How a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) for IT Improves Business Decision-Making
Now, more than ever before, good business decisions are built on good business data. Whether it’s gaining insight into the opportunities and risks of a competitive marketplace, or understanding how to maximize the effectiveness of a company’s internal operations, having access to data that is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date is key.
But a business’s data is typically derived from many different sources. When this information is stored and managed locally, the result can be data silos in which various teams within the organization work from their own isolated, and often inconsistent, data caches. For example, a customer may provide important information in a telephone conversation, chat session, or email that is logged locally within the support function, but never propagated to the master record for that customer in the company database.
Dangers of Data Silos
Having multiple data instances that refer to the same entity is a recipe for confusion. Local copies of data elements may become outdated because there is no means of ensuring that all occurrences of that information are quickly and reliably updated when changes occur. Data can become fragmented, with some locations having access to pertinent information that other locations don’t even know exists. And, of course, with human beings entering and modifying data manually in multiple locations, errors and inconsistencies are inevitable.
In such an environment, decision-makers are handicapped by having to rely on data that often proves to be inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete, resulting in confusion, delay, and poor decisions.
According to Gartner’s Measuring the Business Value of Data Quality report, 40% of all business initiatives miss their goals because of poor data quality. That’s why having a single source of truth for company data is vital. It allows all decision-makers across the organization to work from the same set of high quality, comprehensive information.
What Is a Single Source of Truth (SSoT)?
A SSoT usually consists of a comprehensive database that functions as the single authoritative system of record for an organization’s entire IT operation. Each element of information referenced in this database can be counted on to be the “official” version of that particular piece of data. The database does not necessarily store the data itself, but instead houses metadata that includes a reference pointing to a unique location where the official version of a particular data element is stored.
All data updates, wherever made, show up immediately in all views of the data. There are no local information gaps since all elements of the data, whatever their source, are visible to all users authorized to see them.
Business Benefits of a SSoT
Use of a SSoT enables better business decision-making in the following ways:
- Eliminates data duplication with its potential for errors, inconsistencies, and outdated information;
- Minimizes time spent manually verifying data accuracy and completeness, allowing more timely decision making;
- Provides higher quality data for BI (business intelligence) analytics, leading to more accurate analyses and better decisions;
- Provides clear insight into how the components of your IT infrastructure interoperate, leading to better decisions concerning budgets, maintenance, and IT strategy;
- Enables quicker root cause analysis of anomalous IT events, leading to less unplanned downtime.
The Ironstream for ServiceNow® Solution
The ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is the premier SSoT solution in the industry. Although ServiceNow does not natively discover mainframe resources, Ironstream for ServiceNow provides that capability. The two working together give full visibility into your entire IT infrastructure, including mainframe data elements and resources.
The ServiceNow CMDB is continuously updated automatically, so no manual intervention is required.
To learn how Ironstream for ServiceNow can provide a single source of truth for your entire IT operation, please download our ebook: Extending ServiceNow to Discover the IBM i and IBM Mainframe.