We have been talking about CMDB data quality for years, and, of course, we built Data Content Manager to address the issue. Gartner recently refreshed their study called 3 Steps to Improve IT Service View CMDB Data Quality. It is written by Gartner Analysts Roger Williams and Kenneth Gonzales. Please note that this is paid research by Gartner.

Basically, they say what we tend to say: that inaccurate configuration data in the CMDB will deteriorate incident resolution and change quality. Furthermore, IT Management should address gaps in data ownership and data models as well as tools.

They suggest that 99% of organizations using CMDB tooling that do not confront Configuration Item data quality gaps will experience visible business disruptions by the end of 2024.

We were happy to see that our thinking is aligned with Gartner’s. It’s also easy for us to say that Data Content Manager can help in all three areas discussed in their study:

 

  • Addressing gaps in data oversight,
  • Reducing the need of resources (by limiting scope) and
  • Strengthening change management capabilities (i.e. systematic data quality process)

Address Gaps – Appoint People to Correct Roles

We think data ownership is crucially important for CMDB data quality. If nobody owns or uses the data, what’s the point of having it?  We like using the Consumer-Owner-Provider model for defining who owns data.

 

Consumer - Owner - Provider Model

If you read the Gartner study, you will find they talk about Executive Sponsors, SACM Process Leads and Custodians. We can easily align the C-O-P model to what Gartner says with some tweaking:

  • Executive sponsor can represent the Consumer,
  • SACM Process Lead the Owner,
  • and Custodians the Providers.

We wrote an article explaining how you can use this model to assign ownership and roles. Also, if you’ve read our eBook CSDM – The Recipe for Success, you’ve come across it. Please check out these resources:

Reduce Resources – Limit Scope

When we speak to our customers we always try to emphasize that it makes sense to start small. We also say that don’t bring data into the CMDB that nobody a) owns, b) uses, c) maintains.

The problem with excessive amounts of data is very often related to automated tools such as Discovery. It’s very easy to get a lot of data into the CMDB, but the questions of ownership, usage and maintenance of it are often ignored. 

We often talk about our 5 Steps Model for Better Data Quality which focuses on defining scope. We recommend starting small and only adding more to the data model when the organization is ready to utilize and produce the required data. The Gartner analysts essentially say the same.

5 Steps Overview

Strengthen Change Management Capabilities – Systematic Process

If your data is valid and up to date, change management is easier and less prone to error.

The Change Management process plays a significant role in CI data management. Evaluating CI record data as part of the change process can ensure that change planning and risk assessment are based on correct data and increase the odds of change success.

Performing regular evaluations of CI record data, even without ongoing changes, helps to ensure that other processes can also benefit from accurate and up-to-date CI data. Data Content Manager does this: it helps you run a systematic process for managing your data models and the data within them.

Systematic Process

The Change Management process plays a significant role in CI data management. Evaluating CI record data as part of the change process can ensure that change planning and risk assessment are based on correct data and increase the odds of change success.

Performing regular evaluations of CI record data, even without ongoing changes, helps to ensure that other processes can also benefit from accurate and up-to-date CI data. Data Content Manager does this: it helps you run a systematic process for managing your data models and the data within them.

DCM Ticks all the Boxes

As mentioned in the beginning, we were happy to find support for our thinking by seeing the similarities to what Gartner is saying. Furthermore, since our tool Data Content Manager supports this thinking, it gives us even more confidence that organizations looking to improve their CMDB should take a look at it.

We wrote an eBook called CSDM – The Recipe for Success. It shares guidance on what to consider when you are thinking about, or already are, on a CSDM Journey.

Click here to get the eBook.

If you would like to learn more about how DCM can help you improve your CMDB or accelerate your CSDM Journey, please feel free to book a meeting with us, and we will show you.

Mikko

Mikko Juola

Chief Product Officer at Qualdatrix

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