Service Model #imnoangel CMDB - Matthew Hooper VigilantGuy Digital Transformentalist - Create High Performing IT
Service Model #imnoangel CMDB

Every ITSM Purist will tell you that Config Management is the heart of ITSM.Configuration Management

Yet, most ITSM implementations push Config Management off, why?
1) Plain & Simple, it’s painting a moving a train.  Taking inventory of assets that are in a constant state of change is a really hard thing to do.  By the time you inventory your assets, classify them, add all these fancy attributes, the asset has changed and the record details are out of date.
2) It’s a downstream pollution problem.  I’ve used an expression for years trying to describe performance and stability issues in IT Ops: “If you want to cleanse the pond, you must clean the stream that feeds it.”  If you want to clean up IT Operations, then you need to clean up the way work flows into IT Operations.  Every change or additions to assets in some way or another is a modification to configuration data.  So the real focal points for getting Config right is actually starting with IT Asset Management, Change/Release Management and Patch/Deploy Management.  As those are the streams that flow into your operational configuration state.
3) Aint’ no body got time for that… I know, I know… Configuration Management as prescribed by well intentioned but highly mis-informed consultants requires a huge amount of time, with as we have learned, very little benefit.
In 2004 when I was CTO of Vigilant, I worked closely with some of the industry leaders in the CMDB space.  In conjunction with some brilliant architects form The Hartford Insurance Group, Kevin Redding and John Lamb, we crafted a multi-tiered model for configuration design that would better enable us to look at Business Services health.  In 2006 Vigilant partner with Managed Objects to create an object oriented design to the CMDB and we launched at the Pink Elephant ITSM conference the concept of SCMDB.   Service Configuration Management Database, which established a model for enterprise Service Health based on the FCAPS systems management.  We changed it to FCChAPS:  Fault, Capacity, Change, Availability, Performance & Security, and called it the Enterprise Service Model.
The Enterprise Service Model provided a definition model that allowed the tagging, labeling, and in some cases the self-describing of Configuration Items.
The layers looked like the following:
Expected operation and automated corrective action.
i.e. URL failure, fail-over to fault tolerant platform.
Correlation / Predictive
Service health degradation correlated by factors: Users, Line of Business, Time of day/week/month.  Trending health degradation toward a limit.
i.e. CPU rising toward 100% sustained usage. 3 out of 5 locations down.
Business Services
Actual services that the business, agency, or organization provides.
i.e. Insurance = Quoting, Policy, Claims, etc…
Business Processes (Including locations, Lines of Business, Departments, and Roles)
User functions performed as part of a business service.
i.e. Chicago claims office; Policy verification process.
Business Logic
The implementation of internal business configuration of systems.
i.e. Actuarial data for rating systems.
The collective assets for creating the business logic platform.
i.e. Rating system, Claims System
Purchased applications or framework infrastructures.
i.e. Oracle Financials, Apache, .Net, MySQL
Infrastructure – Operating System
i.e. Linux, Windows, Unix, etc…
Infrastructure – Hardware / Virtual
i.e. Dell, IBM,  VMWare, MS Azure, Docker Container, SaltStack, etc…
Infrastructure – Network / SDN or Virtual Networks
i.e. Cisco Router, F5 Load balancer, Firewalls, Wireless, etc…
Infrastructure – Physical Location / Data Center
Geographical locations where assets could be located.
Including regional branches, campus buildings, floors, data centers, etc…
i.e. Eaton Pennsylvania Data Center 2 rack B23 Unit shelve 22.
Creating these containers in your CMDB will make it easier for your functional owners to understand where and how they will define their assets that need to be managed.  It will also force the essential part of the configuration management system, which is the relationships.  Rules can automatically be applied and forced to show dependancies between layers.   This can be built into correlate and adaptive layers as well, to drive root cause analysis on event data.  The Enterprise Service Model also gives you a framework for applying all sorts of metadata about your configuration items.
It provides the foundation for end to end monitoring, security and availability risk management, change and impact assessment, root cause analysis for problem, capacity and performance trending, cost of operations, and so much more.
The following is a picture our team at Vigilant affectionately called the “Crayola Spaghetti Diagram”.
 Enterprise Service Model
Notice we did not have a layer for IT Services.  In my next blog, I will discuss how a focus on IT Services is a sure way to devalue IT’s role within the business.
Written by

Digital Transformentalist Twitter: @VigilantGuy Linkedin: Web: Matt Hooper is an industry advocate for Service Management strategies and best practices around Enterprise Service Management. For over 20 years Matt has instituted methodologies for business intelligence and optimization. Leveraging technology to drive business outcomes, he has built an industry reputation for his highly effective approach to creating value through Service Management. Matt is active on Social Media known as VigilantGuy, and co-hosts the weekly podcast: Hacking Business Technology.

  • Ian Clayton says:

    Matt – I thought a service model was a style of providing service – for example ‘concierge’ versus ‘self-help’, with the decision as to what to offer in response to a consumer situation defined as part of a service strategy…?

    Amazon used to publish their service model at their site under a “How we serve you, how you do business with us” theme…

    • Vigilant Guy says:

      It absolutely is Ian, in the context you are using it. As a business your services need to be defined and you need to craft how you will leverage resources, knowledge, and assets to deliver those services. In my context though, I’m specifically speaking of how IT delivers the IT resource, knowledge and assets to support the business services. Finance, legals, accounting, sales, marketing also need to map their resources and assets to the services.

      For instance, Amazon Prime has a Help Button, then Contact Us, but no option to actually contact them. No form to fill, no email to use, no phone to call. Just a FAQ. This is a failed mapping of business service to resource and asset. Clearly Amazon has a call center, a support email, the ability to create forms to handle request, but somewhere they have dropped the mapping ball. (If you are a prime user like myself, you may feel free to replace “mapping” with a more appropriate expressive adjective)

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Matthew Hooper

Digital Transformentalist