I am creating a plan to optimize IT resources in my company. I'm finding it extremely difficult to map which network devices and systems are involved (and how much) in delivering our most important business functions. Where should I start to figure this out?
There are two aspects to this question a) What are the most critical aspects of the IT infrastructure from a business perspective and b) how to perform the appropriate mappings.
The best way to determine the business needs for IT is at the service level agreement between the company and the IT organization. This document should spell out quite clearly the business priorities.
Creating and maintaining the mapping of the business priorities and the physical infrastructure is typically done through a process called 'configuration management'. Configuration management can be seen as a powerful next step to asset management. Configuration management does maintain a database of all devices, applications and IT services (and more) like an asset tracking system. The major difference is that a configuration management system will also track the relationships between different configuration items - including what physical components are associated to IT services.
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