With the Internet of Things(IoT) taking over the world of technology, IT leaders from all industries with applications ranging from smart buildings to smart transportation and smart security will soon find themselves overwhelmed with managing IoT devices as well as data and information coming from these devices.
Just like any other IT equipment, IoT devices also need similar lifecycle management. It is important for CIOs to realize the importance of this, and build appropriate IoT configuration management strategies for current IT environments. This is important to build a foundation upon which all future digital strategies are to be built.
What is Configuration Management?
Configuration Management is an IT process that helps track and manage all configuration items (CI) in the organization. These include individual devices such as network routers or servers as well as IT policies or services. Configuration Management is done throughout the lifecycle of the CI from its acquisition to disposal.
The operational phase of configuration management includes the design and implementation of processes to gather data continuously and update the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) with the current status of every CI – including cloud-based and in-house. It also updates the relationship of each CI with other CIs and its impact on all other key processes of the business.
Why is IoT Configuration Management Important?
With the right kind of framework in place, your company can evolve along with the transformation of its digital landscape. However, it is not possible to take complete advantage of the Internet of Things without having a comprehensive service management strategy. This includes configuration management as one of the key components.
Though configuration management is one of the most foundational and talked about processes of ITIL, it is often implemented the least. Hence, if you do not have your configuration management in place, you cannot build what is needed for creating a desired digital strategy.
Many IT professionals are of the opinion that the creation of this kind of IoT configuration management strategy is difficult, costly, and time-consuming. However, with time they are coming to a better realization that it offers its own competitive benefits, and not having a configuration management strategy at all can in turn have higher costs.
3 Important Questions
For an organization to be sure whether their configuration management strategy is ready for IoT and ultimate digital transformation, it is imperative to ask these three important questions and ensure that you address them until you get a satisfactory answer.
- Who is responsible for configuration management in your organization?
This is a simple but very important question. It is important to be able to identify those responsible and accountable for this role within your organization. Inability to do so indicates that you are not prepared for a real digital transformation.
- Have you prepared a complete list of all Configuration Items in your organization, including cloud-based and in-house items?
Effective configuration management requires creating and maintaining a complete and accurate list of all Configuration Items working together for meeting business needs and building IT services. This includes all cloud-based and in-house configuration items. With a complete list of all configuration items, you have the ability to prioritize what remedies need to be applied during an outage event or assess any risks associated with change management. In the absence of this list, your IT is completely dependent on the knowledge by a handful of experienced team members in your IT department.
- Are you confident about your ability to manage a large number of IoT devices that your organization will potentially acquire over a period of five years?
With time, the acceptance of smart devices will be increasingly important for organizations to be able to completely embrace the concept of digital infrastructure. Organizations will either have to embrace the IoT and related CI infrastructure or be ready to get out of the competition. If you want to stay in the competition, it is important that your answer to this question should be affirmative.
As the devices become more connected and the adoption of IoT continues to grow, the challenges associated with device management will also increase. The best way to deal with this changing landscape is to carefully plan the digital transformation strategy. IoT configuration management is a basic and important step in providing long-term scalability and adopting an innovative approach for ultimate success in the competitive market.