In this series Peter explains why an Asset Registry, created within an IT Asset Management program, comprised of the appropriate mix of people, process and technology, is often an overlooked prerequisite to creating a CMDB.
It describes a less painful approach to creating a reliable and accurate CMDB that allows organizations to realize a high return on their investment in time, effort and expense.
Part Four – Why Building a CMDB is Challenging
The need for a CMDB was emphasized with the introduction of ITIL. ITIL makes several fundamental assumptions:
Lack of such an Asset Registry that is presumed to exist is the primary reason why the vision of a CMDB that ITIL promotes has become more of a mirage than a reality. This is the reason why establishing a usable CMDB is time consuming, expensive and difficult to achieve. Without fully understanding each dot, from procurement to disposal, it is impossible to achieve the ITIL objective of connecting the dots.
Failing to first invest in an IT Asset Management program supported by the appropriate IT Asset Management technologies to establish a consolidated and accurate Asset Registry makes an already difficult task essentially impossible. Without these prerequisites in place, CMDBs as they are defined and intended to be used by ITIL will be few and far between.
It is important to recognize that the IT Asset Management and Configuration Management programs and their participants are different and distinct. They do not exist for the same purpose or share the same objective. IT Asset Management mainly supports the business by providing financial and contractual management of assets. It is concerned with what dots you have, where they are, what they do, how much they cost, how they are used, who owns them, when they expire, when they need to be renewed or replaced, and how they were disposed, etcetera.
Configuration Management supports IT operations by focusing on how the dots are connected and work together to form an operational service. It is therefore critical to put in place the appropriate people, processes and technologies to support the attainment of these separate yet inextricably linked mandates.
Given this link between Asset Management and Configuration Management:
In other words:
How can you connect the dots without knowing what dots you have, where the dots are, what the dots do, how the dots are used, and who’s responsible for the dots?