What is an automated configuration management and why is it important, in yourr opinion?
To me, a tool like ServiceNow (not cheap for small orgs), would be an example of this.
Dmytro touched on the need to track changes but also assets. S/N can do both with different modules but essentially you have to have the S/N scanners go sniff out all the assets and configurations on those assets and keep it updated on a routine basis (say once a week).
Then as you make changes to the environment, build new servers or decomm old servers, or change an application to different servers this CMDB gets updated with the current information and allows you to track these changes (change module) with who did what when in an automated tool.
If you had to do this manually, both asset and your CMDB would be severely out of date in no time unless you were a small org with only a few assets. For large organizations, this is a must if you want to track what happens, what changed, who made changes, plan changes out (change board process), and schedule blackout windows for Xmas so everyone can go on PTO, or if something broke the 1st thing you're going to do is go look at the last change to that system and see what changed. It makes resolution faster, safer and more precise.
This is a pretty wide topic. Basically, we need this to be able to track changes (when it was changed, who did this and what actually was updated). Also, it brings such things as repeatability and automation to decrease the possibility of typos and misconfiguration.
Are there any significant advantages in addition to using IaC tools for automation? What tools are the top leaders in this category?