How companies can successfully implement and seamlessly integrate ServiceNow to reinvent digital workflows enterprise-wide
Companies are struggling with a myriad of IT challenges, such as staff shortages, long and complex processes, or an overabundance of manual tasks. ServiceNow has emerged as a bright spot in the enterprise application landscape to help organizations move forward despite headwinds. With this platform, companies of all sizes have the capability to create digital workflows across the enterprise, unlocking new levels of efficiency and performance.
But while the ServiceNow platform is designed to solve common IT and functional challenges, implementation sometimes comes with a few of its own. This article reviews three common ServiceNow implementation and operation issues our experts are seeing and how companies can address them to maximize their investment.
3 challenges companies may overlook during their ServiceNow implementation
Challenge 1: Resisting the urge to customize.
ServiceNow offers companies the ability to customize platform components to support unique use cases. While this is often very appealing to users, the drawback is that customization makes the system more difficult to upgrade over time or leverage new features as they are introduced.
To extract the full value from their ServiceNow investment, companies should resist the urge to customize and instead find other ways to replicate the benefits of doing so. For instance, it is possible to identify parts of the workflow or other process components that can be adjusted outside ServiceNow, enabling the company to achieve the desired efficiency gains without altering the system itself.
For example, for reporting and dashboarding requirements, customizing the out-of-the-box (OOB) state flow of the workflow is a complex process that will often result in significant technical debt to manage. However, adding new fields to the OOB data model is far less complicated and often achieves a similar result.
Identifying customization workarounds or managing customizations in ServiceNow requires a deep understanding of the platform and the surrounding business processes. For companies that are new to the platform, it can be difficult to find those alternatives, but it is critically important that they do so since the decisions made at the outset of the program will affect the platform’s long-term performance and functionality. Working with an experienced partner, companies can more easily access the best of both worlds: the value of customization without the technical debt.
Challenge 2: Overcoming data complexity.
If customization is one of clients’ most common issues when implementing ServiceNow, then data is the biggest. This will probably come as no surprise since every enterprise application is only as good as the data companies feed into it and their ability to maintain it over time.
As with other enterprise applications, companies need to be very clear about where they will draw foundation data, such as user information, location data, and assignment groups when it comes to ServiceNow. This information, which can come from any number of sources, including cost centers, departments, products and assets, service contracts, and entitlements, is crucial for common processes like submitting IT tickets since resolution hinges on teams having correct, complete, and accurate information related to the request at their fingertips.
In addition to sourcing clean, accurate, and complete information, companies also need to ensure its relevance throughout the application’s lifecycle. This requires a strong strategy to populate and maintain foundation data, exploring options for integration with upstream systems to keep the data up-to-date and ensuring it evolves to support more advanced use cases over time.
Challenge 3: Integrating ServiceNow within the enterprise application ecosystem.
ServiceNow is a powerful platform, but it does not operate as a standalone application. It must be integrated with other systems and platforms used by the business, such as Salesforce or SAP, both for the purpose of sharing data to inform activities and creating insights from across the business.
In any enterprise application, there are limitations on what kinds of insights the system can generate and report without compiling and analyzing data from diverse systems. Connecting ServiceNow with a data management tool, such as Tableau, for dashboarding and reporting will allow the company to build a robust information system layer, helping teams better understand how services are delivered and what actions they can take to improve processes.
Callout: What to look for in a ServiceNow transformation partner
To help mitigate these common challenges and others, it is important to work with a transformation partner that can guide the implementation, operation and evolution of the ServiceNow platform and its integration with other enterprise applications. While the needs of each organization will be unique, here are some key capabilities to look for in a partner:
Commitment to Now Create, ServiceNow’s step-by-step delivery methodology based on best practices from successful implementations.
Reach the next stage of operational excellence with ServiceNow and Globant
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