The CMDB/CMS in the Digital Age: More Present Than You Might Think
July 09, 2018

Dennis Drogseth
EMA

Share this

Insofar as news and media comes and goes in waves, rising and falling on areas of attention that sometimes engender self-created storms (positive and negative), the configuration management database (CMDB) is currently residing in a valley, not a crest. As tech headlines flash across my email, at least, the CMDB, and its federated equivalent, the configuration management system (CMS), are almost never mentioned. And yet when I do research, dialog with IT, or support our consulting team, the CMDB/CMS many times still remains paramount.

Why the Disconnection?

To be honest I don't have all the answers, but some of it has to do with how markets get defined — rigidly and academically — so that attention often gets directed to only a subset of what's needed, and then quickly becomes frozen in time. This did a great deal to hinder the CMDB's evolution and effectiveness, and still puts it in a far smaller box than it deserves to be in.

Another reason is that when industry attention peaked a decade ago, in many respects CMDB technology wasn't up to the task. This factor was exacerbated by a general trend to see the CMDB vision as a monolithic answer to every possible IT concern, without attention to use case, relevance, and currency. As such many IT organizations imagined that putting all their data in one place would, in and of itself, turn out to be transformative, something like buying a car without knowing how to drive or even how to fill it with gas.

And finally, all the attention given to cloud, microservices and agile has at times seemed to challenge the validity of the CMDB, in particular given the need for dynamic currency.

Why the CMDB/CMS is More Present Than You Might Think

But as I hope to make clear in a webinar on July 24, the CMDB, the CMS, and effective discovery and dependency mapping (DDM) are actually more relevant now than ever. CMDB/CMS/DDM technology has evolved considerably in the last decade, and is continuing to evolve, to become far more dynamic, and in some cases truly real-time.

And where do these technologies play?

■ Collectively these technologies can become lynch pins for more effective change, asset, performance, and capacity management.

■ They can help accelerate DevOps effectiveness, including pre-production provisioning, managing cloud compliance issues, and ensuring that operations and development really are on the same team.

■ In recent EMA research, the CMDB/CMS was shown to be a valuable asset in unifying security and operations teams for more efficient SecOps initiatives.

■ And both in EMA consulting and multiple aspects of EMA research, investments in the CMDB/CMS and DDM have become pivotal for effective cloud migration and optimization of cloud resources on an ongoing basis over time.

A Few More Proof Points

Here are just a few specifics taken in large part from EMA's consulting practice. When asked about "why invest in CMDB/CMS and DDM," top priorities included:

■ Decreases time to resolve technical problems

■ Breaks down barriers between technology silos

■ Allows automation and advanced analytics to be implemented

■ Facilitates an enterprise IT dashboard

■ Reduces long-term costs of IT services

And some specific examples of benefits taken as well from EMA's history with CMDB/CMS deployments:

■ US Financial Services company reduced MTTR by 70% by providing consistent and holistic services map with asset and inventories.

■ US MSP able to reconcile disputes regarding infrastructure spends. $9M spend over 3 years reduced by $2.5M by better understanding inventory.

■ US Healthcare organization reduced MTTR, downtime, and outages by 40% by implementing a CMDB. Savings returned 300% ROI over several years.

And from EMA's 2017 research on IT service management:

■ Those who were "extremely successful" in their ITSM-related initiatives were twice as likely to own a CMDB/CMS than "somewhat successful" or "unsuccessful."

■ They were also three times more likely to federate.

■ They were considerably more aggressive in exploring CMDB/CMS-related use cases.

■ They were seven times more likely to have plans to associate discovery and dependency mapping with the CMDB/CMS.

■ And they were significantly more likely to have deployed DDM capabilities.

So on to the Webinar

These are just a few examples of data I will be sharing in the webinar on July 24 referenced above. Beyond sharing more specifics of how CMDB/CMS can and has achieved value, I'll also provide an introduction to our deployment methodology achieved over the years through our consulting practice. Looking forward to your thoughts and comments.

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
Share this

The Latest

September 21, 2018

The performance gap between customer experience leaders and runners-up is widening, with those on top being disproportionately rewarded. Gartner said organizations must ignore three myths in order to achieve a superior customer experience ...

September 19, 2018

This summer marked three years since Microsoft announced Windows 10, its first "Windows as a service" Operating System (OS). Windows 10 brought with it a new Software-as-a-Service-like approach to updates, moving Microsoft and the millions of environments that depend on it, more frequent, bundled updates. Whether you believe the shift was for better or worse, one thing is certain, this "as a service" model is a natural progression for today's operating systems. That is why Windows 10 is changing not only how frequently updates are pushed out, but inherently how technology is purchased, how people consume it, and perhaps most importantly, how IT is run. Let's take a look at how Windows 10 has impacted these three key areas over the past three years ...

September 18, 2018

To celebrate IT Professionals Day 2018 (this year on September 18), the SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a "Tech PROactive" world where technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do absolutely anything ...

September 17, 2018

Are digital war rooms obsolete because they're just a place for managers of siloed business units to find someone else to blame for a critical IT event such as a security breach? Far from it. Enterprises find these emergency response teams just as important, if not more important, than ever ...

September 14, 2018

The goal of EMA's latest research was to look at how advanced IT analytics (AIA) — EMA's term for primarily what today is best known as "AIOps" — is being deployed. Here are the remaining four of my seven personal takeaways ...

September 13, 2018

OK, the data is in! The goal of EMA's latest research was to look at how advanced IT analytics (AIA) — or EMA's term for primarily what today is best known as "AIOps" — is being deployed. Here are seven of my own personal takeaways ...

September 12, 2018

By maximizing the knowledge of end-to-end quality of service (QoS) using virtualized network functions (VNFs), the SD-WAN (edge) gateway establishes a suitable connection with minimal latency and maximum performance so that entire organizations can make the most of the Office 365 application suite ...

September 11, 2018

Market exuberance for Office 365 has inspired business mandates to adopt the cloud-hosted collaboration and productivity suite without regards to the underlying chaos. While multi-location organizations are virtualizing, operating models haven’t necessarily changed. This partial transformation that excludes automation and simplification of the network puts Office 365 deployments (and other software-as-a-service offerings) in danger of failing ...

September 10, 2018

Most organizations are undergoing a digital transformation that directly impacts how they do business, yet 70 percent of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, and 80 percent of employees do not have the skills needed for their current and future roles, according to Gartner ...

September 06, 2018

In a survey within the VMware User Group community, Blue Medora took a closer look at how various metric collection strategies and access to Dimensional Data impacts IT success. We started with one question: How important is your monitoring integration strategy? ...