The Common Service Data Model (CSDM) is a standardised set of terms and their definitions that can be used with all ServiceNow products.
The CSDM provides service reporting and guidelines for service modelling in the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB). The model includes guidelines for using the base system tables. It aligns configuration items (CIs) and services with your business strategy.
A reactive approach to digital products and delivery can dominate without an IT focus on standardisation, integration, and application of a common approach. CSDM helps you connect terminology to help make decisions for strategy, planning, developing, troubleshooting, root cause analysis, and executing changes.
CSDM is considered the best practice for CMDB modelling and management—it provides direction on modelling and comes with a standardised set of definitions. It is a connection between business and technical perspectives with mapping and relationships. It provides visibility into application and service data from varying domains, consolidating everything into a single view. This gives your organisation the opportunity to align your IT and company strategies. CMDB with a high-quality CSDM also provides multiple benefits like faster incident resolutions, better security, and better judgment of the impact of change.
The common services data model can act as a blueprint to map your IT services on the ServiceNow platform—it is a CMDB-based framework that outlines where to place data for the other products that are in use. CSDM is also a standard for ServiceNow products that use CMDB. If you follow the CSDM framework, you’ll ensure that the data in the application maps to the correct CMDB table which minimises duplicate, incorrect, and out-of-date data.
Products from ServiceNow that use the CMDB deliver better benefits faster when using the CSDM. Adopting it will ensure that:
Use of CSDM will also provide transparent reporting and service costing, in addition to reduced overhead from services maintenance.
CSDM is a powerful framework for CMDB data modelling and management, providing essential guidance and visibility. But it does have its limitations. Getting the most out of CSDM means recognising what it can, and can’t do for your business. Here are several things that CSDM is not:
ServiceNow provides all CSDM objectives and the CMDB tables as a part of the out-of-the-box CMDB product, regardless of licensing.
You can use the CMDB builder to generate reports that show CMDB items and their relationships. Most of CSDM follows CMDB, which includes:
While CSDM provides certain clear advantages, some organisations find themselves poorly prepared to get the most out of the common services data model. When this happens, the issue can usually be traced back to one or more of the following problems:
It isn’t advisable to implement each CSDM element all at once. Instead, approach CSDM in stages, and don’t feel like you have to hit every stage for every application or service. ServiceNow defines these stages as Foundation, Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly. Each stage is explained below:
ServiceNow brings enormous value for enterprise customers that want to run IT as a business. CSDM, combined with the Now Platform, creates a standard blueprint for automated and integrated IT services. With streamlined supporting activities and value streams fully integrated on the Now Platform, you can realise full-value chain alignment, improved quality, transparency, better insights, automation, and lower costs. Ultimately, the combination of CSDM and ServiceNow serves as the foundation for digital transformation.
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