Configuration management (CM) is the detailed recording and updating of information that describes an enterprise's hardware and software. Such information typically includes the versions and updates that have been applied to installed software packages and the locations and network addresses of hardware devices. Special configuration management software is available. When a system needs a hardware or software upgrade, a computer technician can access the configuration management program and database to see what is currently installed. The technician can then make a more informed decision about the upgrade needed.
An advantage of a configuration management application is that the entire collection of systems can be reviewed to make sure any changes made to one system do not adversely affect any of the other systems.
Configuration management is also used in software development, where it is called Unified Configuration Management (UCM). Using UCM, developers can keep track of the source code, documentation, problems, changes requested, and changes made.