ServiceNow Questions Skull

3 Frightening ServiceNow Questions: Scary Stories from the ServiceNow Trenches

Carved pumpkins flickering in the dark, witches and ghosts staged in front lawns, and children (and adults) walking around in full costume. It is safe to say that Halloween is a time like no other.

We here at Acorio take Halloween fairly seriously – homemade candy corn in the office, a costume contest (okay fine, two if you count the contest for the pets), and there may or may not be a skeleton sitting over by HR. The other day, we took to Slack and a great thread was started. We asked everyone to share their ServiceNow ghost stories, that is, the scariest questions they have ever been asked, or any ServiceNow situation they would prefer never to relive again.

We decided that some of them were too good not to share (and others were too scary to share and give anyone any ideas). So here are three of the scariest questions we’ve ever been asked about ServiceNow.

0. The Classic

What is ServiceNow?

It hardly even counts, but, the classic question we get, is, What exactly is ServiceNow? And it always shakes us. Perhaps not in a bad way, because we are able to eloquently explain the services platform, but it shakes us that people are still working with a veil pulled over their eyes, without at least being aware of the possibilities for work transformation that ServiceNow brings.

So. Let us answer. What exactly is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow is a company that provides a Service Management software. It creates a platform for all of your Enterprise Service Management needs, from Customer Service Management to HR Service Delivery to IT and Business Management. The whole platform is designed around a service model that enables self-service through user-friendly portals and knowledge bases, along with comprehensive workflows to support real-time communication, collaboration, and resource sharing. The company is dedicated to “making work work” i.e. working smarter not harder, and bringing people together to focus on the things that matter to their business.

Simple as that. Now let’s dive into the rest of these chilling questions…

 1. The Non-Technical

Why do we need configuration management?

If we’re being honest, we think this one is pretty damn frightening. Because if you don’t know why you need configuration management then you probably don’t understand what it actually is…which is even scarier. So let’s start with that.

Configuration Management Database, or CMDB, is your data repository that simply acts as a data warehouse for all of your IT installations. It can hold information related to a collection of IT assets (these would be your CI’s or configuration items), as well as descriptive relationships between assets.

Back to the question, why do we need CMDB? Because to effectively manage and improve your systems, you need to know exactly what assets are in your IT environment. Your CMDB provides a means of understanding all your critical assets, and their relationships; information systems, upstream sources or dependencies of assets, and the downstream targets of assets.

With ServiceNow’s CMDB you get a single system of record for IT so that it’s easy to understand your organization’s service impact analysis, asset management, compliance, and configuration management.

2. The No Concept of Time.

We’ve heard a new version of SN is out. Can we upgrade tomorrow?

There is always so much buzz around ServiceNow’s bi-annual releases, and for good reason. Each upgrade brings new technology and abilities to the platform, and ServiceNow does an incredible job listening to customer feedback to fix and improve what matters most to their users.

But, tread carefully, if you try to upgrade overnight, you will give your ServiceNow developer(s) a coronary.

Instead, approach your upgrade as a time to revisit your ServiceNow roadmap, see what things are going well, what results you have seen, and what might be missing. Maybe an upgrade is the right time to add additional modules or expand the instance across your company.

All system upgrades are significant projects, where you need to consider the impact of new functionality on your instance (not to mention you’ll have to essentially re-do all of your customizations).

But beyond that, there are a lot of factors that go into how long an upgrade takes once you have it all planned out. For instance, some companies choose to jump two or three versions, which means more plugins and more databases to update as the platform has progressed. More things equal more time.

Once you do get started with the upgrade though, you can log in with admin credentials to be brought to the status screen and see exactly what the system is working on (a feature that has been around since Geneva).

If you’re working with a ServiceNow partner for your upgrade make sure to set expectations with them and IT and other business users that time must be dedicated to preparing for, implementing and testing ServiceNow upgrades. Then, maybe, you can avoid situations like this…

“You know the upgrade on prod we had scheduled for Xpm today? It started at Xam.” Hopefully, you can imagine the ghostly silence and the color draining out of the partners face. Thankfully if you are working with an expert partner they will be able to jump into action.

3. The Holy Gosh, Help (!)

I deleted the ITIL role. What do I do now?

By default, only users with the ITIL role can have tasks assigned to them. So, by deleting the ITIL role you’ve essentially made everyone into a ghost with no hope of assigning tasks to them.

The ITIL role is the standard action role for Helpdesk technicians – anyone with this role can open, update, close incidents, problems, changes, and configuration items.

Our short answer is, don’t do it! But if you do, make sure to call your ServiceNow partner right away.

We hope you took something away from this blog, consider it our Halloween treat to you. Delight in all the haunted houses, ghost stories, and spooky movies you like, we just hope you have no un-foreseen ServiceNow scares in the future. But if you do, you know who to call… no, not those guys… Acorio.

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