ServiceNow Review

Gives us the power to structure processes and represent workforce management


What is our primary use case?

I'm a consultant, so I primarily work on projects implementing Service Now inside of different organizations.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest improvement I see is that unstructured work, which would primarily be worked on within spreadsheets or within emails, is able to be centralized, managed end-to-end, and have that visibility and structure in ServiceNow. That provides enormous productivity gains. 

In addition, it provides the ability to meet internal IT assurance around audit trails.

Finally, the improved visibility helps in decision-making for senior leaders and executives.

What is most valuable?

One feature of ServiceNow that is important is the workflow engine. From my perspective, the power to be able to structure processes, represent workforce management for organizations, and the visibility provided by the reporting are additional top features.

What needs improvement?

ServiceNow is divided up into a lot of modules, so I'll give an example, instead of going into every single module.

For me, there's a real opportunity, especially within the IT Service Management suite, to give a much better overall view of the workflow that individuals have across the different applications. At the moment, a lot of information is quite siloed in the different tables in ServiceNow. There is a real opportunity to present, in a centralized way, some form of universal work list, to give better ideas around demand and supply of resources, and then help prioritize that work.

The only other thing that I'd say about ServiceNow, in general, is commercially related around licensing, and it's a big inhibitor for a lot of our customers, especially those who are innovators on the platform. I've got a couple of really good example clients where they are limited in what they can do with the product. If they were to do what they wanted to do, the licensing that would come about, from a platform runtime licensing perspective, would mean it wouldn't have the same value proposition.

An improvement area, to summarize, would be better licensing for when clients are trying to be innovative on the platform.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of ServiceNow is excellent. I've never had any issues around its stability, scalability, availability, or any of those metrics.

How is customer service and technical support?

ServiceNow technical support has always been excellent. They are quick to respond, they have good, strong technical capabilities, they're good at communicating and getting in touch with you.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I have used BMC Remedy previously and the primary reason for switching to ServiceNow was around the fact that ServiceNow is cloud-based, scalable, and easily configurable.

How was the initial setup?

Overall, the setup is fairly simple. You have to have a point of reference to compare it to. If I think about other cloud-based tools that I've worked with, by comparison, I would say it is most definitely simple.

Myself, being a consultant and implementing ServiceNow multiple times over in different organizations, an average implementation, which would result in a minimum viable product - standing up ServiceNow to achieve some form of business value - would be 12 weeks.

I typically see a 12-week implementation of ServiceNow achieved with approximately six individuals for the deployment. Ongoing maintenance of ServiceNow will typically involve the equivalent of four FTEs.

What was our ROI?

I don't have any data points at the moment, but I know some of our clients have articulated ROI as part of the benefits they have realized. The ROI is definitely positive for clients that we've worked for.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

ServiceNow pricing is an art, not a science. The deal depends on how commercially savvy you are, which does make it something that is quite difficult to get right. It is most definitely an opportunity area for ServiceNow to improve and have more visibility around pricing of the different products within the platform.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Other options would be BMC Remedy and Cherwell, from an ITSM perspective. For HRSM, alternative solutions are Workday and SuccessFactors.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to engage with an implementation partner that has good experience and definitely not to underestimate the organizational-change activities, like training and communication, that are required. ServiceNow shouldn't be treated as purely a technology solution. People, processes, communication, and training need to be factored in when implementing.

We've implemented ServiceNow in government organizations with up to 9,000 people, in a couple of scenarios, using it for either IT service management or HR service management, predominantly. The roles of the users varied within the government.

In terms of how extensively ServiceNow is used, every client we work with has a roadmap of additional functionality that they would like to use in ServiceNow. To generalize, there are different extents of use but each definitely has a roadmap of continuous improvement and use of more features or modules of the product.

I would rate ServiceNow a nine out of ten. Some of the points that I touched on above would make it a perfect ten: more visible and consistent licensing around the cost of licensing; better ability to innovate on the platform without incurring licensing that isn't representative of the innovation that's being created.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Gold strategic partner.
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