What is ServiceNow and what does it do?

12 July 2023| 7 min|Adam Bernaś - Chief Technology Officer


Innovative business solution 

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform for managing processes, services and enterprise infrastructure (Enterprise Cloud). It offers innovative solutions in these matters. It was designed to digitize and automate manual workflows and to make people work faster, smarter, easier and better. Thanks to ServiceNow, organizations can deliver services in a more efficient and integrated way.

The ServiceNow platform combines many functionalities, including incident management, problem management, change management, configuration management, as well as performance forecasting, reporting and analysis. Created nearly 20 years ago, it has been undoubtedly one of the largest global players and a leading service management tool for companies. Because of continuous improvement and the expansion of functionality, intuitiveness and ease of use, as well as comprehensive solutions and personalized HR services tailored for everyone, ServiceNow makes the world work better.

ServiceNow mission, vision & values

ServiceNow changes the way people work. What used to be done manually is now being done digitally. “There is no better experience than giving someone a piece of technology that lets them do something they never thought they could do”, said Frederic Luddy, founder of ServiceNow. ServiceNow focuses on processes, activities, and sentences – in short, everything that makes up day‑to‑day work life. ServiceNow provides a service model that defines, structures and automates all the processes. Everything becomes a service – you can create, deliver and manage service requests.

Thanks to ServiceNow, work becomes easier and faster, and thus more enjoyable, which increases also employee satisfaction, productivity and engagement. SeviceNow’s motto is “We make the world of work, work better for everyone”.

“ServiceNow improves not only the work of individuals or teams but also helps the modern enterprise operate in a faster and more scalable way than ever before. ServiceNow opens up new possibilities” – says Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC. “It changes the way of working by simplifying, rebuilding and automating business processes. ServiceNow is the key driver of business change”.

ServiceNow is based on solutions with roots in IT. However, it proves that they work well also outside this industry. ServiceNow can support many domains of modern enterprises – including finance service operations, HR and customer service management. It can be successfully implemented in companies of all sizes and operating in various sections and industries.

ServiceNow history

The beginnings of ServiceNow

To tell the story of ServiceNow’s origins, we need to go back to 2003 and one man. After his employer’s bankruptcy and the loss of his fortune, Indiana-born computer scientist and entrepreneur Frederic Luddy put everything on the line. Just before his 50th birthday, he founded Glidesoft – IT Service Management company based on good ITIL practices. For nearly 2 years, Luddy was the only employee. In 2006, Glidesoft changed its name to ServiceNow.

ServiceNow today

After ServiceNew’s first year of operation, the total revenue amounted to $13 million. The company quickly reached world-class corporations such as Intel and AstraZeneca. In 2012, ServiceNow went public. The initial share price was $18; today, after 11 years, it is about $460. In 2018, ServiceNow was ranked number one on the list of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes magazine. In 2022, it had a revenue of $7.2 billion. Today, ServiceNow employs around 20,500 people (as of April 2022). ServiceNow was also listed among FORTUNE 2023 World’s Most Admired Companies for the third year in a row.

Currently, ServiceNow is used by over 7,700 companies worldwide, being a customer favourite – the subscription renewal rate is 98%. 85% of the companies from the list Fortune 500, the top companies in America, use ServiceNow.

ServiceNow hosts the annual Knowledge Conference – “a gathering to create great experiences for employees, customers and partners”. In 2022, the meeting took place simultaneously on 3 different continents, in 4 cities – New York, Hague, Las Vegas and Sidney. Huge crowds of people also participated online.

When I started ServiceNow in 2004, my vision was to build a cloud-based platform that would enable regular people to route work effectively through the enterprise

Fred Luddy, Chairman of the Board at ServiceNow

ServiceNow tools

ServiceNow Platform is a scalable cloud that offers a range of applications, workflows and processes. Sharing common architecture and data, the platform incorporates a variety of ready-made suites catering service requests for specific business areas.

The ServiceNow platform consists of a number of modules, functions and tools, such as workflow, SLA, notifications and forms. Using them, it is possible to build any applications. Sharing a common core, which is the configuration management database (CMDB), they support most business functions – they help with business process management, projects, risk management, IT service management, human resource management and many other areas.

“ServiceNow is not a single tool – it is a platform and various applications can run on it. They are grouped into modules that respond to specific challenges and needs of the organization – such as managing IT processes, Human Resources, Customer Service or IT infrastructure” – Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC.

