Give any enterprise a CMDB and it might treat every problem as a config item
April 20, 2019 by Mohit Doshi
Abraham Kaplan, the famed philosopher immortalized the phrase “give a small boy a hammer and he will treat every problem as a nail”. In the IT world, the omnipotent “hammer” is always present somewhere. In the early 2000s, it was SharePoint. Today it is the CMDB!
The IT House of Config Items (Commons)
“Give any enterprise a CMDB and it will treat every problem as a config item”. This statement is a testimony to the robustness of modern age CMDBs. Since they perform the ITSM function so well, there is a natural inclination to do everything in the CMDB and hope it works as well too. The devil though is in the details and problem domain.
Degrees of Abstraction
Premise of a CMDB is to auto discover everything. The discovered items are at lower levels of abstraction than the coarse grained, logical units that define the business application context in an application portfolio management solution. EOS ITPM instead complements a CMDB by allowing you to define units of management at varying levels of abstraction tailored to the client’s mental model and then integrating them with discovered items from a CMDB
CMDBs are foundational, validated systems as they are a book of record for the physical items in your data centers. Foundational systems are on a different release cadence. IT Planning systems are differentiating in nature and on a highly agile release cycle. At EOS ITPM, our clients leverage our configuration driven solution to deliver changes in one week sprints. Planning requires reacting to strategy, market forces and competitive pressures. One cannot afford to wait for 3 months to react to such pressures.
Lower Business Agility
In this day and age of “Internet of Things” and interconnected devices, it is almost ironical that we gravitate towards putting everything into one monolithic database. By very nature of putting everything in one “database”, we are compromising on agility. Any single change can impact several other more critical areas implying longer release cycles which add up incrementally as the database grows larger.
Low Code Platform – Build vs Buy
“The price of training is always a certain “trained incapacity” – another one of Abraham Kaplan’s quotes! Modern day CMDB systems also function as low code application development platform. The price of developing on such platforms is that becomes harder to accept there may be something “different” that is better. Clients think they are reusing a platform but in reality they are developing custom code on a platform. This implies you are investing in “Lock-In” with dangers such as:
- Lack of eco system interoperability
- Nonstandard APIs
- Lack of portability
The question that enterprises should ask is over period of time is it worth investing in home grown APM or EA or PPM system on “low code platform” vs going for best of breed that integrates with your platform? EOS ITPM platform with its modern REST API infrastructure integrates with over 70+ systems enabling enterprises to leverage best of breed.
Short changing your digital platform ambitions
Taking the step further, low code platforms often market themselves as “digital transformation platforms”. However, an enterprise digital business platform is not a single system. Instead, it is a collection of multiple platforms that orchestrate the digital experience journey for a customer or an employee or a partner. Automation achieved by putting everything into one system might sound elegant at first but you end up compromising on delivering differentiating digital experiences achieved via cross platform / system orchestration. Your digital experiences ought not to be like ERP, one size fits all across all companies. They ought to be differentiating across customers and for your customers differentiating from your competition.
EOS ITPM platform is purpose built for IT Portfolio Management and Planning. The visualizations, workflows, mental model and underlying platform features are purpose built to deliver best in class functionality for use cases such as application portfolio management, enterprise architecture management, outcome driven planning and technology portfolio management. Instead of rushing into putting everything into one “DB” and leveraging consultants to develop code on “Low Code” platform, our clients have integrated EOS ITPM with their respective CMDBs. Planning views within EOS ITPM perfect complement the physical views of a CMDB delivering best in class experience for the enterprise. Reach out to us 😊