The CMDB Tidal Wave? More of a ripple.
Dodgy stats and talk-up-the-market hype mar two otherwise interesting articles on CMDB.
Here are two good articles worth reading on CIO Update from Dennis Drogseth of EMA: Why IT Management is at a Tipping Point and Riding the CMDB Tidal Wave, Part One: Understanding. I've not always been kind to Dennis, but I generally agree with him here and found some new ideas in the articles.
Only one bit made the skeptical radar bleep loudly, a typical piece of analyst's talking-up-the-market: the "CMDB Tidal Wave". The stats are dodgy:
Our data shows that about 30% of our respondents were not interested in CMDBs, and the other 70% divided almost equally between those who had specific plans or deployments in place and those who had interest but no specific plans.
This year’s research has targeted actual adopters and we see a parallel ratio where about 50% are in active planning and 50% are in deployment. Most are in relatively early stages with about 15% showing two-to-three year deployments.
Given the fact that just four years ago the acronym CMDB would have been affiliated only with ITIL with far fewer than 10% in planning or deployment, I would say what we’re seeing is indeed a tidal wave.
Sounds good eh? Now be a critical reader and take that apart. Last time EMA surveyed a wide audience and found 1 in 3 interested and 1 in 3 planning or doing. This time they surveyed only those actually doing. So don't make any comparison between the two sets of numbers.
Of that unknown proportion of the total population who were selected for the latest survey based on the fact that they have actually adopted CMDB, only half had actually got around to doing anything and only 15% (of the total adopters or of the 50% who have roused themselves to action??) have multi-year deployments under their belts.
Last year 33% were planning-or-doing. We don't know how many this year - let's say there is a big wave and we'll guess as much as 50%. So somewhere between 3% and 8% of the industry have "done" CMDB (3% = 15% x 50% x 50%, 8% = 15% x 50%) and 25% (25% = 50% x 50%) are doing (something). Not bad, but a Tidal Wave?
Planning-and-doing has gone from 10% to 33% in four years. An increase indeed, and the term "CMDB" is indeed the leading keyword and search word at the moment, but a Tidal Wave?
"Definitely observable ripples" I would have said. And one wonders how many of those ripples of interest are caused by people (analysts and vendors) calling CMDB things like a tidal wave.
All this ignores the fact that most vendors' and analysts' "research" is methodologically suspect. One wonders how many people "doing" CMDB are in fact putting in an asset database, or license management, or some other user-defined version of CMDB. Or how many are there where "doing" means Fred has been told to come up with something in his spare time with no budget. Or where "doing" means we bought a tool that says CMDB on the brochure but we haven't got past implementing network alerting or incident tickets yet.
The idea of CMDB is making quite a splash but I still don't see too many people swept away.