Corporate IT service management architectures get more and more complex as time goes by. And, with more than 60 percent of IT issues caused by configuration problems, disciplines like IT configuration management are becoming increasingly critical in order to maintain service levels and keep all hardware and software performing at peak levels.
IT configuration management involves up-to-date records. This includes all aspects of your infrastructure, including related configuration details, documentation, and other information that describes the various computer systems that make up an architecture. For software, this can include versions, updates, and patches. For servers and other hardware, it may encompass the location and address of each device.
At the heart of every comprehensive IT configuration management strategy is the creation of a single, centralized database – commonly referred to as a configuration management database (CMDB) – that houses all related information. This repository is not merely an asset log. It also contains in-depth data about maintenance and repair histories, problems, changes, etc.
Some of the primary benefits of this CMDB approach include:
- Increased control with IT asset tracking software
- Enhanced system reliability through more rapid detection and correction of improper configurations that could negatively impact performance
- The ability to define and enforce formal policies and procedures that govern asset identification, status monitoring, and auditing
- Improved IT asset management through the ability to better utilize proactive, preventative, and predictive measures
- Greater agility through more accurate analysis of the impact of potential changes to hardware, software, firmware, documentation, testing procedures, etc.
- Enhanced reconciliation and management of complex system and infrastructures
Experts believe that IT configuration management alone is not enough to avoid system failures and other technology problems. In order to be most effective, IT configuration management must be part of a broader-reaching IT service management strategy that also includes change, incident, problem, and release management.