ServiceNow ITSM users recharge workflows using familiar tools

Two ServiceNow ITSM customers re-invented their back-end workflows amid the digital transformation uprising without replacing their current service management platform.

Modernizing IT services often requires new tools to support major changes to IT workflows, but businesses must weigh the benefits of the updated tool set against implementation and costs. to practice moving away from the products they already have – especially those at the heart of their business management processes.

Some businesses experiencing this problem have found that updating existing products with new add-on features is an easier and more affordable option, and regardless of the tool set they use, retraining in people and processes refactoring is usually the most important factor in tracking. along with the latest IT trends.

One such enterprise, electronics manufacturer Flex Ltd., headquartered in Singapore, added AIOps alert-reduction software from Loom to its ServiceNow IT service management (ITSM) platform in 2018. In 2020, ServiceNow acquired the Loom, which makes AIOps a permanent part of that ITSM. workflow, which Flex plans to expand beyond root cause analysis toward auto-remediation.

Last year, the city of Santa Monica, Calif., Faced the same need for modernization in IT workflows that most organizations experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city created a new mobile app for citizens in four months at a cost of less than $ 25,000, in part because it stays with its ServiceNow ITSM back end instead of looking for a new vendor.

Both customers said they plan to review a new Service Operations Workspace integration that links ServiceNow’s ITSM and IT operations management (ITOM) products, shipped this month, to promote more collaboration with between service desk teams and IT ops.

“We’re adding more to ServiceNow [toolchain]”said Joseph Cevetello, CIO for the city of Santa Monica.” That was a conscious decision, because it’s an expandable platform, and it’s nice to have similar systems running under the same umbrella. “

ServiceNow Service Operations Workspace dashboard
ServiceNow customers plan to check out a new integration between its ITSM and ITOM tools, Service Operations Workspace, released this month.

The City of Santa Monica is upgrading, expanding ITSM

In the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city found itself providing more virtual services to citizens, but struggled without a strong virtual interface. It added that interface to a new 311 mobile app, developed together with ServiceNow consultants and a third-party developer. The app connects directly to the ServiceNow back end via the Customer Service Management tool.

“Usually, those 311 apps are separate, standalone applications that you were [use] to open an incident, but you don’t have to fix the incident and resolve it within that same system, ”Cevetello said.“ I challenged ServiceNow [and said]‘I want to use my workflow engine, to expose it to the public so that it’s all one system [and] take advantage of what we have. ‘”

I challenged ServiceNow [and said]‘I want to use my workflow engine, to expose it to the public so that it’s all one system [and] take advantage of what we have. ‘

Joseph CevetelloCIO, City of Santa Monica

Connecting the city’s mobile app to its ServiceNow back end isn’t just an effort to expand the platform and improve its efficiency. The city also recently completed a project to update the infrastructure underlying the ITSM system, which speeds up the city’s configuration management database (CMDB) using ServiceNow’s Common Service Data Model (CSDM). CSDM, first introduced by the vendor in 2017, will be integrated into its CMDB in 2020.

The use of the CSDM format makes for a simpler, more organized, well-integrated approach to using a variety of ServiceNow products attached to the CMDB, Cevetello said.

“We’re very customized,” Cevetello said. “Especially with something like ServiceNow, I’m all about being as out of the box as possible as we continue to expand the complexity of the ecosystem we use with ServiceNow.”

The integrated back end and another ongoing effort to overhaul the city’s Service Portal user interface will set the stage for adding additional products from ServiceNow and third parties to the platform, including ServiceNow’s ITOM . The city will also consider a new Service Operations Workspace, launched this month under San Diego’s release of the Now Platform, that connects IT ops and service desk workflows into a single interface. This interface also builds on chat and video conferencing using Microsoft Teams, which are already used by city service desk employees.

“There are really efficiencies that we can get by having an interface where people spend more time on … rather than going out to the Teams tool or picking up the phone,” Cevetello said.

Flex amplifies ITSM using AIOps

Manufacturing company Flex Ltd., formerly known as Flextronics, began using ServiceNow ITSM more than 10 years ago, in the early stages of product evolution.

“The way we tracked back then was very static,” said Eswar Reddy, Flex’s senior director of IT operations. “We used to have static thresholds, and alerts were tied to those thresholds. Now, the system is learning; even if the total system load is 15%, if suddenly there’s a spike to 20%, it sends an alert. “

The updated ITSM tracking integration includes Health Log Analytics (HLA)-a feature that puts Flex on a path to automated root cause diagnosis and, eventually, self-healing systems, says by Reddy.

“We have interaction with layers – the application, database, storage, network, all layers of infrastructure, along with user transactions and habits – that we see right away. [if there’s an incident]”he said.” Once there’s an alarm, the system gives you the root of where the issue is likely to be, so we can easily zero in on that. “

So far, the self-healing functions performed by HLA are relatively simple and straightforward in Flex, like other enterprise AIOps early adopters, which cover simple tasks such as triggering bots to perform automated tasks. system restart. AIOps interactions often inform human operators, whether it sheds light on the possible root of problems or highlights trends in user behavior that affect system stability.

Reddy’s team will still pursue the original self-healing vision of AIOps, but he said it took longer to come than most people in the industry expected.

“I think it’s really oversold,” Reddy said. “It takes a lot of effort for our current team members to get it and see the benefits, and tune the alerts to make sure that really real alerts come and go on our dashboard.”

Flex could eventually add the Service Operations Workspace, as long as it is properly integrated into the HLA, Reddy added.

“Because we use ITOM and ITSM, our team already uses the Operator Workspace for day-to-day monitoring of HLA alerts,” he said. “I hope to see the same dashboard filled with ITSM events soon so that it becomes a single dashboard to manage, which means more productivity for our ops team.”

Beth Pariseau, senior news writer at TechTarget, is an award-winning veteran of IT journalism. He will be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @PariseauTT.

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