4 Tips for a Healthy CMDB

A CMDB serves as the heart of your ServiceNow implementation. It provides a single source of truth that is the basis for the powerful transparency and collaboration ServiceNow enables. However, a healthy CMDB is not guaranteed. It takes some careful planning and consideration to build a CMDB that is successful in the long-run.

Follow these 4 tips for your CMDB:

1. Establish Your Direction

“To boldly go where no one has gone before.” Now that’s a solid mission statement that gives direction. For all you non-Star Trek fans, it is the guiding principle of Starfleet. A CMDB doesn’t require such an intergalactic statement, but it is crucial to have a clear set of objectives to shape your CMDB and the purpose it serves.

2. Selecting Your CMDB Crew

A CMDB needs the right crew to steer it and keep it in good health. This team will be responsible for keeping the CMDB on track and ensuring that it delivers the right value. Doing so requires a clear governance model for how to update and maintain your CMDB. While this may sound formulaic, it actually depends on your CMDB’s direction and alignment with organizational strategies.

You must clearly define responsibilities for your team. This includes members who are responsible for the various information sources that will be used to populate the CMDB. A well-rounded team can include employees from Problem, Incident and Change Management as well as staff from IT administration.

3. Define Your Data Model

Now that your CMDB has a team and governance structure, it’s time to specify the data model. This means defining CIs (Configuration Items), components, their attributes and relationships. A clear and thorough data model is the basis for smooth IT service delivery. However, not everything must be recorded in the CMDB. Only record CIs that pertain to service delivery. If you go overboard and record everything, you risk making your CMDB unwieldy which will slow things down in the long run.

4. Populate the CMDB

Automated discovery makes populating your CMDB a less arduous task. About 90% of CIs can be discovered automatically. However, it is important to carefully select the appropriate discovery tool. For the small percentage of CIs that must be manually updated, it is best to assign the task to roles who work with those CIs on a regular basis.

Following these steps is the foundation for a healthy CMDB that aligns with your organizational goals. Ongoing maintenance and administration will also be necessary once you have your CMDB up and running. The CMDB team is responsible for these duties with the governance model as a process for doing so.

If you need assistance with your CMDB for ServiceNow, please contact us and we’d be glad to help. We’re an Elite ServiceNow partner and exclusively, 100% laser-focused on ServiceNow. We know what it takes to leverage maximum value from a CMDB, and how to make the most of ServiceNow’s automated discovery and mapping for the CMDB. Let us bring our industry-leading laser precision and dedication to your organization so you can benefit from a single source of truth, a healthy CMDB, for all your ITSM requirements.

Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts is VP of Marketing for Aptris. He joined in 2010 with 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and communications. He coordinates Aptris’ overall marketing and branding strategies.