I want to let you know that I finished designing a blog site for my corporate website and I hope to be posting there more regularly. The new blog is call “The Ascent” (http://blog.k2sg.com)” which is based on the corporate tag line of “Leading the ascent to the peak of Service Management”. I imported all of the posts from this blog into the new one in the event that you choose to only follow the new one.
In one of my Twitter exchanges, someone asked for a list of Open Source ITSM solutions. What I had available was a list I gathered over the years that targeted CMDB versus general ITSM.
I can’t speak to how good/bad these sites are since I gathered most of these over the years when doing my initial research starting back in 2004/05. I checked to confirm they are still all live but not whether they are up-to-date with recent advancements or if they’ve gone off the deep end into skepticism or flying high in the sky over the lands of ITILtopia.
I recently had a discussion with someone about the notion that some individuals believe that the CMDB is not possible to implement and that ITIL V3 is too complex. Because of this, they are recommending that companies stick with ITIL V2 vs V3. The main point we kicked around was the fact that if individuals don’t fully appreciate the intentions of the ITIL V2 and the CMDB, they could very easily fall into the trap and believe that it can’t be done. This is a mindset that I believe has been the foundation of most failed ITIL efforts.
ITIL V3, although on the surface to some may appear to be more complex than ITIL V2, is in fact a clarification of ITIL V2 much more so than it is an upgrade. Many of the components detailed in the ITIL V3 literature are merely elements that were left out of the V2 literature forcing every individual and organization to fend for themselves in trying to define what it all meant and how they were going to glue it all together. In ITIL V3 however, they have made a valiant effort to at least identify these areas and document some best practice around them. I am not stating that everything in the ITIL V3 literature be viewed as gospel by any means but it is at least is a step in the right direction to identify the gaps and put some structure around them.
This lead us to the discussion on whether or not a CMDB can be built. I would agree that a “CMDB” is very hard and possibly impossible to build ‘IF’ and ONLY ‘IF’ your view of it is a single monolithic repository as prescribed by the black & white written words of the ITILV2 literature. If however, you fully digested the purpose of what the CMDB was intended for and what problems you were trying to resolve by implementing it, I totally disagree that it can not be done. The concept of a CMDB can be deployed but it must be in the form of a federated CMS if you stand any chance to succeed.
The key to success is in the simplicity of purpose. Like every other complex entity, the CMS is just made up of smaller components that can be addressed somewhat independently but under an over-arching umbrella. If tackled on that level, the CMS can become a reality to most organizations. I’m not implying that it will be done overnight and won’t come without challenges, challenges which will typically be on the cultural side rather than process or technology end. A key element to this success of course is still a true adoption of the purpose of ITIL and not simply a belief that it is something “you implement”. If your organization and/or leadership believes it is a project to implement rather than a philosophy to adopt, you will very likely not succeed regardless of whether you head down the ITIL V2 or V3 path.
ITIL is much more of a cultural transformation rather than a process or technology implementation and until everyone accepts that, there will continue to be many failed attempts to implement ITIL, regardless of which version is being attempted.
I recently attended a GCIO/OMG event in Washington, DC titled “Green Awareness Information Day”. I helped to facilitate one of the round-table discussions on sustainability which I found to be rather interesting and energizing. We had some amazing speakers from the federal government who explained the direction that the current administration is going in with regards to green & sustainability and that is where I once again recognized that simplicity is again at the center of our desires & efforts. This gentleman was explaining how the federal government is in need of the IT community to help it with reporting on green / sustainability metrics. The problem is that there aren’t any good models established to do so and that because the data is either non-existent or dispersed all over the IT environment, the task to report on green progress is far to complex for them to accomplish alone.
I am working with some of the thought leaders at OMG to help design and promote a Green Business Maturity Model (GBMM) so that the IT community can deliver a solution that is being sought after by the federal government and many other publicly traded organizations. It didn’t take long for me to see that there was tremendous opportunity to leverage the same concepts of a CMS/CMDB design to address an implementation of GBMM. Once the GBMM is defined, the implementation effort comes down to the aggregation and federation of data from disparate sources very much like those demanded by an IT Service Management implementation. We are hopeful that we will be able to leverage the principles of a CMS structure to address the sustainability needs of the IT industry at large.
Stay tuned and please contact me if you are interested in working with me on my effort of creating a Sustainable Service Management Model based on GBMM.
This is just a quick post to keep things fresh. First off, the book is finally available for purchase at your favorite book seller.
It has been a busy few weeks for Glenn and I talking with people about the book as well as doing presentations and interviews. Glenn has been traveling around the country as well as internationally talking with his clients and we have received tremendous positive feedback so far on the book.
We jointly delviered the key note address at the annual Lehigh-Delaware Valley itSMF LIG conference and again got very positive feedback from everyone in attendance. We are very excited about the feedback so far and look forward to working directly with many of you on ITSM and CMS/CMDB solutions. If you are interested in seeing the presentation that we delivered at the LDV LIG conference, you can download it from the book’s website www.cmdbimperative.com .
I’m currently preparing for my next presentation which will be at the OMG’s Technical meeting in Washington DC on March 23rd. I will be leading a roundtable discussion on sustainability with regards to Business Operations as part of the “Green Computing Information Day” (http://www.omg.org/news/meetings/tc/agendas/dc-09/gcio-agenda.htm). I truly beleive that we can leverage the work already laid out by the DMTF’s CMDBf specification and the work currently being done by the GCIO around the GBMM to put in place a CMS that not only supports ITSM as we traditionally have seen it but also supports the requirements that a sustainability model would need.
What I’d like to touch on in this blog entry is sort of the underlying reason for a CMDB/CMS. I’ve commented on it over the years while working on CMDB/CMS efforts but this weekend, I came across two separate things that prompted me to do this blog entry. The idea or notion that has been rattling around in my mind for year is that of convergence, similarity, connectivity and simplification. I’ve argued for years that many of us have designed & built CMSs many times over but never actually called them that. Most, if not all of us have been required at some point to aggregate data from disparate areas and make sense of it, and ultimately, that is what the CMS helps us do. It helps make sense of the data.
The two things that happened were first, I noticed a book that has been on my night stand for over 4 months which is called The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda. I really had no desire to read anything while working on the book to be honest so it sat there until now. The second was an episode on The Science Channel I watched last night called “Connected: The Power of Six Degrees”. Yes I know, what else would you expect from someone who has an Electrical Engineering degree to be watching but this station.
Both of these things reminded me that regardless of our professional or personal aspirations, we are all seeking to simplify our lives and make sense of the confusion. Interestingly enough, we reference this topic in the summary of Chapter 9 when we quoted the founder of Kayanta. “We’re inspired by the plethora of opportunities offered through the Internet but bewildered by the amount of personal effort required to extract even the modest benefit” ( Click here to read full text )
So, why have we not been able to simplify our business processes? Why haven’t we found a way to consistently, across industries and/or companies deliver value in a more streamlined and efficient manner? Is technology doing more harm than good in this area? Will Software as a Service (SaaS) help? Virtualization promises to simplify life for some, but won’t it complicate it for others? Maybe that’s the balance, maybe it’s the Yin and Yang of the equation where some take on the complexity in order to deliver simplicity to others. Maybe only time will tell.That’s it for now…….I’m sure I’ll have more on the topic as I get deeper into the book and do more research on Simple Networks……Carlos
Glenn and Carlos would like to welcome you to “The Imperative Blog”. We would like to use this blog to solicit your feedback on our soon to be released book. We also plan to use it to share some of our thoughts and ideas that we are experiencing that might not have made it into the book.