For nearly two decades, ServiceNow has been a key player in transforming enterprise software and continues to innovate technology as the world evolves. ServiceNow, one of the fastest growing information technology marketing companies, goes beyond platform and software services with their ticketing tool, which can solve many time-consuming tasks within the organization. ServiceNow extends the benefits of ITSM to nearly every sector of your business, including human resources (as part of the HR Automation solution), accounting, legal, marketing, and customer service, among others. You can automate repetitive tasks by increasing the availability and visibility of devices and services, allowing your team to spend more time investing in your core business rather than dealing with minor issues.
What exactly is ServiceNow, and which departments can use it?
The ServiceNow ticketing system provides reporting, management, and resolution of internal issues, allowing mid-size and large organizations to optimize business workflows and increase productivity. ServiceNow, as the leading ITSM software, is gaining popularity in other domains as well. And, as our ServiceNow consulting experience demonstrates, it can be used not only by your IT team but also by any other unit you want to optimize, such as:
- Sales, Marketing and Customer Service
- Human Resources
- Research and Development
Naturally, each of these departments may use ServiceNow to varying degrees. And ticketing isn’t the only game in town: other features include reporting, audits, and risk management, as well as self-service portals, chatbots, and surveys. Don’t be intimidated by all of the possibilities: if you’re just getting started with ServiceNow process optimization, IT ticketing is a great place to start.
Company sizes and industries ServiceNow fits best
Given the platform’s extensive functionality and complex process hierarchy, you should be aware that the platform is only suitable for mid-sized and large organizations. According to the ServiceNow value calculator, the smallest number of employees in an organization that can benefit from the platform’s assistance is 500. And the reason is simple: if a company is smaller than that, its internal business processes are usually not complicated or tangled enough to benefit from complex ServiceNow functionality.
The industries where ServiceNow can be useful are virtually limitless. Although our ServiceNow implementation specialists observe that some industries use it more frequently than others, the application area is still impressive:
- Financial services and accounting
- IT product companies
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
- Public services
- Marketing and advertising
- Oil and energy
- Legal services
- Hotels and accommodation
- Non-profit organizations
- Aviation and aerospace
- Real estate, etc.
The results you can achieve with ServiceNow
Here are some of the more tangible benefits of using ServiceNow as a ticketing tool for your IT department:
The financially rewarding outcomes
- Reduce downtime and the costs associated with it: Long downtimes not only impede employee productivity; they also cost a lot of money: if a company experiences just five minutes of network downtime per month, it can lose up to $300,000 in business disruptions per year. Fortunately, ServiceNow can mitigate these losses: for a company of 2,000 employees with 10,000 tickets per year (100 of which are high priority), ServiceNow can save $208,000 per year simply by speeding up ticket resolution.
- Reduce IT expenses: Continuing with the 2,000-employee company, its IT department can save even more due to increased productivity. They will be able to differentiate ticket types, prioritize them, allocate adequate resources for their resolution, and maintain control over IT service provision. Furthermore, ServiceNow will assist them in automating a variety of repetitive tasks, such as password resets and access rights requests. According to the ServiceNow value calculator, the result is a savings of at least $450,000 per year. However, because ServiceNow doesn’t specify how, we won’t expect these figures, at least not because they are the result of implementing more advanced ServiceNow functionality than ticketing.
The additional Bonus outcomes
- Boost user satisfaction: You can expect user satisfaction to rise proportionally as your average ticket resolution times decrease. Well-organized ServiceNow processes may spark a shift in your IT department’s culture and attitude toward providing user support, which must result in positive user feedback. Your users will also appreciate the fact that ServiceNow keeps them updated on their tickets in a variety of ways (from phone calls and emails to web forms), but without bombarding them with emails with each breath the support team takes.
- Keep an eye on all IT operations: ServiceNow can serve as a solid foundation for your IT department’s processes, resulting in increased visibility across IT operations. IT specialists will find it easier to navigate a clear and visible process hierarchy and train newcomers to the IT unit.
- Monitor and manage the performance of the IT department: ServiceNow provides visual and intuitive reporting functionality to measure the performance of your IT department. Operational analytics will assist your IT service managers in identifying and improving problem areas in service delivery. In addition to your IT teams, such IT operations reports can be used at a higher administrative level, such as in your enterprise-wide BI solution, to assess the overall performance of the organization.
The technical ABCs of ServiceNow ticketing
Because Gartner ranks ServiceNow as the best ITSM platform, we’ll look at the technical details of ticketing using IT examples.
The ticket life cycle
In its classical sense, ServiceNow’s basic equivalent of a ticket is an incident.To get into the technical details of how ServiceNow ticketing works, let’s invent a sample incident of a broken phone in an office and look at its life cycle within ServiceNow.
Reporting an incident
Employees in various roles can report incidents in a variety of ways:
- If an IT staff member notices that a phone does not have a dial tone, they can create an incident in ServiceNow.
- A user has additional options, including email, phone call (obviously using another working phone), and filling out a web form on the company’s Service Portal.
