Henry Ford reportedly said that his customers could have their cars in any colour as long as it was black. Today, no car company could survive with such a narrow range of choices. Although products are still mass-produced, customers demand adaption to their own requirements. This applies to large business-to-business products, such as machinery or buildings, as well as business-to-consumer products ranging from cars to personal computers.
Companies often start a web presence with either a static website or a shopping cataloque. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of providing a customised product or service offering. Using e-Commerce, such offerings have to be configured, validated and checked online through web servers.
A web based CM solution is an "automated sales support tool on the web". CM can also be used for e-business upselling opportunities. Any company which attempts to meet customer needs to order by configuring customised products from a set of standard components is a candidate for CM. For example:
Computer hardware configuration management is the process of creating and maintaining an up-to-date record of all the components of the infrastructure, including related documentation. Its purpose is to show what makes up the infrastructure and illustrate the physical locations and links between each item, which are known as configuration items.
Computer hardware configuration goes beyond the recording of computer hardware for the purpose of asset management, although it can be used to maintain asset information. The extra value provided is the rich source of support information that it provides to all interested parties. This information is typically stored together in a configuration management database (CMDB).
The scope of configuration management is assumed to include, at a minimum, all configuration items used in the provision of live, operational services.
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