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Configuration Management Cobit 5

CM in the IT world originated from the need to control program source code. CM was meant to be a version control system that tracked and managed changes to program source code and documentation. When source code versions were created or modified, the source code control system allowed programmers to compare, restore
or integrate program source code in a safe way. Later, the benefits of CM extended to product development and IT landscape management. For the remainder of this publication, the term “configuration management” means the process for recording and updating information that is related to the IT infrastructure.

COBIT 5 defines the purpose of CM as the process to provide sufficient information about service assets to enable the service to be effectively managed, assess the impact of changes and deal with service incidents.

Within IT service management (ITSM), the purpose of CM is to identify, record, control, report, audit and verify service assets and configuration items (CIs), including baselines, versions, constituent components, their attributes, and relationships to efficiently and effectively support other processes by providing accurate configuration information.

Due to the complexity and interdependence of the multiple functions supporting the IT infrastructure, CM has evolved into a key process of accurately recording information about the IT environment and thus providing input to manage changes, incidents, problems and new projects. The IT environment can encompass software, hardware, network appliances, data structures, process definitions, documentation, credentials, personnel and any other element that is part of the IT infrastructure. The
methods to implement CM can vary, but the goal should always remain the same: to have a repository where CIs and their relationships to other CIs are recognized and documented through their life cycle. Even small changes have the capacity to impact related elements. Therefore, for any proposed modifications to CIs, the impact on other CIs should be assessed with the related risk before any change is made.

Approved changes and their impact on other processes and potential business users should be documented to maintain up-to-date configuration information.

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