You won the war on CMDBs

When we started this blog, CMDBs were all the rage. ITIL was at its peak. Practically every single customer asked us about our “CMDB strategy”.

From the start we had the vision that passing event, performance, and business context data through the already overloaded CMDB was a terrible mistake.

First, it was not a “best practice” as opposed to the rest of ITIL initiatives. Back then the number of existing companies around the world that had finished such a CMDB was zero. And it remains zero.

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CMDB is dead


We are being asked less and less about how to integrate a monitoring system with a CMDB.

Main reason: in the past, people thought that building a full-fledged, galaxy-comprehending CMDB was kind of easy and even mandatory (blame ITIL). But nowadays, people are aware of the horror stories and more wary about using a CMDB beyond Asset Management (yes, CMDBs are great for that!). 

Only exception: people who arrived late to the party, and still think that a CMDB as defined by ITIL is beneficial or even doable. (If you are among them, please read this, this, this, and this).

By the way, the most popular post last year has been “CMDBs: butterflies or caterpillars?”. For a reason. And I am happy about it.

So what’s all the rage right now? Well, people went too fast from loving an all-encompassing Service Management solution (as proposed, and with sound reason, by ITILv3) to adore a tactical, scope-limited and still inside-out patch called APM. Again, APM tools, as CMDBs, are a good thing, if used properly. But they are not being used properly. I gave my two cents on it here.

Have a great afternoon.

The problem with APM

Further Faster

Figure 1 – Technical products only go so far, while ambitious ITIL projects usually end in sweat, blood and tears. Business Service Management (BSM) can take you much further than APM tools, business-value wise.

A few months ago, the site BSM Digest was renamed APM Digest because, in the words of its editor, APM has become a “much more popular term, at least here in the USA”. Which, in my opinion, is a real shame.

Considering that, until recently, monitoring was focused mainly on the network and servers, why would turning the application into the focal point be a missed opportunity? After all, it clearly represents an evolution towards real, in-the-flesh customers from the deep oceans of pure infrastructure. Continue reading

What the heck is a Real Time Service Model?

I know that you suspect that there is a better way… a shorter path to all that value ITIL promises… a way to make real sense out of these malign CMDBs and their never-ending deployments—a way to truly align Operations and Business. Well, Real Time Service Models are your savior. But what are they? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the next post.

Less ITIL and more Shakespeare: How to be a great CIO

Let’s suppose that you are anxious about the future.

Suppose you feel pressed by all the uncertainty in the global economy. Suppose that you´re concerned about your job: maybe not about losing it, but you want to make sure you are untouchable. Or better yet, let’s suppose you really do want to be promoted.

What´s the very first thing you think of? Continue reading

How to Win Time and Budget for your ITIL Project

I promised a summary of my session at the Gartner conference. You will miss out on all the amusing anecdotes, striking videos, and stomach-threatening jokes of my speech, but a promise is a promise. On the plus side, here you´re safe from my addiction to throwing things at the audience (and I swear I do). Continue reading

CMDBs Considered Quite Painful for at least 95% of You

A quick post to point you to a very insightful article from Rob England, published a few days ago in the itSMF USA newsletter, entitled “CMDB is not a given: Why CMDB is a Bad Idea for 95% of Organizations”

I read it with a smile in my face. About time! CMDBs are being pushed more and more by the big vendors even though success stories are scarce and there have been hundreds of painful failures. Moreover, in the “successful” cases, Continue reading