Many IT organizations are challenged by a lack of visibility into service performance—whether delivery or support—across their organization. That absence of visibility often leads to erroneous assumptions and reactive decisions based on emotional intensity and experience related to a speculative context. These reactive decisions commonly lead to a never-ending fire-fighting cycle compounded by limited transparency and contextual reference, making it difficult to deliver new, innovative solutions to the business.
Sirius experience indicates that IT organizations that are able to establish meaningful, contextual visibility to their service infrastructure are more likely to successfully break this fire-fighting cycle. Sirius identifies the configuration management database (CMDB) as a key component enabling this visibility.
As you might expect, configuration management and establishing a valued CMDB is not a “flip the switch” discipline. Sirius has encountered numerous organizations that have implemented a discovery technology and populated their CMDB with thousands of configuration items (CIs), only to realize that the information is not useful or trusted. The CMDB needs to be thought-out and planned, incorporating a balanced blend of process and technology applied by properly defined roles responsible for execution and accountable for outcomes.
Experience has shown that IT organizations seeking to jump-start their CMDB simply by applying a discovery technology without proper planning soon find themselves frustrated by poor data quality and limited improvement in visibility or transparency. These frustrations in turn often result in a lack of confidence and minimal use of the CMDB, providing little to no return on their investment in the discovery technology.
Properly planning your configuration management involves much more than just selecting and implementing a discovery technology to populate your CMDB. Sirius recommends a pragmatic, comprehensive approach beginning with a practical vision of the desired capabilities of your CMDB, as well as an understanding of the shortcomings of your current CMDB. Knowing where you are and where you want to go are essential for building your plan to get there.
Because a configuration management program can be very broad and deep, it requires strong and continual governance to ensure that meaningful data is provided in a timely manner. Industry best practice related to configuration management governance (which is supported by Sirius experience) is to establish a structure that includes the following key elements:
- A configuration management data and technology plan
- Defined methods for populating and maintaining health
- Demonstrating value and continual improvement
Our new Sirius white paper defines and details the roles of these items in a successful configuration management strategy. For more information about the importance of establishing a comprehensive configuration management strategy, speak with your Sirius representative or contact us.