The Four Domains of CSDM

The CSDM conceptual model contains the following domains; Design, Manage Technical Services, Sell and Consume, and Manage Business Services. Each of these domains loosely corresponds with one or more ServiceNow products, services, or service types. Before we dive into the details of these domains, it is important to understand the following definitions.

Services and Service Types

A service enables you to achieve the outcomes that you want with minimal risks and without incurring costs. This definition is consistent with the base definition of “service” in the ITIL framework. Services typically have three components: the interaction, the offering, and the service system. For the sake of CSDM it is important to remember that Services and Service Types are not a single item, but rather the whole system that a single item effects.

For example, think of your trash service. If the trash service doesn’t come and pick up your garbage, it could be because of one of the many individual items that make up the service (flat tire, late driver, traffic) is out of place, with the end result being actual service is effected.

Base System Service Types

ServiceNow includes these base system service types which you can extend to align with the service types in your organization.

  • Business Services. Business services are associated with business users. Business services are typically lower-level leaf nodes of business capabilities in a structured hierarchy.
  • Technical Services. Technical services are associated with service owners. Technical services are typically lower-level leaf nodes of one or more business or application services in a structured hierarchy.
  • Application Services. Application services are logical representations of a deployed application stack.

Strategy & Design Domain

The Design domain represents the tables currently in use by ServiceNow Application Portfolio Management (APM).

While the Design domain represents the tables currently used by APM, these tables are not operational. Because these tables are not operational, you can’t select them for Incident Management and Change Management.

The Design domain includes the following tables:

  • Business capability [cmdb_ci_ business_capability] table
  • Business application [cmdb_ci_ business_app] table
  • Information object [cmdb_ci_ information_object] table

While you’re not required to use APM to use these tables, you can capitalize APM to rationalize and manage your business applications.

Business Capability

A business capability is a high-level capability that your organization must execute to complete a business model or fulfill a mission. It is typically associated with performing specific tasks needed to achieve one or more business outcomes and often listed as verbs (for example, manage financials or provide IT support services).

To improve business capabilities, establish a relationship between the following configuration items (CIs):

  • The business capability and the business application (for visualization and reporting purposes).
  • The business application and the business service.

These relationships enable you to:

  • Determine if the provided services are meeting key strategic initiatives of the business capabilities.
  • Rationalize the business applications used are fit for purpose and are not duplicated.
  • Evaluate the cost of business applications to the business

An accurate service model that includes these relationships can serve as the foundation for strategically aligned architectural decisions.

Business capabilities are recorded in the [cmdb_ci_business_capability] table.

Representing Business Capabilities in a Hierarchy

You can also represent business capabilities in a hierarchy that includes a parent business capability and one or more lower-level (child) capabilities. These lower level capabilities are called “leaf nodes.” Leaf nodes are represented by numeric values, such as 1.0 for the parent and 2.0 through 6.0 for the leaf nodes.

If you add, update, or delete a capability at a leaf node, update the levels of all the capabilities for the leaf nodes in that hierarchy, as applicable.

To update the capabilities, click the Update Capability Level and HierarchyID related link in the Business Capability form. Updating the capabilities ensures that the capability map reflects the change. When you’re updating business capabilities, note the following guidelines:

  1. When adding a capability, the hierarchy level is automatically assigned based on the parent capability level.
  2. If the parent capability is updated in the hierarchy, the levels of all its leaf node capabilities are recalculated.
  3. The total number of leaf node levels can’t exceed six in the hierarchy.
  4. Only leaf node-level capabilities or capabilities without leaf node levels can be deleted.
  5. Don’t create circular relationships. For instance, when creating a parent capability, a leaf node capability can’t be its parent.

Business Application

A business application represents the software and infrastructure (for example, the titles catalog) used to provide a business function. Business applications increase productivity and perform other business functions, such as accounts payables, accounts receivables, and general ledger.

A business application can span geographies (for example, Americas, the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ), or regions (for example, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa [EMEA] ).

You can enter the details of a business application by using the Business Application form. Alternatively, you can import the list of applications from a spreadsheet or a third-party tool. To import data, define a data source and a transform map, and run or schedule an import. Although not required, you should use a business application.

Because the business application is a manually managed CI class, you must also manually create its required relationships. For example, you must create relationships between the business application and other CIs, such as the instances of the application services in use.

Creating relationships also enables you to relate business applications to infrastructure CIs, such as databases and web servers. Using APM, you can add any business application for which you must track costs, usage, business value, functionality, and risks.

Information Object

Referenced by the business application, the information object is part of the information portfolio. The information object is a CI that displays information in an organized form; An information object describes the type of data (or the information) that the application receives from the database. You can use the object table to identify the types of data a business application uses, including highly sensitive data such as:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) data
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data

One down, three more CSDM domains to go… Download our full CSDM eBook here to get details on the complete CSDM framework, along with implementation tips, and a scorecard for your own organization.