Helpful Tips for Choosing the Appropriate CM Tool

Saying that IT architectures are getting larger and more complex in the last few years would be a serious understatement. Today, organizations of all sizes have to invest a lot of time and resources in network monitoring to ensure flawless performance, but the only way to do it is by choosing the appropriate configuration management (CM) platform.

Although a good CM tool can make your business better and more efficient, it can also give you a hard time if you don’t know what you are looking for. After all, the market is packed with all kinds of software solutions and first-time users have to identify the features that really make a difference for their organizations.

Generally speaking, the factors that will make a strong impact on the selection process include the size of your network, IT capabilities, and the budget. However, every system administrator should keep in mind a few basic parameters based on which he/she should evaluate a CM platform.

In this post, we will explain to you the concept of CM and show you five helpful tips for choosing the appropriate CM tools. Let’s take a look!

CM Explained

Before we move on to practical suggestions on how to identify the best CM tool, we need to help you figure out the very concept.

By definition, CM is a system engineering process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product’s performance, functional, and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life. To put it simply, CM represents a set of internal procedures based on which network administrators monitor and control the status of each network element individually.

The purpose of a CM platform is to give administrators a clear overview of all activities, including the list of all network changes. This helps users to drastically reduce the number of system errors and recognize operational setbacks almost instantly. Therefore, CM tools make IT networks faster, better, and more efficient in the long run.

5 Details to Look For When Choosing a CM Platform

CM platforms can have a wide range of functionalities based on developers’ goals and objectives, but we believe that five features matter the most to every network administrator. Here they are:

  1. Automation of routine procedures

Network management is all about procedures and routines that need to be executed dozens of times daily. In such circumstances, it is easy to imagine network administrators making errors because it simply requires the kind of focus and agility human beings cannot achieve.

This is why you’ll want a CM platform that automates routine processes and gets the job done accurately without any human interference. These are the basic administrative actions such as updates and configuration backups. It’s a feature every CM tool should have because it saves administrators a lot of time and prevents a whole bunch of operational blunders.

  1. Change-driven alerts

As a network administrator, you should be the first to know about the changes in the system. No matter how big or small, you have to be aware of each alteration if you want to keep the system functioning smoothly day after day. A reliable CM platform will send you alerts automatically whenever a change is made, so you can react instantly in case something goes wrong.

  1. Find and replace functions

A network administrator should know that one of the fundamental functions of a good CM platform is to successfully identify malfunctioning features and replace them just as quickly. IT networks usually contain myriads of configurations that come in multiple formats, so the only sustainable maintenance mechanism is to deploy the CM technology.

With this type of tool at your disposal, you know that each file is placed in a unified location with all other documents. In other words, you can find and download each configuration immediately.

  1. Unified CM dashboard

We just mentioned that a CM platform must have a unified dashboard that offers you a wide range of simple and easy-to-find functions. If you need weeks or even months to figure it out, the platform is not a suitable solution, particularly for beginner-level users.

Therefore, you should be looking for a user-friendly tool with a clear and intuitive interface. Such a simple dashboard will help not only you to get acquainted with the platform quickly but also encourage all other network administrators to embrace new functions in a matter of days.

  1. Permission levels

The last tip on our list is simple but very important. Namely, you ought to choose a CM tool with multiple permission levels. What makes this feature so critical? Well, the point is that you don’t want to grant the same level of authority to every member of the team.

Instead, you have to restrict access and enable pending approvals. In other words, senior-level network administrators will be able to conduct changes independently, but lower-level admins will have to ask for approval from their supervisors.


IT systems are getting increasingly complex and almost impossible to control from the perspective of human administrators. This is exactly why you need a reliable CM platform to help you keep track of changes and improve the overall performance. Our post showed you five tips for choosing the appropriate CM tool:

  • Automation of routine procedures
  • Change-driven alerts
  • Find and replace functions
  • Unified CM dashboard
  • Permission levels

The features we mentioned above will help you identify the most suitable CM solution for your network and keep it fully functional around the clock, 365 days a year.

Which tip do you consider to be the most important here? Do you have other useful suggestions to share with us? Feel free to write a comment – we would love to see your CM experiences!

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