Table of contents
- Key service mapping challenges
- 1. Inability to establish the correlation between infrastructure, applications, and configuration items (CIs)
- 2. Use of outdated workflows for maintaining configuration management databases (CMDBs)
- 3. Use of manual and error-prone processes
- 4. Difficulty in mapping peripheral dependencies
- 5. Lack of data quality and data accuracy
- 6. Lack of adoption leadership and ownership
- 7. Lack of centralized visibility and control
- Tackle service mapping challenges with Virima
If you’ve ever tried to map out your IT infrastructure, you know how challenging it can be. Service mapping is an aspirational tool for the modern IT department of an enterprise. It discovers underlying IT applications and their components and creates a map on how these connect to business services.
Service mapping delivers several benefits like improved visibility, business continuity, and compliance.
However, implementing service maps is a complex process requiring several strategic decisions based on the chosen approach. It’s not just about choosing one tool that can do it all: there are many options available to choose from and each comes with its own set of pros and cons. A good service mapping solution should be able to meet your business requirements while providing flexibility in implementation.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the major challenges of service mapping and how to overcome them so you can get started right away!
Key service mapping challenges
When you’re implementing a service map, it’s important to keep in mind that the process is going to be a lot more complicated than you might expect. Here are some of the key challenges you’ll face:
1. Inability to establish the correlation between infrastructure, applications, and configuration items (CIs)
One of the biggest challenges to overcome when implementing service maps for your IT infrastructure is the inability to establish a correlation between infrastructure, applications, and CIs.
When it comes to implementing a service map, you need to make sure that you establish the foundational service definition needed to effectively map services across the IT infrastructure. Without this foundational understanding of what each component is and how they relate to one another, you will have trouble mapping services and understanding their relationship with one another.
Once this foundational understanding is established, it becomes easier for teams to map out their services. This helps them identify any gaps in their architecture or design and allows them to develop an action plan on how best to tackle these issues.
2. Use of outdated workflows for maintaining configuration management databases (CMDBs)
Maintaining a CMDB is a time-consuming and error-prone process. The manual workflow of populating the CMDB with information related to how CIs are configured and how they work together is highly error-prone. Enterprises have been implementing a horizontal discovery process where they recognized each IT component as independent and no relation was identified with other components. This has led to inaccurate data about application components and CIs in the CMDB.
To overcome this challenge, enterprises need to get away from the highly error-prone workflows of maintaining CMDB. This can be achieved by implementing an automated IT service mapping process that keeps the CMDB up-to-date consistently. Manual processes fail to accomplish this considering the complexities that exist today.
3. Use of manual and error-prone processes
Mapping your IT infrastructure is no small task. It can take a long time and it’s easy to make mistakes. Any time a company seeks to map their entire service environment the work involved is going to be immense. However there are ways to significantly ease the burden on your team.
Automated software can help you speed up the service mapping process significantly, which can save you time and money in the long run. When mapping your IT infrastructure, start from what you already know about how your data is organized and where it lives within your organization. This will help you identify gaps in your knowledge and focus on areas that need improvement first.
4. Difficulty in mapping peripheral dependencies
One of the biggest challenges to implementing service maps for your IT infrastructure is difficulty in mapping peripheral dependencies due to over-engineered processes. When processes are adopted for the process’s sake, or to a level of granularity that impacts usability, you can end up with an implementation that falls short of its potential.
This will impact results. Users will opt out of the process and your organization won’t be able to get the value it needs from the implementation.
To overcome this challenge, only follow processes if they demonstrate value and can be adopted by your organization. When your approach allows for processes to be refined and tightened, you’re more likely to see the impact they make and your organization is more likely to adopt them.
5. Lack of data quality and data accuracy
It is important to have accurate information about your infrastructure and how it works, but it can be hard to get that data. This means that you will need to work with your vendors and partners to ensure that they provide the information you need.
To address this challenge, you need to make sure that your data collection systems are working properly. You need to have processes in place for ensuring that all of your data is up-to-date and correct before it’s used for any purpose whatsoever. A combination of reliable service mapping and IT discovery tools can help identify data points to compile asset relationships and application dependencies. With this, you can quickly identify root causes of service interruptions and recover from outages faster.
6. Lack of adoption leadership and ownership
Another challenge to overcome while implementing a service map is the lack of adoption leadership, especially the service owners who are responsible for the services that will be mapped.
When there is no clear leadership in place, it can cause many problems, including misaligned expectations, poor communication, organizational dissent, conflicting priorities, requirements churn, and compromised results.
To overcome this challenge, make sure to have a structured and active implementation leadership framework in place. Identify the business process and service owners who will provide input for the process design.
7. Lack of centralized visibility and control
One of the biggest challenges that IT admins face while implementing service maps is a lack of centralized visibility and control. The main issue here is that there is no single source of truth for the network infrastructure. Each team has its own separate map, which makes it difficult to see the big picture and keep track of changes across systems. The lack of a unified view can lead to duplicate efforts or even worse—misunderstandings between different teams that lead to failure at scale.
This lack of centralized visibility also makes it difficult for network admins to identify new threats and risks before they affect their organization. This can mean a major security breach or downtime for the business.
Tackle service mapping challenges with Virima
Service mapping is a key component of an enterprise-wide IT service management (ITSM) strategy. It makes critical business services more reliable, secure and available, protecting the organization from financial loss, loss of customers and other business threats caused by unstable systems and services.
Service mapping helps IT organizations/departments justify the investment of time and resources needed to achieve a fully-mapped CMDB.
When you’re managing a large enterprise and trying to stay on top of it all, it’s easy to miss something. And when that something is an important application or service, it can seriously hurt your business.
That’s where Virima comes in. Using a discovery and service mapping system that makes the data easily available to those that need it, the ViVID Service Mapping tool helps ensure that all your company services and applications are properly mapped out.
Virima has agentless as well as agent-based network and cloud discovery capabilities that provide automatic dependency mapping to connect all the asset relationship dots. This reduces the risk in making changes and implementing new releases while also reducing response time when incidents or problems occur.
With ViVID Service Mapping, you can:
– Identify gaps in your IT environment and make sure your teams have what they need
– Assess the health of your environment and its components
– Get a true view of the resources you have available for new projects
– Automate service management processes to improve efficiency and reduce risk to simplify for incident management and problem management processes
Virima’s service mapping tool is a powerful, enterprise-grade solution that provides information on the configuration and performance of IT services. It provides a holistic view of IT services and their interdependencies, making it easy to identify and address problems.
The tool also integrates with your existing CMDBs so you can automate many manual tasks such as updating configurations or service packs at once.