A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is an asset management software for IT systems. Its role in asset tracking began in the mid-2000s, with businesses using it as a tool to track configurable items and how they interact across different systems. But companies soon realized that in this early state, CMDB was more cumbersome than useful. It couldn’t store all a business’s data and was only capable of upstream and downstream relationships, not left-right relationships. This led to a majority of people dropping their CMDB software.
However, recent innovations in the field of IT, such as machine learning and AI, have paved the way for improved CMDB software.
The Benefits of CMDB
Here are some of the main benefits of implementing CMDB software in your company:
It Acts as a Central Reference Point
A CMDB acts as a centralized repository of data about a business’s assets. Without it, you’d be dealing with different types of databases that are likely incompatible. This makes for less efficient asset management and heightens the risk of data silos within the business. But with CMDB, you’d be able to track information about deployed hardware assets, software assets that are in use, and even user data in relation to IT assets. With a central reference point, you’ll have ready access to baseline information and general company data.
It Promotes Transparency and Visibility
Easy access to multiple datasets makes for better transparency and visibility within the company. Without CMDB, companies may struggle to gather and disseminate information regarding their assets to the rest of the workforce. But once the software is incorporated into the business’s IT system, then the workforce will know how to locate essential company data. Any employee with adequate permissions can tap into the CMDB software to check on the status of different assets or monitor the relationships of configuration items.
It Helps Manage Business Risk
Because you know where the company data is stored, then you can implement protection and risk management strategies to safeguard it. Business analysts, one of the data-centered careers in business administration, would benefit from tapping into CMDB, as it helps them research the many different facets of the company. This gives them insights into current corporate strategies and policies, allowing them to make recommendations to improve business performance. This helps the company tackle potential risks even before they materialize.
The Limitations of CMDB
Despite its benefits, CMDB is not a perfect asset management software. As a tool, it still has gaps in its operational utility, which can hinder business processes. Here are two of its most salient limitations:
There is a High Risk of Inaccurate Data
For one, by using CMDB, companies run the risk of producing inaccurate data. CMDB is not an easy software to maneuver and often requires the expertise of a dedicated IT professional. Poor configuration of its internal systems will lead to the promulgation of bad data. And if this happens in the middle of business operations, it could lead to unplanned downtime or, if left un-optimized, revenue loss. CMDB requires content maintenance to ensure that data elements change in accordance with changes in the company’s assets. Thus, businesses need to have dedicated IT or data professionals tracking and altering the CMDB systems as necessary.
There Are Limits in Data Storage Capabilities
On the other hand, while CMDB is touted as the central reference point for all data, this isn’t entirely true. Trying to store all company data into a single database is too complex of a job. Often, this simply isn’t feasible, as the different types of data are not interoperable. Thus, CMDB is not ideal for businesses that deal with large datasets.
While it’s clear that CMDB has its perks, it also has its fair share of limitations. The difficulties that stem from the software’s complexity can easily be remedied by taking a structured approach to building up its internal systems. However, its data storage limitations could prove too detrimental for large-scale or data-heavy businesses. In this regard, it might be more optimal to invest in hybrid digital infrastructure management software, rather than a centralized, but limited repository.
A digital infrastructure management platform allows users to see company assets, their health, which are in operation, as well as all relevant connections. Its hybrid nature also allows for optimal consolidation and migration of assets based on their use and interdependencies. This allows for more streamlined data migrations, as there is no need to recalibrate data elements, as with CMDBs. Finally, it also has a feature that allows companies to monitor vulnerabilities and foresee potential threats, making for a more robust risk management strategy.
For more information, we have plenty of services that will advise you on how DAG can help your business manage its data and assets.