The platform incorporates a variety of key features of ready-made suites catering for specific business areas:

  • IT Service Management,
  • IT Operations Management,
  • Strategic Portfolio Management (former IT Business Management),
  • HR Service Delivery,
  • Customer Service Management,
  • Security Operations,
  • Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC),
  • Integrated Risk Management,
  • Field Service Management,
  • IT Asset Management.

ServiceNow flexible journey 

Customers can start their ServiceNow journey from many points. Regardless of where they first start, they have the ability to follow a flexible roadmap to achieve continued success in an organization.

ServiceNow is a solution tailored to users’ specific needs. It gives you the opportunity to use ready-made business applications or choose the platform itself, where developers can create dedicated business applications themselves from scratch. Customers can start with one module and then choose other modules as needed. All applications can also be continuously developed as your business grows, by using ServiceNow or third-party solutions. The entire platform itself can be customized to suit your needs. ServiceNow extends and grows together with the organization.

ServiceNow releases

Throughout the years, the core and essence of the technology have remained the same, but the functionality and solutions that ServiceNow offers have expanded and improved. Twice a year, ServiceNow releases a new version of the Platform. Each is named after a famous city; the names, and therefore the releases, are arranged in alphabetical order. These are Aspen, Berlin, Calgary, Dublin, Eureka, Fuji, Geneva, Helsinki, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kingston, London, Madrid, New York, Orlando, Paris, Quebeck, Rome, San Diego, Tokyo, Utah, Vancouver and the Washington.

All customers using ServiceNow can upgrade their instances to the latest version. Each version brings significant changes and new additions that change the world of work – they can increase employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction, improve the way the employees work, reduce costs, and increase security.

ServiceNow invests millions of dollars in research and development. Thanks to this, it not only solves the problems of previous versions, but also creates new functions, responding to the needs of the modern world – such as new consumer or business problems, technology trends,  or changing work environments (e.g. the growing number of people working remotely or in a hybrid work model).

Maximum availability and data security

Thanks to 16 data centres, ServiceNow achieves excellent availability scores of over 99.7%. The centres are located on 5 continents: Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. Data centres are built in pairs – explains Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC. For example, in Europe, one pair is Amsterdam and Frankfurt and the other is London and Dublin. Each customer is assigned to two centres; the instance is always backed up in another data centre. This solution ensures maximum data availability.

The ServiceNow cloud architecture is built in a single-tenant model, double disaster recovery and replication to separate data centres. The platform security is ensured by a dedicated team of specialists and an organization compliant with such certificates as ISO27001, SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2, and SSAE 16 SOC2 Type 2.

IT Service Management – the flagship project of ServiceNow

For many years, ServiceNow has been one of the leading IT service management tools. The platform is valued for innovation and providing comprehensive solutions that meet the demands and can be adapted to the most complex environments. It offers a set of tools that help you develop, deliver and manage IT services, resulting in a better and smarter work environment.

In last year’s (2022) Gartner Magic Quadrat, ServiceNow was named the leader for ITSM platforms for the 9th time in a row! It was awarded for continuous product improvements, high adaptability, high market position and a strong community of users.

ITSM has been the staple of the ServiceNow Platform from the very beginning. Most companies introduce ServiceNow first in the field of ITSM, and after a successful implementation they decide to try also different modules – says Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC.

Time to value a key focus of ServiceNow

When innovation works, the world works. As alluded to a couple of times already, the ServiceNow Platform was designed to make work faster and easier, and as a result, reach new business outcomes and ensure maximum profit for companies.

ServiceNow allows easy integration, digitization and process automation. It ensures security, simple communication and management, and helps you to cut costs and save time. ServiceNow also increases work efficiency and customer satisfaction, optimizes cooperation and improves business performance. The Platform is an excellent tool to increase the overall process efficiency. It makes everyday activities easier for those who work for you and with you. Cloud data availability means that employees can access it at any time.

The approach of No Code / Low Code, which allows a full range of people to deliver solutions on the platform, means businesses are able to roll out applications and solutions quickly to align to changing needs. The longer-term strategic growth plans can be managed with more complex solutions prepared with the assistance of professional ServiceNow partners – such as SPOC.

Bringing all these items together helps us understand the economic impact of ServiceNow use. It was being studied by the neutral advisory agency Forrester Research. Their report “The Total Economic Impact of ServiceNow IT Applications” showed that ServiceNow implementation improved IT & employee productivity by $8.9 million per year (2019). It also reduced the impact of high-priority incidents and shorted the time of their resolving by $3 million. Reducing development and maintenance costs saved another $6 million. ROI from the implementation of ServiceNow was 229%.

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