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Where should I start? ServiceNow

Author by Matt Smith

I promise you are not alone asking the question of "where do I start" when heading into the ServiceNow solution space for the first time.  This is one of the most often questions we get from clients and where I feel we excel as a firm in providing sage advice.  For today's blog post I'll focus on both the ITSM and ITOM areas.

The ServiceNow platform as a whole is very powerful when leveraged properly within an organization.  Also it is very wide as you relate it to the inner workings of how service comes to life within an organization.  So the question of "where do I start" is entirely appropriate.  Whenever asked that question - we respond with wanting to learn more and with many times a response of  "it depends".  So here are some of the "it depends" situations and why our preference many times is to engage your organization through putting together a service management roadmap.

Common question #1: "I'm looking to replace XYZ system, where do I start?" 
Response: It depends..... Why are you looking to replace it? How does replacing it tie out to your business goals?

Many times a customer in this place has an older system that hasn't necessarily scaled with their enterprise, they have a current system that they are frustrated with, or they've caught wind that ServiceNow is the premium solution and they know it's time to move.  In any of these cases we highly recommend initially engaging with us on a service management roadmap - where we can assess your current state, discuss your desired future state, better understand your business goals, and line that up with how do you best realize the value you seek out of the platform.  Nothing worse than unintentionally moving previous business processes from one tool to another without looking to apply some best practices.  In a like for like implementation between old and new - the ghosts of the old system will have a tendency to follow you to the new system.

Common question #2: "I would like to implement ITSM for my organization within ServiceNow.  Where do I start?"
Response: It depends - there is a best practice around where to start however each organization is a little different and the approach should be tweaked to drive towards the quickest value realization.

Many times a client in this place has a clearer line of sight into what they want to get out of Service Management at their organization than the client in Question #1.  We many times still recommend a roadmap as a good way to validate their approach and in addition to that there is a common approach an organization may get after IT Service Management.  Phase I: Incident/Service Request-Portal/Change (let a little time pass) Phase II: Problem/Major Incident/Reassess Dashboards and Reports (let a little time pass or do the next right away) Phase III: CMDB/Performance Analytics.  Clearly while this is a common pattern each organization is different and some desire to roll in other additional things like Virtual Agent, Continuous Improvement, etc.  Also some organizations may just tackle Incident and Service Request in Phase I and wait on Change Management.

Common question #3: "I want just the out of the box Change Management process - start there in ServiceNow and build from there - is that possible?"
Response: Certainly!  We do still like to walk through what the longer term strategy looks like and what the "build from there" may look like.  ServiceNow's Change Management module out of the box is a good starting point to enable a Change Management process at an organization.  The only real cautionary tale in my opinion would be to make sure to apply the KISS principle - "keep it super simple".  While the flow of ServiceNow's OOTB process can be made complex don't start with that complexity.  Start simple and add complexity (peer reviews, CABs, etc) over time.

Common question #4: "The ITOM space looks very exciting - where should I focus first?"
Response: Yes it's robust and very valuable to a number of clients we've worked with.  Why are you looking at doing ITOM?  (we ask this to confirm again business value - how it aligns to the business goals - etc)  Many times we see a customer start at Discovery, then move to Event Management, and then shift to Service Mapping.  The Cloud Management or provisioning cloud assets through the Service Portal are many times things that happen independent of the rest of the items in the ITOM space.

I hope you found this informative.  You certainly are not alone - we are here to help - and more times than not the best next step is to engage us to help create a service management roadmap for your organization to determine what should be done first - next - last.

If you have any further questions around our offerings within the ServiceNow practice at Concurrency please feel to contact us.

Thanks for reading!