Measuring the Success of Your CMDB

For simplicity’s sake, I have combined them below into four categories: change management, asset management, service impact, and security/governance/compliance.

Some examples of metrics for change management:

· Reduction in number of failed changes and re-do’s.

· Reduced cycle time to review, approve and implement changes.

Some examples of metrics for asset management:

· Faster ability to provision (existing/ new) services to customers based on more informed insights on asset interdependencies.

· Improved ability to integrate and retire new assets in terms of time efficiency, cost efficiency and service impact (downtime).

Some examples of metrics for service impact:

· Reduced MTTR

· Improved MTBF

· Reduction in number of trouble tickets

Some examples of metrics for security/governance/compliance:

· Reduction of incidents/problems specifically caused by non-compliant CIs.

· Reduced time to perform audits for compliance.

Needless to say, these metrics will generally take a little longer to materialize—after all they won’t be possible until at least your phase one CMDB is in production. Secondly, while they benefit from the CMDB, these improvements often reflect additional technology investments and process improvements that leverage the CMDB but are above and beyond the CMDB system itself.

The most critical thing for you to keep in mind is just as CMDB technologies are evolving through deployments, effective metrics and valuation systems are similarly in their early stages. In fact, given the very dynamic nature of a market in which we can all hope to learn from each other, to a large degree this is as it should be.

This is probably not the year to write the definitive guide to CMDB system assessments. However, 2008 is hopefully a year in which more and more of you will be looking to put a stake in the ground and lead your organization to clear and tangible values through your CMDB investments.

Dennis Drogseth is vice president of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates, an industry research firm focused on IT management. Dennis can reached at [email protected]