CMDB/CMS Use Cases: Change Management and Change Impact Analysis
July 20, 2011
Dennis Drogseth - EMA
Share this

Change Management and Change Impact Analysis are at the very heart of the CMDB/CMS value set. This includes change management for impact analysis of changes to Configuration Items (CIs) and their associated services, as well as change automation for activating changes (release) management. Many vendors favored one over the other, although Value Leaders did well in both. This category in the radar also included capacity planning and infrastructure optimization in support of service delivery -- an area often requested but until recently not largely supported through CMDB/CMS initiatives.

Other use cases for change management include:

Governance and Compliance: Managing change to support security-related, industry-related and other compliance-driven audits can be even more costly and labor intensive than asset-specific audits. One of EMA’s consulting clients estimates that a CMDB in hindsight could have saved them nearly $5 million in consulting costs.

Service Availability and Performance: EMA estimates that roughly 60% of IT service disruptions come from the impacts of planned or unplanned changes across the application infrastructure.

Data Center Consolidation: With the rise of virtualization in the data center, planning new options for data center consolidation is definitely on the uptake. Mergers and acquisitions can also factor in as a driver for data center consolidation.

Disaster Recovery: Automating change in case of disaster is one of the more pervasive drivers for CMDB/CMS initiatives.

Facilities management and Green IT: Extending the role of IT governance to areas external to traditional IT boundaries (facilities, power, etc.) requires core capabilities for capturing CMS-related interdependencies and exploiting the "logical and physical" extensions of CMS modeling.

Support for Provisioning New Application Services: This can include cloud-related service provisioning potentially via service catalogs and blueprints, as well as more traditionally developed (in-house developed) applications. The CMDB/CMS role in supporting Dev Ops is just now beginning to take on new life -- although it’s not brand new. I’ve seen examples of this use case going back as many as five years.

Figure 3: Change Management and Change Impact Analysis pose a greater foundational set of insights into interdependencies, and so application dependency mapping, configuration, asset management and capacity management are all in black. In many respects, it’s the heart of what CMDB/CMS capabilities are all about.

The following vendors were Value Leaders in EMA’s CMDB/CMS radar:


Axios received the highest overall score in the radar for Change Management. Among the things that stood out most about assyst were its strong support for third-party integration in discovery combined with a staging area; and its proven integrations with third-party application dependency mapping solutions for service impact analysis -- including those from VMware, BMC, and IBM. Axios also won an award as “Most Balanced CMDB/CMS functionality” across all three use cases.


N(i)2 lead dramatically in Architecture and Integration and Functionality, and was also significantly ahead of average in Deployment and Administration. One way to get a feel for N(i)2’s unique depth are the change management histories it keeps beyond traditional IT technology boundaries—such as: slot occupancy in chassis; rack mounting position, power management, WAN circuit, etc. Although it is highly applicable to enterprises, N(i)2 remains best understood to date by service providers. N(i)2 also won the award for “Most Innovative CMDB/CMS Deployment.”


Numara FootPrints scored well above the average in Change Management, leading in Cost Advantage, Administration and Deployment, with scores just slightly under in Functionality and Architecture and Integration. According to Numara, Change Management is its fastest ROI and this was borne out by customer interviews as well. However, it should be pointed out that across the broader FootPrints family, change management and lifecycle asset management are so closely intertwined.


ServiceNow significantly outperformed the vendor average in all areas. It received best overall score in Deployment and Administration, in the top third for Cost Advantage. It was also well in the top half for Architecture and Integration, and in the top third for functionality. This shouldn’t be surprising given its rich automation capabilities (IT Process Automation or runbook plus workflow) combined with its Service-now Discovery and Dependency Mapping. As you may have noticed, this is the second time ServiceNow appears as a value leader.

SunView Software

SunView Software’s ChangeGear scored meaningfully above average in Deployment and Administration, Functionality, and Architecture and Integration. SunView was dramatically ahead in Change Management in Cost Advantage. And indeed, no vendor in EMA’s radar was more optimally tuned to address Change Management in mid-tier and mid-tier enterprise environments where administration and cost are strong counterweights to functionality and architecture.

Click here to read the CMDB/CMS use cases for Asset Management and Financial Optimization

Click here to read the CMDB/CMS use cases for Service Impact Management

Share this

The Latest

April 19, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 5, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA discusses the network source of truth ...

April 18, 2024

A vast majority (89%) of organizations have rapidly expanded their technology in the past few years and three quarters (76%) say it's brought with it increased "chaos" that they have to manage, according to Situation Report 2024: Managing Technology Chaos from Software AG ...

April 17, 2024

In 2024 the number one challenge facing IT teams is a lack of skilled workers, and many are turning to automation as an answer, according to IT Trends: 2024 Industry Report ...

April 16, 2024

Organizations are continuing to embrace multicloud environments and cloud-native architectures to enable rapid transformation and deliver secure innovation. However, despite the speed, scale, and agility enabled by these modern cloud ecosystems, organizations are struggling to manage the explosion of data they create, according to The state of observability 2024: Overcoming complexity through AI-driven analytics and automation strategies, a report from Dynatrace ...

April 15, 2024

Organizations recognize the value of observability, but only 10% of them are actually practicing full observability of their applications and infrastructure. This is among the key findings from the recently completed 2024 Observability Pulse Survey and Report ...

April 11, 2024

Businesses must adopt a comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy, says Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT analyst research firm. This strategy is crucial to bridge the significant observability gap within today's complex IT infrastructures. The recommendation is particularly timely, given that 99% of enterprises are expanding their use of the Internet as a primary connectivity conduit while facing challenges due to the inefficiency of multiple, disjointed monitoring tools, according to Modern Enterprises Must Boost Observability with Internet Performance Monitoring, a new report from EMA and Catchpoint ...

April 10, 2024

Choosing the right approach is critical with cloud monitoring in hybrid environments. Otherwise, you may drive up costs with features you don’t need and risk diminishing the visibility of your on-premises IT ...

April 09, 2024

Consumers ranked the marketing strategies and missteps that most significantly impact brand trust, which 73% say is their biggest motivator to share first-party data, according to The Rules of the Marketing Game, a 2023 report from Pantheon ...

April 08, 2024

Digital experience monitoring is the practice of monitoring and analyzing the complete digital user journey of your applications, websites, APIs, and other digital services. It involves tracking the performance of your web application from the perspective of the end user, providing detailed insights on user experience, app performance, and customer satisfaction ...

April 04, 2024
Modern organizations race to launch their high-quality cloud applications as soon as possible. On the other hand, time to market also plays an essential role in determining the application's success. However, without effective testing, it's hard to be confident in the final product ...