Your CMDB is a data powerhouse. A CMDB can be standalone or part of a larger enterprise platform. In any case, it can give you the insight into your IT ecosystem that you’ve always needed. The CMDB itself, however, must be managed, in order for it function at its highest efficiency.
Because there is a misconception about the level of effort involved in installing and managing a CMDB, there are many companies that hesitate to incorporate one. What they don’t realise is that it’s easy to manage your CMDB and start seeing huge returns on the investment of building one, if you follow a few simple database management rules.
Rule #1. Defining Your Goals
What do you want your CMDB to do for you? Do you need system control and infrastructure tracking? Do you need accurate access to data? Or are change management and scaling your priorities?
CMDBs can do it all, but they need to be designed with specific functions in mind, in order to maximise their returns.
A good place to start is to define the team that will be involved in building, running, maintaining, and accessing the CMDB. Ensure that the team has members to represent every key constituent and department that the CMDB needs to track. Identifying the components (or Configuration Items) that are integral to CMDB development can only take place when you have the right team in place, and when that team is fully cognizant of the specific roles that the CMDB must fulfill.
The team has to be capable of reviewing the IT ecosystem before the CMDB to identify what needs fixing, and then after the CMDB is integrated, to run it and make sure it’s functioning smoothly.
Rule #2. Understand Your Blueprint
Your CMDB can give you simplified views of all the components in your company’s IT system. It can show you how these components are related, and how they function alongside each other.
So being able to understand these interconnections and functionalities is imperative when managing the CMDB. You have to know the key problems that your CMDB can help you address. And that requires you to have a working, and constantly updated knowledge of your IT ecosystem.
Rule #3. Keep the Data Clean
Data is king, when it comes to CMDBs. Your database is only as high-quality as the information it is fed. So ensure that the CMDB is regularly updated, kept well-categorised, and isn’t accessed or updated by any unauthorised entity.
Identify the metrics that signify whether the CMDB is working well, and check them regularly. Ensure the CI owners and the CMDB manager are aware of every aspect of the database, so that they can easily identify when the CMDB has become cluttered, confusing, or overloaded with bad, unspecific, or extraneous data.
The CMDB must be populated with a strategy in mind. Which is why, if you follow Rule 1 and 2, you will have a team that populates the CMDB after fully recognizing its purpose and uses, keeping it concise, focused, and reliable.
Regardless of whether your CMDB is standalone or part of a larger enterprise platform, these are good rules to follow for effective management. A platform like ServiceNow takes the CMDB and fully integrates it, presenting the user with an interface the completely simplifies data entry, visualization, and implementation.
If you’re looking for a way to go about ServiceNow implementation, contact us for help. Incorporating and managing a CMDB using the best management tools in the market can improve your workflow efficiencies and turnarounds times remarkably, and we know how to help you do it.