In most organizations there are numerous databases, spreadsheets, and programs that tell the business what assets are owned, where they are located, and who is using them.
This is certainly valuable information; however these repositories often fall short of being able to provide a much bigger picture of how these assets contribute to the delivery of IT services. "This bigger picture is the goal of deploying a CMDB (Configuration Management Database)" according to Column’s CMDB Trainer Christian Smerz.
A CMDB is a database that contains all relevant information about the components of the information system (CI) used in an organization’s IT services and the relationships between those components. A CMDB provides an organized view of data and a means of examining that data from various perspectives. A CI can be any IT component, including software, hardware, documentation, and personnel, as well as any combination of them. It contributes to a broader understanding of how IT services are delivered to the business and improves the processes by which incident, change, problem, and release management are deployed.