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Challenges, critical success factors, and risks with SACM

The ITIL Service Transition manual identifies the following challenges, critical success factors, and risks with Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM).

Challenges to SACM

Challenges to SACM include the following items:

  • Persuading technical support staff to adopt a checking in/out policy, which can be perceived as a hindrance to a fast and responsive support service. If the positives of such a system are not conveyed adequately then staff might be inclined to try to circumvent it.
  • Attracting and justifying funding for SACM, since it is typically out of sight to the customer units empowered with funding control. In practice it is typically funded as an invisible element of Change Management and other ITSM processes with more business visibility.
  • An attitude of just collecting data because it is possible to do. This leads SACM into a data overload which is impossible, or at least disproportionately expensive, to maintain.
  • Lack of commitment and support from management who do not understand the key role it must play supporting other processes.

Critical success factors for SACM

SACM's success includes the following critical factors:

  • Focusing on establishing valid justification for collecting and maintaining data at the agreed level of detail.
  • Demonstrating a top-down approach that is focused on identifying service CIs and subsequently the CIs that support those services, thereby allowing a rapid and clear demonstration of potential points of failure for any given service.
  • Setting a justified level of accuracy, that is, the correlation between the logical model within SACM and the real world.
  • Making use of enabling technology to automate the CMS practices and enforce SACM policies.

Risks to successful SACM

Risks to successful SACM include the following items:

  • The temptation to consider it technically focused, rather than service and business focused, since technical competence is essential to its successful delivery.
  • Degradation of the accuracy of configuration information over time that can cause errors and be difficult and costly to correct.
  • The CMS becomes out of date due to the movement of hardware assets by non-authorized staff. Half-yearly physical audits should be conducted with discrepancies highlighted and investigated. Managers should be informed of inconsistencies in their areas.

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