Some definitions you are going to need if you’re not already familiar with them:

Configuration Item (CI) – Examples of CIs include individual business requirements, documents, software, models, and plans inside a configuration management system.

Configuration-management system (CMS) – This system oversees the life of CI’s through enabling elements of identification, change management, and audits. 

Configuration-management database (CMDB) – a collection of CI’s organized within a CMS

The CMS is created and maintained to avoid errors from incompatibilities with other CI’s.

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What does ‘incompatibilities with other CI’s’ mean?

I’m going to be using a parent and child analogy to demonstrate the importance of adequately constructing a CMS. Think about your great, great, great grandparent. To create offspring, there had to be several ‘compatibilities,’ from that individual to manifest the beautiful person you are now. Well, people (in this case) are the CI’s, and your family tree is the CMDB. If you implement a software piece three generations ago and decide to purchase another piece of software today, you’d better make sure it’s compatible. Otherwise, you’ve got three generations of CI’s to worry about altering.

In a seasoned CMDB, there will be professionals to establish these CI relationships and give a baseline view of the structure in a process called visual relationship mapping. This process is huge for change management, problem and incident management, and even resource management.

Importance of the service desk in knowledge management

  • The ability to identify impacted CIs for every change, including downstream dependencies
  • Ability to complete a risk assessment
  • Discovery of potential change conflicts
  • Minimized downtime for impacted assets
  • A document of complete historical data for individual CIs and related records

Here’s how to use this information!

The great news is, some professionals know how to apply these practices for you! IT Consultants knowledgeable in ITIL will have a great understanding of what it takes to implement or improve an existing CMS.

The CMDB’s ability to discover IT assets using the service desk, combined with ITIL best practices, is a great way to understand how your CIs are dependent. The visual relationship mapping is responsible for the more thorough incident, problem, and change management, all of which are super important for IT Service Delivery.


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