ServiceNow: From ITSM to IT Operations Management


With an increasing demand for cloud services, CIOs are looking for technologies that can better automate and better manage business processes.

And in this context, a company hopes to capitalize on its position as an ITSM specialist: ServiceNow. Recently, the company has chosen to double the number of tools dedicated to managing IT operations.

“They do not completely turn to IT operations because it’s not really necessary,” said Sanjay Medvitz, an analyst at Technology Business Research (TBR). “It’s more of a logical extension, because IT Operations Management (ITOM) remains very much tied to their MTI business. This can allow them to fetch new users. ”

ServiceWatch Suite is at the heart of this strategy. This suite, resulting from the acquisition of Neebula Systems for $ 100 million in 2014, includes a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which centralizes data for multiple IT resources. The solution also takes into account change management and offers catalogs of services.

This tool lets you map different business services to the company’s specific infrastructure, “says Kevin Murray, Director of Marketing at ServiceNow. What is missing in many CIOs. “There is one major problem: putting the right information in the CMDB but without associated service. It’s just a data set, “he says. “But by placing service mapping in the CMDB, we can know what part of the infrastructure is associated with that service, such as the human resource system, accounting, or CRM. ”

ServiceNow achieved a turnover of one billion dollars in 2015 and has set a goal of reaching 4 billion dollars in 2020. IT operations management solutions will thus have a strong impact on the growth of the company. to reach this plateau.

ITSM accounted for about 70% of the group’s total revenues in 2015, but Frank Slootman, the CEO of ServiceNow, expects this share to increase to 50% in 2020. By that time, revenues from of ITOM should represent a larger part of the turnover.

Too expensive for everyone?

Some users feel that pricing for ServiceNow modules – at least for some – is too expensive for them, and they decide to keep their own internal solution, which may be associated with a number of contracted service providers. “We evaluated their ITSM services for some help desk operations, but that was beyond what we had budgeted,” says an IT manager at a large US company. “Our needs are strategic and their platform is undoubtedly a nice shot. ”

Other users, on the other hand, think it’s worth it – and its price – because of advanced automation capabilities and the comfort of not having to deal with the details of implementation and maintenance of such services.

“Their ability to go beyond ITSM was a differentiating factor,” says Brad Paubel, vice president at Maritz. “This is a foundation for moving beyond the boundaries of change management and incidents, all in a single system. ”

Yet for other users, who compare ServiceNow to more traditional help desk solutions, pricing remains complex, but in most cases, it’s probably worth it to invest. “But it’s not an identical comparison,” says Bart Murphy, CTO of York Risk Services Group. “You need to look at ServiceNow more as a business platform and estimate how many systems it can fit into. It is a good tool for the help desk but it can also replace or integrate with other systems. ”

Beyond the IT helpdesk

The ServiceNow platform took shape a few years ago, when the group developed an IT service management application to automate repetitive service desk tasks – such as submitting incident tickets, assigning them to dedicated teams, and tracking the resolution of the problem. The goal was to build a tool that could replace ITSM legacy on-site applications, says Kevin Murray.

The app has conquered enough IT departments to keep ServiceNow on track with an application that infuses infrastructure-related information into a cloud CMDB – which powers an IT service management application.

Last year, company officials continued to emphasize that ServiceNow was now a platform-based company. Claiming that they had gone well beyond the help desk. According to them, this platform allows them to better host their ITSM offers and offers a simple way to integrate, not only the operational management tools of the brand, but also those of third parties.

If this strategy has been largely successful – especially when competition is made up of smaller service desk players – it could ultimately propel the group into larger lands, inhabited by much more fierce competitors.

“They want everyone to know that they have a platform; which will position them in front of new competitors like Salesforce or IBM, for example “, comments finally Sanjay Madvitz (TBR).

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