CMDB and ITSM – Deploy for Success

With insufficient data, businesses are left without any way to show value or gain ITSM process benefits and improvements (Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Service Level Management). In addition to frustration, problems finding and identifying key information can also result in:

  • Delays in service restoration and missed SLA’s due to poor configuration item data quality.
  • Missed opportunities to automate manual processes.
  • Increased risks for outages caused by change-related incidents.
  • Insufficient data quality translating into unreliable reporting and metrics.
  • Poor customer and employee experience that erodes confidence in IT services.

Cask provides a quick model for how to view the process dependencies in the CMDB.

The interrelationships are meant to show the key data for the process. We go a step further and show where to find the key information in ServiceNow as well as some possible remediation steps for those areas.

Begin by understanding the root causes of issues, then building a plan to remediate them. The CMDB is an investment; value is derived by maintaining and improving the process on a continuous basis. Like other investments, you should have a plan to help prioritize scope, approach, and needs over time. If the scope determines ITIL process integration (e.g., Incident, Problem, and Change), it is critical to understand the dependencies between the CMDB and the ITIL processes. Target the data needed for each process, then ensure that process practitioners are trained to utilize the information within the process steps. This process will set you up for long-term success.

By incorporating only a few data areas, there are some quick gains. For example, if you align assignment group attribute to your CI’s, one can use this for assigning an incident to the correct owner. This should address the accuracy of the information in the ticket to enhance faster resolution (because the record was assigned to the correct team) once the CI is selected. This can also yield an opportunity to automate the routing based on that assignment rule. Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) should improve because incident records are not being manually updated for the assignment field; this should also reduce the risk for records bouncing from team to team due to lack of ownership issues. Driving down MTTR helps to improve customer perceptions about IT value.

Any opportunities to reduce failed changes or outages are directly dependent upon quality information in the CMDB.

Risk, scheduling, and compliance concerns drive a great deal of change management-related impact. Changes can drive an increase in incidents being recorded if they are not given key information. Being able to see dependencies of CI’s helps to reduce risk around scheduling or other conflicts. Key information about business ownership and criticality also helps to understand the complexity, regulatory, and release needs for a given change.

Cask can help your business evaluate the data you need and why you need it, understand the relationship of the data you need to fulfill ITSM process goals, and derive a remediation plan to address this as part of continual service improvement.

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