What ITIL is Missing: A Practical Guide to a Working CMDB (Book Synopsis)

This book is about bridging a gap between a loose ITIL concept of CMDB/CMS and its practical implementation in an ITSM tool.

So far such CMDB implementations have been done in a very proprietary manner. Every ITSM Software package developer creates its own version of dB specific to a problem it is trying to solve and/or ITIL process to implement. On the other hand, ITIL, as a methodology, deliberately stays away from defining or even advising of any approach to practical CMDB implementation.

A Service-centric “Logical Architecture of Service” (LAoS) framework, offered in this publication, provides for a core CMDB design that aligns the stack of ITIL processes with Service (as per ITIL concept), while not infringing on any given process implementation particulars.

This book aims at two audiences: ITSM (ITIL) Practitioners and ITSM Software Developers.

ITSM Practitioners are those who try to leverage IT Service Management discipline via a particular framework (e.g. ITIL). They are consumers of “ITIL compliant” ITSM software suites, and are often challenged by deploying those software tools effectively.

Here they will find helpful guidelines and practical examples of how to configure Asset Management in order to support Service Catalogue, structure Systems to automatically determine severity of Incidents, deploy new and revise existing Services according to numerically weighted and “fair” business priorities, etc. All of that is suggested to be done by planning the organisation of their ITSM software data stores in the most compliant with the LAoS framework way.

The author acknowledges that it is totally unreasonable to expect any given set of ITSM tools to be versatile enough to accommodate the demands of his model. However, he also strongly believes that at least some core LAoS principles can still be observed. And even the mere idea of having Service as a focal point should bring good discipline to the  ITSM tool deployment approach. One of the most notorious questions the author keeps encountering is: “What is the best application to do ITIL process ‘X’?”. The question remains unanswerable until the goals are defined in the context of not just the process ‘X’ but its current and preferably even future relationships with other processes. One of the purposes of this book is to elucidate on such relationships, make the question above more meaningful, and help the reader find his answer.

ITSM Software developers are encouraged to employ this book as a guiding framework for ITSM Application Data Modelling. Whether you are working on the whole suite of ITIL process or tackling just a few or only one, having a consistent approach to data modelling will make your product more interoperable with your other modules as well as with external applications. Making it Service centric makes it effectively “more SOA” and API friendly to those operating under the same principles.

Whether the reader finds the LAoS description comparable to Enterprise Architecture modelling, unlike incomprehensibly bulky, speculative and non-empirical EA Frameworks (TOGAF, Zachman’s, DoDAF, FEAF, MODAF, AGATE, etc.), LAoS provides with a very practical framework forcing Architecture of any flavour to contribute to Service. The framework has three important distinguishing functional characteristics:

  • Simple
    Besides this explicit connotation, LAoS in and of itself is not designed to enable any particular ITIL process and does not deliver any tangible process specific benefits. It serves as a simple core, necessary to ensure process governance and interoperability for Service sake, but insufficient to define any particular process to any functionally useful extent
  • Federating
    Has essential ability to access, consolidate and guide (control and validate) data from its normally disparate Citizens, other data stores responsible for managing particular processes.
  • Open
    Has sufficient level of abstractness to not to be constrained by technology, medium, process applications or particular deliverables.