Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

CM (Configuration Management)

CM software includes both stand-alone products and suites of products that can initially provision/configure desktops, servers or mobile devices, and then manage the change of configuration settings, software, and increasingly the files and data on those elements on an ongoing basis. Included in this category are stand-alone products for software distribution, various discovery requirements, remote control, software packaging, personality migration, software usage metering and mobile device management. Also included here are product suites that lead with provisioning and CM but may include features such as asset discovery, automated backup, bare-metal boot, self-healing functionality, data synchronization, security, virtualization — both application and hosted virtual desktops (HVD) — or even help desk features. When these features are sold as stand-alone products, revenue is counted in other categories. There are many tools that offer one or more of the functions above, and these are included as well. Some solutions for servers, for instance, offer robust configuration auditing and remediation, and others have more-targeted solutions with deep configuration auditing and reporting to meet a variety of auditing requirements (such as security, regulatory, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, “gold” or trusted configuration baselining). This category also contains CM database tools and supporting technology to discover and populate them, which includes IT service dependency mapping tools.
CM is for production systems only. CM is distinct from software configuration management (SWCM), which is used by programmers to manage the change and configuration of development systems. Some SWCM and CM vendors are partnering to provide a linkage between systems. Finally, the CM category does not include vendors that position products primarily as electronic software distribution or as content distribution used in Internet distribution scenarios (B2B or business-to-consumer [B2C]).

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