CGI expert Vilma-Lotta Lehtinen

Vilma-Lotta Lehtinen

Consultant, Product Specialist

ServiceNow is a service management platform that enables you to digitalize and centralize all your organization's services in one place: to model processes, automate and harmonize workflows, and produce reports to support business needs and knowledge management.

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Delivering services requires collaboration between different parts of the organization, such as planning, task execution and information exchange between systems. The process should work seamlessly from start to finish, but unfortunately process-related information is often scattered. One part of the information is on a sticky note on the wall of the system architect's desk, another part in the service manager's personal Excel file, a third in the depths of an outdated shared folder. Data is fragmented across different systems, and service-related tasks are maintained in different places - sometimes even manually. At worst, when processes change overnight, bottlenecks are created and the efficiency of service delivery and customer satisfaction declines. This is when you need to consider whether it is time to invest in a service management platform.

Among the wide range of service providers, ServiceNow is one of the market leaders. ServiceNow is a service management platform on which services, associated processes, underlying data, reporting and knowledge can be built and run. So, what should you know about ServiceNow?

1. ServiceNow is suitable for more than just IT service management

When ServiceNow was founded in the early 2000s, it focused primarily on IT service management. For instance, the system can be used to model service catalogues, create service portals for internal and external IT services, and manage incidents, problems, changes, and configurations.

However, over the years, ServiceNow has focused on making the platform suitable for managing a wide range of services for all types of organizations. For example, the platform can be used to manage customer service processes, HR services, security services or risk and compliance management. As ServiceNow is constantly developing the platform, customers get access to the latest features with each release.

2. Pay for what you use and how you use it

An organization's ServiceNow users may have very different needs in terms of required visibilities and services. The underlying idea is that an employee or service user has visibility into the system's data, processes and services depending on their role. A person who subscribes to services and collects information for their own work requires a different view than, for instance, a manager who wants to monitor process life cycles and key figures to be reported.

The ServiceNow licensing model is user and role based. If some users in an organization need HR tools and some need IT service management tools, users are licensed respectively under each product family. This makes it easier to manage license investments, and the organization does not pay unnecessary costs.

Typically, ServiceNow is purchased as a cloud-based platform, but it is also possible to install the system locally in a dedicated data center if the organization has very high security requirements.

Customers do not experience additional burdens from system monitoring, backups, data centre connectivity, and version updates when ServiceNow is purchased as a cloud solution. Security is one of the key features of the platform, which is continuously developed and monitored.

3. Use standard products or develop your own applications

There are many off-the-shelf modules in the product families that are cheaper and faster to deploy than building similar applications from scratch. However, sometimes organizations need customized applications and workflows, requiring the system to be tailored to their needs. ServiceNow aims for low-threshold development, and the platform has many tools that allow functionality and services to be developed without in-depth coding knowledge. This "citizen developer" approach helps reduce silos within an organization, for example between IT services, application development and core business. Modelling complex applications and services, on the other hand, may require professional developers. The ServiceNow certification program works on a product family basis, and platform developers are usually required to have at least a Certified System Administrator certification.

However, before making any changes, it is a good idea to look at how ServiceNow has solved the management of different processes and how your own processes could perhaps be aligned with the functionality of the platform. ServiceNow develops its product portfolio and application functionality in line with industry experts and global practices, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel necessarily. In addition, maintenance and further development of the system is more straightforward when using the default functionalities that ServiceNow develops    according to its roadmap.

4. Get your data and reporting in order

Bottlenecks in service production can be caused by a lack of process data. ServiceNow, with its capabilities and data modelling, enables data to be structured so that it is available for services in the right place at the right time. For example, configuration management data can be highly relevant to an organization's costs or service billing, while tracking service levels can be of interest to process owners. When data is modelled, integrated, and processed consistently, service delivery becomes more coherent and efficient.

The system has great integration interfaces, so it is often used as a process engine that connects many systems, storing and processing the data needed by different services. ServiceNow is also increasingly developing its AI capabilities.

The system has extensive reporting capabilities for both timely operational and strategic trend reporting. There are also pre-built reports included in product families.

5. You get all the ServiceNow services you need from CGI

CGI has ServiceNow centers of excellence around the world, with core expertise in Finland. Our ServiceNow experts are certified, and continuous training ensures that platforms are developed according to ServiceNow best practices and the latest features. Customer teams are assembled according to each customer's requirements, with either local ServiceNow experts or an international team of experts from our global centers of excellence.

Our customers buy services from us to develop and maintain their ServiceNow platforms. We also offer the ServiceNow platform as a service from our own shared environments. Our maintenance services include version upgrades, resolving platform-related issues and service requests, and ensuring platform functionality. We carry out deployment and migration projects and develop ServiceNow's own functionality as well as applications created for our customers. We provide configuration, architecture, testing and evaluation services to help you get the most out of your ServiceNow investment. Integration services and licenses are also available from CGI.

We are committed to ServiceNow technology as a global Elite Partner and will continue to invest in our ServiceNow services.

Learn more about our ServiceNow partnership

Kirjoittajasta

CGI expert Vilma-Lotta Lehtinen

Vilma-Lotta Lehtinen

Consultant, Product Specialist

Työskentelen ServiceNow'n parissa ja toimin tällä hetkellä teknisenä konsulttina. Olen osallistunut useiden suomalaisten ja ulkomaisten asiakkaiden implementaatio-, kehitys- ja ylläpitoprojekteihin eri toimialoilla. Minua kiinnostaa etenkin tekoäly ja se, miten asiakkaan prosesseja voidaan paranaa ja mallintaa niin, että ServiceNow'sta saadaan kaikki mahdollinen hyöty irti.