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10 July 2009 | Shirley Lacy Blog
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Facing New Challenges with Pragmatic Configuration Management
This week Shirley looks at the challenges with Configuration Management and reviews the recent BCS and itSMF conference...

  Shirley Lacy

Last week was a great week, especially the tennis and strawberries.

We also did a review of the joint itSMF and BCS conference about pragmatic configuration management – reducing cost and risk. The feedback was great. As well as the excellent networking opportunities, delegates found the sessions thought provoking with useful ideas. Ian Osborne, Intellect and Director of the Grid Computing Now! Knowledge Transfer Network kicked off the day. He set the scene by outlining the new world and ways that organisations will use technology to improve the value delivery through services and the challenges ahead. Hot topics were cloud computing, SaaS, virtualisation as well as some great sessions on how to do configuration management. This was reflected in the feedback. Congratulations to all involved.

The Q&A session at the end of the day was led by John Dixon from GSK. Some of the key questions were: 

  • How far back in the lifecycle should we manage change to software
  • How accurate should a CMDB be – the CIO Board has recently quoted 97%
  • Balancing cost and quality
  • Who will use cloud computing

At the conference we filmed the sessions and interviews with speakers and delegates. Several interviews covered virtualisation, including the management of build and test environments. The ease of creating and managing environments means that we need good configuration management.  As an industry we need to dispose of virtual environments after projects have finished with them. One tactic that was suggested was for projects to pay for such environments in the cloud and then when the project stops paying the environment would disappear – an interesting strategy! The sessions and interviews will be edited and will be part of the new virtual exhibition for the BCS CMSG that is being launched on 20 July in partnership with ITP. More on this as we approach the launch day.

We also started planning future events. A call for papers has already been sent out for an event on 22 November: Change and Release Management for Applications. Submissions must be sent in by the end of August. This will be an opportunity to explore how to improve these processes and I am sure it will include improvements to configuration information.

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!

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