ServiceNow Strategy

The 5 Things That Set ServiceNow Apart as a Platform (that I take for granted)

It’s pretty obvious at this point that I’ve drunk the ServiceNow Kool-Aid. When you start solving life’s problems via workflow automations or “solutioning” everyday issues, you might have a problem…

That being said, there’s a lot that I forget about the platform since I work with it every day.  This becomes apparent when I talk to someone who is looking at it for the first time or has been subjected to the horrors of another “ITSM Tool” for an extended period of time.  Trust me, I was one of those people.

Every time I go down this path, there are 5 things that jump out at me as significant advantages for ServiceNow that set them “Apart as a Platform”:

  1. Single-System of Record
  2. Simplified Integrations
  3. Automation
  4. Stability and availability in the cloud
  5. Ease of building custom applications

Wait, wait, wait!  That reads just like a ServiceNow marketing slick!**  Ok, yeah, it does.  But let’s take a closer look.

When I look at the successful journeys of our clients on the platform, it typically follows the path below.


The roots of this journey are formed from the single-system of record.  As you add more to the platform the benefits multiply. Referencing data across the platform between incident, problem, change, configuration, asset, project, release, request, and more paints a three-dimensional picture of what’s happening in your organization.  That’s much more powerful than building out insane categorization trees for each of these applications.

This platform is the Swiss army knife of cloud platforms.  It integrates with just about anything with an API or web service.   This lead Acorio to create an integration framework to make it easy to manage the 10+ integrations into ServiceNow.  When you can mesh this type of information with all of the other data you already have in your single-system of record… talk about empowering your business!

Automation normally is the last stage of evolution for ServiceNow clients.  I personally believe this is the “killer feature” that separates ServiceNow from most of the other platforms.  The workflow engine is already easy to build with and customize.  Once you have those standardized processes in place, turning on automation via Orchestration gives new life to your organization and will put smiles on the faces of customers and co-workers.  Just think of all those tedious processes like account provisioning, software deployments, upgrades, rollouts, and password resets being automated.  That makes your organization a 24/7 operation without you having to hire a second and third shift.

I worked in traditional IT for the better part of my career.  I remember that tight knot in my stomach when it was time to upgrade a legacy system or migrate from one data center to a new one.  I know what it’s like when the service desk is inundated with calls around a mystery patch that took down a key enterprise system.  I have forgotten about all of these issues since I started working with ServiceNow.  Moving from one release to the next?  No problem.  Jumping a release?  Of course you can!  All those custom tables and fields you built?  They are going to work just fine.  What about the datacenter redundancy and backups? Oh, I don’t have to worry about that?  Welcome to ServiceNow… feel free to throw away your blood pressure medication (consult your doctor first).

One of the most inspiring things about working with this platform is the ability to say “YES” for any and all occasions.  So you want to build [system X] for [department Y]?  We can do that.  No, seriously, it’s not that big a deal.  You can build practically anything for any situation.  This has been proven through customer development, partner solutions, and even hackathons.  And the best part?  The cost of developing solutions compared to other systems or platforms is significantly lower, especially in the long run.  I remember discussing the development of a custom CRM solution with a co-worker on another “platform” that was designed for their specific use case.  Three months into the project, he remarked to me “I wish we were just building this from scratch on NOW… I would have been done 3 weeks ago and the workflows would have been much easier”.  Game, set, match.

There are hundreds of other reasons to love the ServiceNow platform, but these will always be the Top 5 that set it Apart as a Service.

**Shout out to their marketing group since they do a great job of finding the product strengths and highlighting them.  That’s not always an easy thing to do.