- If agreed upon, a third-party phone supplier (or a partner) can also participate in incident reporting. For example, if they notice that a particular phone model has a tendency to lose dial tone, they can report it in the same way that a user would.\
- In addition, ServiceNow can generate incidents automatically. For example, ServiceNow can create an incident if it detects any malfunctions in phone system logs on a regular basis.
Here’s how a customer or an employee can report an incident to the IT department through the corporate ServiceNow Service Portal:
Managing an incident
ServiceNow handles incidents in the following manner:
- When an incident is created in ServiceNow, administrators assess its impact (how badly it can harm the business) and urgency (how promptly it should be resolved). ServiceNow prioritizes the incident based on these two criteria. As a result, the SLA-based resolution countdown clock begins to tick.
- Using the incident description, ServiceNow can automatically assign the incident to an IT specialist with the necessary expertise to resolve it. The platform then sends an email to the assignee. IT staff can, of course, manually assign incidents, but automated assignment allows them to focus on more difficult tasks.
- The assignee investigates the incident and attempts to restore the uninterrupted flow of daily business processes.The user whose phone has stopped working can always keep an eye on the incident management process. ServiceNow alerts them to any critical support activities. Furthermore, if the phone starts working again without the need for IT assistance, the user can cancel the incident to avoid wasting IT support time.
Resolving an incident
- ServiceNow, as a solid ticketing system, does not allow the tech team to click the ‘Resolve’ button and end the matter. It requires them to specify the type of resolution used (permanently solved, solved through a workaround, not solved, etc.) in the incident record, as well as who resolved it and when.
- If the incident has been resolved, the associated user should close it. If they don’t, ServiceNow will do it for them within a certain time frame.
- If the incident is not resolved, escalation rules apply. As time passes, the system uses inactivity monitor measurements to remind the support team to take new incident resolution actions. Alternatively, if the incident is on the verge of breaching its related SLA, ServiceNow can raise its priority. This allows IT teams to stay within resolution times while still providing high-quality service.
The various types of tickets and why we require them
IT departments can work more efficiently by differentiating tickets. To resolve issues, IT specialists must first understand what they are dealing with, which is why ServiceNow offers the following ticket types:
- Incident (something that is unplanned and causes interruption to an IT service or reduces its quality).
- Problem (a severe malfunction, a cause behind a number of incidents).
- Request (something that users want to get from IT support or other involved departments).
- Change (a proposal to add, modify or remove something concerning IT services).
The key distinction between an incident and a problem is that incident management is primarily concerned with restoring normal business processes as soon as possible. And problem management seeks to identify the root cause of a series of similar incidents in order to prevent them from recurring. If a ticketing system does not distinguish between these two critical concepts, IT operations may be jeopardized. Ignoring the root cause of similar incidents and instead devising workarounds can result in a significant decrease in the efficiency of IT services.
Concerning Requests, the reason why users contact IT support is different: they are looking for an IT asset rather than a solution. If a user requires, say, a new laptop, email account, or software license, they open their company’s Service Portal, select the required item, and wait.
ServiceNow ticketing can be used to eliminate process bottlenecks in non-IT departments. For example, there have been numerous incidents in the marketing department involving presentation content delays. One of the managers notices it, investigates it, and reports that the presentation creation process is no longer efficient. As a result, a change is suggested, and managers debate the new method of organizing presentation creation. And once they reach an agreement on a solution, the change is implemented and the problem is solved. Presentation content is now always ready on time.
The flaws in ServiceNow
Because ServiceNow projects rarely use non-configured or customized platform functionality, the limitations and disadvantages of each ServiceNow solution may be unique. However, there are a few things to remember about ServiceNow:
- The cost is quite high. Although ServiceNow’s pricing policy is anything but clear, one thing is certain: ServiceNow licenses are not cheap. But that isn’t all: you must also be willing to pay for ServiceNow implementation and support. However, when you consider the estimated savings, the price is not an issue.
- Reporting is not a strong suit: When it comes to low-level operational needs, such as seeing how many tickets a specific employee is working on or what priority they are, ServiceNow reporting is more than capable. However, if you require a thorough high-level performance dynamics analysis (to see IT unit performance trends and uncover their root causes), you must either do it outside of ServiceNow or purchase the Performance Analytics ServiceNow app.
- Customizations may necessitate ongoing upkeep: If your solution is heavily customized, making these customizations compatible with future ServiceNow releases may be difficult. As a result, constant customization maintenance will be required. However, if specific development recommendations are followed during ServiceNow customization, you will be able to do so.
Factors to Consider while Choosing ServiceNow
The main criteria for determining whether ServiceNow ticketing is something you require are:
- The size of your company.
- The complexity of your current (or planned) information technology processes.
- The preferred method of ticketing.
- Your financial situation.
- Your future plans for enterprise-wide process optimization.
- If your answers match ServiceNow’s characteristics and requirements, and you use it as your ticketing tool, you will save a lot of money by streamlining your IT department’s daily operations (or that of any other department that you want to make over).
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