IT Governance

ITSM Basics: How to Do Configuration Management

The absence of configuration management and accurate configuration data causes an organization significant harm. Alternately, these tools can not only help in the resolution of problems, but it can help prevent future ones. In a guest post for Joe the IT Guy, Rebecca Beach explores the value of configuration management and supplies suggestions on how to implement it.

Any organization that claims configuration management is too costly is not informed about what the costs of not having it are. There are not only direct financial costs, but there is the cost of wasted resources. For example: paying people to sit around and wait for the problem to be fixed. There is additionally time wasted in giving the needed explanations to the business why this essential service was down. Change management cannot happen without configuration management.

How can this destructive path be altered? The first step is to have a grown-up conversation about configuration and the benefits that can be reaped. As changes begin to take place, the entire team should be made aware so that there are no surprises along the way. It is vital that everyone involved understands what is at stake.

The first step in implementation is to have a plan in place. Configuration management requires looking into: planning, identification, control, status accounting, and verification. Because configuration management will be the foundation, it needs to be done correctly and given the time and focus it deserves.

When it comes to the scope of the plan, a great place to start is looking at the critical services. This analysis provides a quick visual on the readily available benefits. The scope should additionally take into account the configuration of items, asset items, and inventory items. Configuration items (CIs) are the center of critical services, and it takes a great deal of time and money to manage them properly. Asset items are items such as PCs or laptops, and inventory items are the smaller items like a keyboard. The plan should involve naming the conventions uniquely for CIs. This consistency helps everything stay in order and helps the service desk efficiently report any problems.

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