5 Reasons Why Ignoring Your CMDB is Like Avoiding an Oil Change (Psst, Not Wise)

You know the drill. Every 7,000 miles, an oil change (or 3,000 if you’re a Boomer!). But oil changes are annoying! They take up time. And they’re so “out of sight, out of mind” you push them farther back on our lists of to-dos. Yet, dare I say it, oil changes are a necessary evil.

What happens when you don’t keep on top of your car’s oil? The oil becomes thicker, and it won’t be able to transfer heat, causing the engine to overheat and lock up—in short, you’re in a whole mess of trouble, and what would have cost $70 to replace now costs thousands for a new engine!

Think of Your Configuration Management Database (CMDB) like your car’s oil. It’s a basic need and a vital element of your Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.

What Does Your CMDB Do? Keeps Your Data Organized and Secure

CMDB keeps information about important resources in a central place and helps with better business, risk management, and automating tasks. Your CMDB stores important information for your organization and tracks the history of those items and their relationships with each other.

An example of what your CMDB can do for your organization.

An example of what your CMDB can do for your organization.

Think of your CMDB this way: In the world we live in today, technology is like water, we can’t live without it, and no matter the size of your enterprise, it has become an integral part of our lives. If you don’t track your assets, and you miss out on the latest updates, it can potentially cause IT failure or worse, dangerous security issues. Just like not changing the oil on your car can lead your engine to overheat, not keeping up and following CMDB updates can make you and your organization vulnerable.

The CMDB maintains your data through:

1.     Security and Auditing Keep Your CMDB Data Safe

CMDBs play a vital role by keeping track of sensitive data like passwords and storing them securely, telling you who has accessed the password and who made modifications to your data. When you don’t maintain or ignore your CMDB, you risk causing security leaks with potentially larger problems to follow.

2.     Risk Management Gives You a Clear Picture of Your Assets

Not understanding what assets you have and use is problematic. Because your CMDBs are centralized, you’ll have a 360-degree view of which software is being used by employees and which licenses are attached to each software.

3.     Asset Management Brings You Much-Needed Organization

Technician change oil in the car engine. Vehicle motor maintenance, auto-service

Knowing where and how to access your organization’s assets saves time when you’re looking for certain configurations that might be scattered among different departments.

4.     Informed Decisions Positively Impact Purchasing Decisions

CMDBs allow your organization to make more informed investment decisions and save on expenses by not purchasing unnecessary hardware or software.

5.     Centralized Data Organization Streamlines Audits

If you’re ever caught in a situation where an audit is involved, the CMDB keeps everything easily accessible and centralized. If not managed properly, you lose valuable time and money preparing for an already stressful situation.

What Does a Healthy CMDB Look Like?

A healthy CMCB is a foundation for achieving better business value across all ServiceNow products. CMDBs with a “Good” or “Excellent” health score show a positive correlation to:

  • Incident resolution
  • Failed change prevention
  • Leverage or Problem Management
  • Other operational metrics
Example of a healthy CMDB.

What a healthy CMDB looks like.

Like Your Car’s Oil, a CMDB is Vital to Your IT Asset Management

Just because you can’t see everything your CMDB does, doesn’t mean we don’t need it or that it’s not working. As the oil in a car’s engine prevents it from locking up, the CMDB is a crucial part of the health of your ServiceNow instance.

Put on Your Mechanic’s Cap and Check Out This Free eBook, Configuration Management and CMDB for Dummies.