In my last post, I defined the problems inherent in blurring the lines among the domains of IT asset management, systems management and service/configuration management.
You can help your organization avoid the confusion by clearly distinguishing among the three goals—and the groups responsible for meeting those goals. I know—it’s easier said than done—but here are some tips:
Assign a person or team to handle financial IT asset management—to account for each IT asset the organization owns. They need to receive all records of IT purchases from Purchasing and all records of discovered and managed computer systems from Systems Operations. A solution such as CA IT Asset Management, which compares the two sets of records and documents lifecycle data such as make, model, location, and status for each computer system, will be invaluable to the team.
Assign a person or team to handle systems management—to ensure that all network systems conform to policies. They need to coordinate with the security team for security policies, the operations team for standard configuration policies, and the software distribution team for required/allowed software, patching, and reporting. A solution such as CA Client Automation is essential for supporting these activities and discovering computer systems on the network.
Assign a person or team to handle services and configuration management—to minimize downtime, outages, and operational errors by governing the configuration of business-critical applications and services. They need to coordinate with the application, release management and change management teams to model the authorized configurations of new applications and services when they come online and throughout their lifecycle. A must-have for this team is a solution such as CA Service Desk Manager, which captures the authorized configurations and relationships among the components that support the application or service. Another must-have is a solution like CA Configuration Automation, which discovers the configurations and relationships of the components (such as web servers, database servers, and application servers), compares the discovered configuration with the authorized configuration and identifies gaps.
Yes, this effort requires discipline—but it can be done. Your organization will thank you.