Associating business information with information about IT resources is important. Organizations need to understand the business relevance of resources to answer questions such as which business applications are affected in case of a server outage, and to understand the resource footprint of business applications. Maintaining this relationship over the life cycles of resources and business applications is difficult because data on business applications and IT configuration information are maintained very differently. Business application information is maintained by employees in the course of a management process, whereas IT configuration information can be maintained more vigorously by scanning IT resources and storing the results in a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), where this actual configuration information can be reconciled with an authorized configuration. This paper proposes an approach to associate business application information with configuration information by "watermarking" IT resources with references to information on the business purpose they serve. This enables the establishment of a relationship between automatically detected and manually managed information in a consistent, reliable, and cost-effective way as well as the identification of inconsistencies that may develop over time. © 2010 IEEE.