issues that ITSM organizations report is old configuration records for systems that are no longer present in the IT environment or are no longer used by business processes. 

CMDB data follows a data lifecycle, just like your IT systems follow either a hardware lifecycle or application lifecycle. When the IT systems are retired or no longer used, their associated configuration records in the CMDB also need to be archived and/or purged depending on your company’s policies. If you want your CMDB implementation to have a high level of data quality, you need to establish a data management and retention plan, which includes a set of tools, processes, and policies for how to get data out of your CMDB when it is no longer needed.

(Also read, Your CMDB: Your ITSM-ITOM Connection)

Step 6. CMDB: data visualization

The last step of CMDB implementation best practices: Even small IT environments are too complex to understand in rows and columns. Data visualization tools are essential for making sense of the CMDB data. Configuration data is a digital representation of your physical, virtual, and cloud IT environments. It is the relationships between configuration items that describe how individual IT components fit together into systems and services used by your business functions. 

Dependency data is complex, and the easiest, fastest, and most valuable way for your ITSM staff to use it is through business service maps that depict end-to-end dependency chains. Without visualization tools, you will find it difficult to harvest the full value potential from your CMDB implementation.

Your CMDB data and the configuration data contain some of the most valuable resources your IT team has access to. Configuration data is what makes all your other ITSM processes work effectively, it helps you manage risks, and it gives you the information you need to optimize your company’s operational processes. 

The steps discussed above will help you maximize the value of your CMDB investment and set your configuration management processes up for ongoing success. 

(Also read, The CMDB as a Source of Truth)

Learn more about these steps by watching our webinar, 6 steps to CMDB Success.

Get started with Virima and get CMDB implementation best practices in action.

Virima features can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users.

To get started, contact us today. Our experts will guide you on CMDB implementation best practices, and provide information on our past implementations and information on CMDB. Schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!

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