I am very excited to talk about the new Nexthink integration with the CMDB from ServiceNow, available from their application store. By keeping it healthy and lively with quality data, this unique integration will foster the success of your CMDB.
A robust CMDB serves as the foundation for operational excellence. Every function and process performed in IT requires accurate information to drive smart and effective actions. For correct, informed decisions, you need to gather the necessary information first, and preferably from a trusted and known source. In IT, that trusted source is, in theory, the CMDB. It feeds high-level analytics and intelligence engines that can enable accurate and effective ways of sharing and analysing information.
However, the CMDB has been a source of controversy when it comes to data discovery. It is particularly prone to pitfalls and problems that can leach away the IT and business benefits. One major problem is data quality. Ensuring the quality of the CMDB means guaranteeing that millions of Configuration Items (Cis) records are 100% accurate, up-to-date, and non-duplicate and that their relationships are correctly maintained. Clean and lean! But this is not an easy task and a ‘dirty’ CMDB will create more problems than it solves. Apparently this happens more often that you would think with Forbes reporting that as many as 85% of CMDB initiatives fail. In fact, according to Gartner, poor data quality is a primary reason for 40% of all business initiatives failing to achieve their targeted benefits. So how to avoid that the data stored in the CMDB becomes inaccurate or out of date?
The integration from NexthinK into the CMDB from ServiceNow offers a unique solution to insure data quality and accuracy overtime. Through automatic discovery and dependency mapping solution, you can get the up-to-date information that matters.
Automatic discovery and maintenance
Nowadays, IT systems are too dynamic to try and manually populate a CMDB effectively. Nexthink automatically discovers and maintains an accurate list of assets and services (CIs) in ServiceNow. For each CI, a default set of properties is populated and additional properties can easily be configured depending on the objectives. Nexthink will help build a durable robust CMBD by feeding ServiceNow with accurate and timely CI data.
Accurate identification of assets, software, services and their usage
An accurate list of CIs will be discovered automatically and maintained, starting with all the assets of the organization. Dynamic health indicators can be set to proactively improve end-user experience. You can also consult usage indicators to reallocate under-used devices and thus save hardware costs. Many other indicators, like for example Windows 10 readiness, can be used to optimize the allocation or replacement of a device.
You will also be able to monitor exactly which pieces of software are installed on each asset. Vice versa, you will have the list of assets on which a specific software is installed. This will allow you to keep on top of the day-to-day practicalities of managing and optimizing licenses, rationalize software licensing and predict the impacts of patching and vulnerabilities, essential during transformation projects.
Nexthink will also automatically list the services and their usage by the devices and the end users. This will help predict the consequences of changes or incidents to make informed decisions and manage them properly. For example, by identifying the impacted users by an outage, proactive notifications and procedure can be scheduled. Furthermore, this service provides critical up-to-date information about general service management and development, as well as service usage data for internal IT chargeback, for example.
Ultimately, by nurturing the CMDB with that kind of quality in your data, you will get beyond simply ‘keeping the lights on’ to the point where IT can ensure that all services benefit the business in the most optimized and effective way possible. All in the name of maintaining compliance and improving business operations.