Strong foundations for every IT business
While it may be cliched, the reality is that without a high quality Configuration Management Database (CMDB), service catalogue and effective asset management practices, your IT business is unlikely to be as effective as it could be.
IT assets, effective lifecycles and the management of their configuration is critical to efficient operation of any IT business. Knowing what you have, where it is, who is looking after it, when the service contract and warranty run out and the operational details, patch level, etc are essential to be able to be efficient in managing your IT business.
Many organisations struggle to get started with their CMDB and service catalogue, or have one that isn’t in great shape. This means that every other part of their IT business has more work to do. Because before you start anything, you have to double check. It means that you are potentially having issues managing expiration of agreements, certificates, managing patches etc.
The keys to remediate or improve a CMDB and Service Catalogue, are:
Have a clear plan in place
- While it sounds obvious, you need a plan that matures processes around asset management as a whole. This includes CMDB, but also includes how you manage contracts, warranties, finances and third party services agreements. Your plan needs to address these and put in place a maturity model for all of them.
Build a good design that fits your business but is largely industry best practice
- Implementing the CMDB from out of the box sounds like a good plan and it really is. Getting your configuration items into the system in a standard format generally provides a lot of good functionality. Equally important is the services design. This needs to meet your technical needs, but most importantly needs to align with your business expectations. Getting this right simplifies resourcing, costing, demand and solution management.
Don’t try and boil the ocean
- Implementation takes time. A good plan and a good design will allow you to build it out over time. Secure value quickly and then build on it as you go. We recommend you start with key high priority asset classes and add further classes once you have verified the data.
Use the right products to help
- While ServiceNow has Discovery, there are a range of tool sets which can be used to help automatically populate or contribute data into your CMDB. entrago can work with you to understand your requirements and select the product and processes that are going to best meet your needs.
Embed good processes
- On day one you won’t have all the data in there, but the key is to build and lock in processes that continuously make your data better, more accurate and more reliable. This include commissioning and decommissioning processes, but also change and planning processes.
Make people responsible
- Individuals within your team or service providers need to take ownership of sections of the CMDB. Ideally this includes owners at the service, subservice and CI class level.
Measure your success
- Right from the beginning understand the value of a good CMDB and service catalogue, measure at the beginning and keep measuring. Then measure performance improvements and capture the value that you are creating. This helps keep people focussed on doing the right thing in future.