Architecting the Enterprise

Serge Thorn

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Do not invest too much in building your CMDB now!

Interesting enough a few days ago a new version of the CMDB federation Whitepaper has been posted. The list of participants is impressive as we find every key players in ITSM including Microsoft…CA, IBM, BMC, Fujitsu, HP and Microsoft have worked together to propose a standard for federating data from ITIL compliant CMDB repositories. The intention is to submit their achievement to a standard body sometimes this year. For the time being, this is a draft which is reviewed by the main IT Service Management actors.

In this current version, there are explanations how to push or pull information from/to various CMDBs into a main CMDB. These “other CMDBs” are named: MDR, Management Data Repositories. Exchange mechanisms and technologies used to access these MDRs will be based on the SOA stack (HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, XML).

What does that mean concretely?

· In a few months (years?) vendors could sell Service Management solutions with a different metamodel
· Instead of using autodiscovery tools, vendors could provide these push pull mechanisms for companies which already have in place other platforms such as Asset Management systems, or system management platforms, or other inventory systems
· It becomes maybe un-necessary to build proprietary bridges with systems which contain important information to build a CMDB. This could be postponed.
· Vendors which actually come with tactical scenarios such as HP-Mercury with their UCMDB could change their strategy sooner than expected!
· Companies in a CMDB project may have to “migrate” in the future to another approach, based probably on a hub and spoke architecture
· Taxonomy being a key challenge for such a project may impact existing CMDB implementation

Companies which started to build a CMDB should measure the impact of that initiative in the long term with their vendors as the CMDB landscape could change dramatically in the next months.

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Serge Thorn is currently developing and delivering new Enterprise Architecture consultancy and training services, implementing Governance and managing IT Operations.

Before he was in charge of International Governance and Control, implementing different best practices around IT Finance/Procurement, Audit/Risk management, Vendors Management (with Service Level Management) in a Bank.

Previously Serge worked in a Pharma in charge of the Enterprise Architecture worldwide program and Governance, the IT Research & Innovation, following the reorganization of the IT Department, implementing Service Management based on ITIL Best Practices and deploying new processes: Change, Configuration, Release, and Capacity/Availability Management, responsible for the Disaster Recovery Plan and for the System Management team.

Prior to this, he was responsible for the Architecture team in an international bank, and has wide experience in the deployment and management of information systems in Private Banking and Wealth Management environments, and also in the IT architectures domains, Internet, dealing rooms, inter-banking networks, Middle and Back-office. He also has been into ERP and CRM domains.

Serge's main competencies cover the perfect understanding of banking activities, and industry, the design of new systems, IT strategies, IT Governance and Control, Innovation, new technologies, Enterprise Architecture (including BPM and TOGAF 9), Service Management (ITIL V 3), Quality System ISO 9001:2000, team management, project and portfolio management (PMI), IT Finance, organization and planning.