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Why is configuration management so tough?

The Configuration Management Database Isn't Everything

If there is one typical problem with organizations that struggle with configuration management, it’s that people believe that a configuration management database (CMDB) is the end all, be all item needed to make configuration management work.

According to Earl Begley, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The CMDB is certainly an element of configuration management, but it’s not the only tool. To be honest, it might not even be necessary, depending on your organization.  Begley explains this frustration:

Ask this question “Are you doing any type of configuration management?” There is a good chance you will get a response of “Yes, we’ve got a CMDB”. This is just maddening.

I do not blame vendors for this. It is the vendor’s job to promote its products, but unfortunately, too many folks take the information provided by the vendor and translate it into “…to do configuration management we need a CMDB…”” to making your configuration management process work. Configuration management is about understanding the items that make your services work and their relationships. The CMDB should help the IT team mitigate risk during change decisions, help in trending during problem management, and allow the IT team to understand the impact of their operational decisions.

Use Education And Storytelling To Make Configuration Management Make Sense

The way to solve this misunderstanding is through education and storytelling (that is, the ability to put configuration management into context not only for use in your organization but also for use in general). Another problem comes with individuals believing they own particular configuration items, and this simply doesn’t work in the new IT environment of shared work and non-silo efforts

Read the full blog post here:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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