Configuration Management: Expert Guidance For IT Service Managers And Practitioners

I hate writing books—lots of work for an uncertain return. But it feels really good when it is finished (a bit like banging one’s head against a brick wall), and Shirley Lacy and I have just seen “Configuration Management: Expert Guidance for IT Service Managers and Practitioners” hit the bookstalls.

Shirley is one of the country’s leading experts on ITIL and configuration management systems (she co-authored the ITIL Service Transition volume with Ivor MacFarlane) and our book captures the practical knowledge aired by both presenters and delegates at one of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group’s annual conferences.

It represents the result of a practical application of knowledge capture and knowledge transfer, using technology designed to record group opinions. We think it does a better job of preserving the knowledge aired at the conference than simple conference proceedings could, partly because it includes delegate input and partly because it is fully edited with extra input as we thought necessary.

Hopefully it is a good read, and not just for CM technologists, because I think that configuration management is fundamental to IT governance at the business level. It’s all about knowing what you have and who’s using it and for what—and is far too important to just keep in a “configuration management silo”.

Any stakeholder in the delivery of automated business services should have at least a high-level idea of what a service asset and configuration management process does and why it is needed—and why it is about more than simply managing a simple collection of config files.

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David Norfolk is Practice Leader Development and Governance (Development/Governance) at Bloor Research. David first became interested in computers and programming quality in the 1970s, working in the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University. Here he discovered that computers could deliver misleading answers, even when programmed by very clever people, and was taught to program in FORTRAN. His ongoing interest in all things related to development has culminated in his joining Bloor in 2007 and taking on the development brief. Development here refers especially to automated systems development. This covers technology including acronym-driven tools such as: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Integrated Development Environments (IDE), Model Driven Architecture (MDA), automated data analysis tools and metadata repositories, requirements modelling tools and so on.