The Customer is a bank employing 40,000+ staff. It mostly operates in European countries offering banking, investment, and insurance services.
The Customer introduced ServiceNow into their IT infrastructure 7 years ago. The system was continuously improved by a third party. Within the first 4 years of their ServiceNow project, they implemented the needed process functionality and performed major ServiceNow integrations. For the next 3 years, the rest of the required functionality was implemented within 8-week release cycles covering development, testing, and maintenance efforts. Later, the Customer faced the need to fill in the gap in their vendors’ ServiceNow continuous delivery expertise to cover the development and maintenance parts of release cycles.
The Customer wanted to expand their team of ServiceNow specialists, which resulted in ScienceSoft participating in the project.
When the Customer planned a functionality change, they illustrated their vision in the description called the design. And as soon as the Customer needed to implement a particular design in the upcoming release, they used their custom ServiceNow app for Release and Change Management to commission our specialists to start working on it. After investigating the design’s subject matter, ScienceSoft’s team verified its validity and then implemented it. In some cases, we slightly modified the proposed design upon the Customer’s agreement to make sure their needs were fully covered by it. Occasionally, our ServiceNow specialists saw new improvement opportunities in the Customer’s ServiceNow system themselves, proposed corresponding designs for the Customer’s approval and then implemented them.
Among the required change implementations, ScienceSoft performed a lot of integrations as the Customer needed to connect ServiceNow with the rest of their IT infrastructure better. For example, we integrated ServiceNow with their approval workflow mobile app, their enterprise system for incident management (used by one of the Customer’s branches) and their virtual desktop infrastructure solution. Here are 4 more change implementation examples that ScienceSoft’s ServiceNow specialists performed during this project.
Creating an interface for firewall rule requests
The Customer wanted to formalize the process of requesting firewall rule changes so that their IT staff could easily understand the description and context of requests. To do that, we created a new catalog item for firewall rules in the Customer’s ServiceNow Service Catalog. This allowed the Customer’s users to easily access and fill out the needed unified form, which, in its turn, helped the IT staff better comprehend the requests. And for them to be handled efficiently, we set up a request fulfillment workflow for firewall rules according to the Customer’s business processes. With this functionality at their disposal, the Customer’s responsible IT staff could see all the firewall rule changes in their IT infrastructure and make relevant reports.
Improving impact analysis for Incident Management
The Customer wasn’t happy with how well their system analyzed the impact of each incident on other configuration items (CIs) in the infrastructure. So, we needed to improve the work of the impact analysis field on their incident records. To do that, we inspected CI dependency maps to find possible weak spots, checked the links between CIs and added missing CI dependencies. This allowed the Customer to see a more precise picture of how a particular breakdown affects devices, apps, servers, and other infrastructure elements as well as entire IT services to prioritize incidents better and prevent costly downtimes.
Extending Configuration Management Database (CMDB) with Storage Area Network (SAN) devices
Continuously improving their CMDB to achieve better ROI estimation, the Customer planned to enrich it with information on data storage devices supporting their SAN. So, we proposed a design for this change, which the Customer approved and tasked us to implement. To reflect the information on SAN storage devices in CMDB, we created a new set of CI classes and filled these classes with relevant SAN devices info. To integrate the new CIs into the existing dependency maps, we set up needed connections among the devices themselves as well as between the new CIs and the rest of the infrastructure already present in CMDB. This allowed the Customer to better analyze the impact of SAN-related incidents on other elements of the infrastructure as well as on IT services on the whole.
Changing the process of reporting incidents
The Customer’s Service Portal where users come to report incidents used wizards, the legacy ServiceNow functionality. It resembled a large form with a lot of possible scenarios depending on the user’s answers to a complex system of questions. Our ServiceNow team found that this legacy functionality caused a number of inconveniences for the Customer:
- The form didn’t adapt to the mobile view.
- Making changes to the form was expensive and complicated (it contained too many dependencies to tune it easily).
- The legacy functionality supported tangled assignment rules (the complex process organization made it difficult to understand why a particular incident was assigned to a particular group).
- It was difficult to find developers working with wizards to handle problems with this legacy functionality.
Having weighed the adverse effects of the legacy functionality, our specialists decided to work out a new design for moving the process of reporting incidents onto more modern rails. The Customer approved the design, and our team started the action. They decided to drop the wizard functionality, divide the large complex form into multiple smaller ones and implement them all using ServiceNow Service Catalog. This way, each scenario of the previous form got reflected in a specific Service Catalog category or item. Additionally, we set up corresponding incident management workflows to handle incoming incidents according to the Customer’s business processes.
The new way of reporting incidents with Service Catalog removed all the inconveniences that the Customer had experienced with the legacy functionality. It allows introducing changes to the forms much easier. It supports clear automatic incident routing that is easy to investigate and tune. And it allows users to report incidents from mobile devices seamlessly.
Due to cooperating with ScienceSoft, the Customer has solved a huge range of their ServiceNow challenges covering completely different areas, from ServiceNow integrations to the process of reporting incidents and CMDB enrichment. This allowed the Customer to introduce ongoing improvements to their ServiceNow system to make it reflect their needs better, tailor it to their changing environment and find solutions beneficial for the majority of the Customer’s stakeholders.
Our ServiceNow team continues to execute the Customer’s tasks and change implementation requests and sustains ServiceNow continuous delivery.
Technologies and Tools
ServiceNow: Service Catalog, Dependency Map, CMDB, Import Sets, REST/SOAP Web Services, Wizards, Service Portal.