This topic describes how the configuration management database (CMDB)
fits within the broader configuration management system (CMS)
. According to ITIL V3, the CMS is comprised of databases and tools that manage configuration data for a service provider. The CMS is the foundation that supports a complete service lifecycle across IT
The goals of the CMS are to:
- Maximize the value to the business
- Manage business-critical services
- Ensure compliances with governance and internal security policies
- Enable automation to maximize efficiencies
- Allow for control of assets
A CMS may include various IT management tools and databases, such as the asset database, a change database management system, and a CMDB.
Suggested read - Business Impact of CMS – Complete Guide
The Single Point of Reference:
The CMDB provides a single point of reference, making it the definitive reference mechanism for all IT decisions by providing business-aware visibility into the dependencies among business processes, users, applications, and underlying IT infrastructure. This raises the awareness level for operators of the status of real-time business services, such as e-mail availability, Web site performance, and so on. The leading CMDB solutions are all built to support a federated CMDB approach, meaning that not all configuration data must reside in a single physical database. Instead, the primary systems and data repositories remain the authoritative source for information, while the CMDB becomes the reference for where this information lives and how to access it. ITIL
V3 now recognizes the importance of this federated approach and recommends that it be a core part of the structure of a CMS. With federation, core data is stored in the CMDB, which is linked to other, more detailed data stores. This linkage provides a CMDB access to all configuration items (CIs). Hence, the CMS includes the CMDB or multiple CMDBs, and through federation, access to all primary data stores and their respective contents. By adding key functions, such as analytics, dashboards, and asset management, the CMS extends the value of the CMDB across IT.
Influencing Cultural and Organizational Change:
An important point to keep in the mind as you start down the path of building a CMDB is that any successful implementation of process and tools requires a cultural change. One of the most important keys to this is selling the benefits of the CMDB — not just benefits to the organization, but benefits to each individual or group impacted by the change.
For different people and groups, these benefits will vary. For the service desk, the benefits of a CMDB are greater visibility of all the components and relationships that make up the infrastructure, which in turn enables faster resolution of the incidents, less stress, fewer errors, and so on. For financial managers, a CMDB allows greater accuracy in accounting for all the costs of IT, and enables calculations of TCO, ROI, etc. For the service level manager, it means visibility into all the components and relationships that make up an end-to-end service. For the business, an effective CMDB results in greater efficiency and effectiveness of IT, this in turn means increased agility in meeting the ever-changing business requirements.
Suggested read - Guide for Successful Project Management Using CMDB
Selling benefits is only the beginning, however. As ITIL points out, just changing IT services isn’t enough to transform an organization. In the end, the organization will evolve in ways that allow it to use the changed IT services.
Communication both within IT and between IT and the business can improve dramatically with the implementation of a CMDB. In fact, the CMDB should become an integration platform that ties together multiple processes and tools. The organization should put a comprehensive communication plan into place to assist in managing the cultural changes.
You can identify how the CMDB will impact individuals and groups, and you can facilitate a successful transition by encouraging involvement, acknowledging the emotional cycle of transition, and so on.
Any maturity assessment of process and tools should include an assessment of the people, not only in terms of competencies but also in terms of their attitudes and behaviors. The information gathered from this assessment should then be used to manage the cultural change. The requirement for improved documentation can change the culture from information hoarding to information sharing. This requirement can have a significant impact on the culture.
Learning As You Go:
Your organization, like all others, will learn as you go. As your organization matures, you will continue to build on that learning through CSI. Without implementing a CMDB, no organization can grow past a certain level of maturity. There will always be growing pains, but the results will be more than worth it.
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Author : SiddharthPareek