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Harness Configuration Management Superpowers

Build a service configuration management practice around the IT services that are most important to the organization.

  • Build a configuration management database (CMDB): You need to implement a CMDB, populate it with records and relationships, and integrate it with discovery and management tools.
  • Identify the benefits of CMDB: Too many CMDB projects fail because IT tries to collect everything. Base your data model on the desired use cases.
  • Define roles and responsibilities: Keeping data accurate and updated is difficult. Identify who will be responsible for helping.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Keep the scope small and focused. The focus on a critical system or application will help you make the case to the business, and this singular focus will allow you to gain expertise before expanding the scope.
  • Start with out-of-the-box (OOTB). Most CMDBs have classes and attributes defined OOTB. Take advantage of those defaults – it will save you implementation time and make it easier to update your tool.
  • Rely on existing documentation. Use your existing topology and process documentation when building your CMDB SOP. If you don’t have the processes and practices documented, then focus there instead of on a CMDB.

Impact and Result

  • Supercharge mission-critical IT services. Reinforcing a revenue-generating or high-priority IT system makes it easier to get buy-in from the business.
  • Empower core IT processes such as quality management, asset management, and service performance measurement. Configuration management is about more than just doing change management more effectively.
  • Harness the power of robots. Create a plan to automate CMDB data population – manually populating data is expensive, threatens accuracy, and forbids currency.

Harness Configuration Management Superpowers Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should build a CMDB, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

2. Configuration Management Data Model

Identify which configuration items and relationships you plan to capture in your CMDB and which attributes you will collect.

3. Configuration Record Updates

Embed CMDB updates into each component’s lifecycle.

4. Service Configuration Management Roadmap

Take an Agile approach to building your CMDB.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Lease Crutcher Lewis

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Tufts Health Plan

Guided Implementation

8/10

$33,175

20

Tufts Health Plan

Guided Implementation

8/10

$30,731

55

American Honda Motor

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

University of Exeter

Workshop

8/10

$174K

10

Griffith University

Guided Implementation

10/10

$29,391

20

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A


Configuration Management

Notice: This course will be updated in Fall 2021.

A CMDB is only as valuable as the process it supports.
This course makes up part of the Infrastructure & Operations Certificate.

Now Playing: Academy: Configuration Management | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 6
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Valence Howden, Research Director, CIO Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP Research and Advisory

Onsite Workshop: Harness Configuration Management Superpowers

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Create the Service Configuration Management Strategy

The Purpose

  • Define the scope of your SCM project.
  • Design the implementation project to be resilient to fluctuating resourcing.
  • Identify project and operational roles and responsibilities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Designed an Agile approach to building a CMDB.
  • Identified the roles and responsibilities for building and maintaining a CMDB.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Brainstorm challenges that you have with your data today.

1.2

Prioritize services.

1.3

Brainstorm and prioritize use cases.

1.4

Identify your data needs for these services and practices.

1.5

Document current sources of that data.

1.6

Record desired reports, dashboards, and analytics.

  • Use cases and desired benefits.
  • Phases for your Service Configuration Management project.
1.7

Identify roles involved with building the CMDB.

1.8

Build an SCM responsibility matrix.

  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Completed Service Configuration Management Project Charter.

Module 2: Build a Configuration Data Model

The Purpose

  • Build a data model around the desired use cases.
  • Identify the data sources for populating the CMDB.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identified which CIs and relationships will be captured in the CMDB.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

List the types of configuration items (CIs).

2.2

Follow the packet to map out the in-scope services.

2.3

Document relationships.

  • List of configuration items and relationships.
2.4

Build data model diagrams.

  • Configuration data model diagram.
2.5

Build a high-level CI lifecycle framework.

2.6

Build a list of CI and relationship statuses.

2.7

Identify attribute and data sources.

  • High priority statuses and attributes.
  • Data sources for the Configuration Management Database.

Module 3: Build an Approach to CMDB Updates and Data Validation

The Purpose

  • Integrate CMDB updates into existing practices and processes.
  • Identify how and when CIs will be captured.
  • Develop an approach to validating configuration records.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Built a right-sized approach to configuration record updates and data validation.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Identify when each type of CI will be created and retired in the CMDB.

3.2

Identify how a CI’s attributes will change.

3.3

Identify how relationships will be created and modified.

3.4

Institute configuration control and baselines where appropriate.

3.5

Build and update processes for adding, removing, and modifying CIs.

  • Interfaces between Service Configuration Management and other practices and processes.
3.6

Build a plan for auditing and spot checking into the SCM practice.

  • Audit and data validation plan for the Configuration Management Database.
  • Completed Service Configuration Management Standard Operating Procedures.

Module 4: Build a Service Configuration Management Roadmap

The Purpose

Determine next steps for the SCM implementation project.

Key Benefits Achieved

Developed a project roadmap.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Identify policy initiatives.

  • Configuration Management Policy
4.2

Identify roadmap items.

4.3

Organize initiatives into phases and a timeline.

  • Project Roadmap
4.4

Build a communication plan.

  • Communication Plan

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 12 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Service Configuration Management Strategy
  • Call #1 - Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
  • Call #2 - Prioritize services and use cases.
  • Call #3 - Identify desired reporting and analytics.
  • Call #4 - Define roles and responsibilities.

Guided Implementation #2 - Configuration Management Data Model
  • Call #1 - Identify CI types and classes.
  • Call #2 - Decide in-scope relationships.
  • Call #3 - Determine CI statuses and attributes.

Guided Implementation #3 - Configuration Record Updates
  • Call #1 - Identify practices that will create, remove, and modify configuration records.
  • Call #2 - Discuss configuration baselines.
  • Call #3 - Build a data validation and audit plan.

Guided Implementation #4 - Service Configuration Management Roadmap
  • Call #1 - Discuss CM policy needs.
  • Call #2 - Build a project roadmap.

Author(s)

Ken Weston

Contributors

  • Brett Johnson, Senior Consultant, VMware
  • Darin Ohde, Director of Service Delivery, GreatAmerica Financial Services
  • Jim Slick, President/CEO, Slick Cyber Systems
  • Larry Marks, Reviewer, ISACA New Jersey
  • Yev Khovrenkov, Senior Consultant, Solvera Solutions
  • 11 anonymous contributors
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