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Plan your successful CMDB deployment

What's in this Success Playbook

Behind every successful CMDB deployment is a detailed configuration management plan for implementing, designing, and sustaining a configuration management capability. This Success Playbook will help you:

  • Articulate your goals
  • Form a configuration management team
  • Establish a governance structure
  • Understand configuration item design
  • Integrate with key business processes

Key takeaways

The most important things to know

  • Have clear goals for your configuration management process and CMDB. A well-configured CMDB can help you manage service health, understand service consumption patterns, and calculate the cost of services—but you need to understand your most important business priorities to guide CMDB development.
  • Start small and iterate. Build a solid inventory of CIs tied to specific use cases. If you find yourself populating your CMDB with items that don’t tie back your business priorities or use cases, you’re probably off track.

The payoff of getting this right

A well-configured CMDB can save you as much as 40% in IT costs—and help you avoid the costs of unplanned outages    

Steps covered

Step 1: Set your direction

  • Designing a great configuration management capability starts with clear configuration management goals, objectives, and outcomes. Make sure your configuration management efforts are aligned to your business objectives.

Step 2: Build a team and a governance model

  • Build your configuration management team and governance structure to get early buy‑in from executives, and create credibility and trust in your configuration management process over the long term.
  • Your configuration management team should operate independently from the day‑to‑day “keep the lights on” support functions.

Step 3: Design your configuration plan

  • Start small and grow gradually as you design the CMDB with configuration items.

Step 4: Show how your CMDB’s value to other departments    

  • When you integrate business processes, tie them back to your goals, and communicate proactively about changes to the CMDB.
What you need to get started
What you need to get started
General knowledge of ITIL
Knowledge of configuration management methodology
Understand the features and functions supported by the CMDB
When you should start this activity
When you should start this activity
A foundational CMDB can provide the “central nervous system” for workflows in ServiceNow. We recommend focusing on the CMDB as early as possible in your implementation to ensure you get the most out of other capabilities.

Related resources

Success Checklist

Plan your architecture, instances, integrations, and data flows

Download our ready-made action plan for putting the right technology plan in place to make optimal use of ServiceNow.

Success Playbook

Populate and maintain your CMDB with ServiceNow Discovery

Learn best practices for using ServiceNow Discovery to automate population of your CMDB.

Success Playbook

Discover and map your service assets

Download our ready-made action plan for using ServiceNow Discovery to map and manage business service health.

Gain insights, get custom action plans, and achieve your goals faster.

Our Success Navigator will assess where you are in your implementation and guide you, step by step, from vision to value.