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12 Days of Giving: Day One. Integration Do’s and Don’ts For Digital Workflows

It’s hard to believe that it is almost the end of 2019. With only 20 days left in the decade, we’ve taken it on ourselves to make sure that at least 12 of them (okay, exactly 12 of them) are chock full of learning.

That’s right, to send you off into the New Year we are relighting one of our most popular annual traditions. For the third year in a row, we are running our 12 Days of Giving where we gift to you 12 days of new ServiceNow content.

This year, we are excited to announce that 12 Days will include;

  • 5 new original eBooks on topics like IT Business Management and Asset Management
  • New customer case studies
  • A new Advisory workbook
  • A host of other content on topics such as ServiceNow HR and IT.

To kick off today we’ve decided to go with a topic that spans every ServiceNow product – integrations.

Integrations: Building Bridges to Sustain Your Process Automation

End‑to‑end digital workflows across different business apps and platforms are the prerequisite for success in today’s digital era.

Process and orchestration automation (also affectionately known as digital workflows in the ServiceNow stratosphere) is on every modern business’s agenda. The problem with process automation is that it usually involves lots of data, apps, and even different platforms. Building and supporting integrations to transform processes into digital workflows can quickly overwhelm an IT department—and leave business analysts waiting for the connectors they need.

Which is why the ServiceNow Now Platform includes the IntegrationHub. IntegrationHub is specifically designed to be the bridge between your IT department and all the apps and data your company relies on – to meet the demands of digitization that comes with shared services initiatives.

So to help you with your integration odyssey, we’ve come up with a few “do’s and don’ts” or, if you’re in a holiday mood, a naughty and nice list.

Building Bridges: 6 Integration “Dos”

1. Do setup scalable solutions. Requirements are changing every day. Think about the end product before you start building. Guesstimate what features could be added and plan accordingly.

2. Do trust (but verify) vendors. While vendors of integrations try to provide quality work, you never want to assume they know your nomenclature, your best practices, and your systems specifically. Verify all code, if possible, prior to using and then adjust where appropriate.

3. Do make sure your inputs are sanitized. Or else little Bobby Tables may interject.

4. Do adhere to Least Privilege Security Model. No Access, Read Access, Write Access, Execute Access.

5. Do confirm stakeholder and secure buy-in… prior to starting your integration. If you go too far down a development path without Executive buy-in, you may need to redesign for a different solution or even possibly, have the project stopped entirely.

6. Do use the correct tool for the job. Before you jump in, think to yourself – do I really need this sledgehammer or will a screwdriver work just fine? Are we architecting a new solution or are we improving an existing feature with a bug?

Burning Bridges: 6 Integration “Don’ts”

1. Don’t import bad data. Importing bad data can quickly lead to a cascade. Review your data first before importing into Production and do multiple test loads of the data into a Development Environment.

2. Don’t import needless data. Use your integration as an opportunity to clean up your environment. Verify that you are only bringing in the data that is needed for your application. It helps if you know what data is important to you and the users before you even start the technical work. Define the goals and requirements with the stakeholders from the very start.

3. Don’t send bulk records, especially if there’s a large payload. Instead, try an array of objects for small content and one object with large payloads.

4. Don’t overcomplicate or over-engineer an approach. Use the tools provided Out-Of-Box (OOB) as best you can.

5. Don’t store passwords in plaintext (especially on Github or another code repository). This one may seem a little obvious for anyone who has taken their mandatory yearly company security course.

6. Don’t integrate just because it’s available. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” absolutely applies to integrations. As we discussed earlier, integrations are your way of building bridges and enabling process automation… don’t squander that goal with unnecessary infrastructure.

Still feeling a little uneasy about integrations? Lucky for you, ServiceNow’s IntegrationHub has “spokes” or pre-built, no-code, integration capabilities that are a great place to get started and help you hone the above best-practices.

Once you master them, these spokes can serve as the foundation for you to build your own custom integrations, perfectly designed for your unique business needs. To learn more about spokes and the IntegrationHub, check out this webinar (featuring Chuck Tomasi, Sr. TPMM at ServiceNow).

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