What is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow is a software company that provides a cloud-based, AI-driven platform for automating multiple management workflows in enterprises. The company specializes in IT service management, IT operations management and IT business management.

Founded in 2004, ServiceNow offers an intelligent, cloud-based platform and tools for automating, managing and optimizing many enterprise processes, including the following:

  • IT service management (ITSM).
  • Customer service management.
  • IT operations management (ITOM).
  • HR service delivery.
  • Strategic portfolio management.
  • IT asset management (ITAM).
  • Security operations.
  • Field service management.
  • Application portfolio management.
  • Governance, risk and compliance (GRC).

The ServiceNow platform is called Now, and all of ServiceNow's products are built into it. The platform provides a singular technology stack for multiple enterprise departments, workflows and processes. The platform sits on top of existing enterprise data and systems to help minimize digital sprawl and facilitate digital transformation. In addition, ServiceNow offers interfaces and low-code tools to orchestrate and automate tasks and processes to improve efficiency, lower risk and reduce costs.

Reasons to use low-code vs. traditional app development.
The benefits of low-code vs. traditional app development include rapid development, code and module reuse, reduced costs, and less need for specialized expertise.

Benefits of the Now platform

The ServiceNow Now platform automates manual tasks; provides automated, intuitive and unified experiences across the organization; and enables end-to-end digital transformation. The products support the creation of digital workflows that help to simplify work, enhance productivity and accelerate business innovation.

The platform's native intelligence and real-time analytics enable businesses to create experiences powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and improve decision-making. They can also help businesses predict issues, anticipate trends and prioritize resources. In addition to one single platform, ServiceNow offers a unified architecture and a unified data model that help to bring consistency across business processes and ensure all implemented products work together.

ServiceNow simplifies building no-code automated workflows. These workflows help to improve productivity and efficiency in many areas of enterprise operations. In addition, routing and prioritization tools as well as real-time insights help teams resolve issues quickly.

All ServiceNow tools and the Now platform include automated security controls, certified integrations and multilayer encryption to ensure the security of enterprise processes and data. ServiceNow's automations also ensure uninterrupted regulatory compliance.

Table of ITSM frameworks and standards commonly applied in enterprise IT organizations.
ServiceNow helps organizations adhere to IT service management frameworks and standards.

ServiceNow products

ServiceNow's product suite includes dozens of products that facilitate digitization and enable digital transformation. All products run on the Now platform, enabling organizations to automate faster, knock down communication and collaboration silos, and reduce integration complexity and costs.

In addition to products for ITSM, ITOM and ITAM, ServiceNow offers the following:

HR Service Delivery (HRSD)

HRSD helps organizations implement AI-powered self-service and streamline employee service experiences. It includes features for workforce management and engagement, including case and knowledge management, human resources agent workspace, issue auto-resolution, an employee center and a virtual agent.

Workplace Service Delivery

This product provides tools for workplace management, including tools to manage space, optimize utilization, standardize documentation, manage visitors and streamline operations.

Customer service management (CSM)

ServiceNow's CSM tools help organizations implement AI-powered self-service to resolve issues and improve the customer experience. These tools include capabilities for workforce optimization, process mining and guided decisions. In addition, built-in machine learning and predictive intelligence can simplify everyday work, while Engagement Messenger makes it possible to embed rich self-service experiences into third-party websites.

App Engine

ServiceNow's App Engine and the underlying Now platform help organizations build low-code apps for many types of mission-critical tasks. In addition, native integration helps to speed up process automation, and embeddable AI and analytics enable people to work more efficiently.

Automation Engine

The Automation Engine tool is a robotic process automation technology that helps users connect hundreds of third-party systems to ServiceNow and automate repetitive work. No coding is required to build automations, and the single Now platform simplifies hyperautomation across the enterprise.

In addition to the above, other popular ServiceNow tools -- all of which can be managed from the Now platform -- include the following:

  • Business continuity management.
  • Change management.
  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.
  • Knowledge management.
  • Incident management.
  • Scenario planning.
  • Service portal.
  • Health and safety.
  • Cloud management.
  • DevOps.
Diagram of the IT service delivery process.
ServiceNow specializes in IT service management to help businesses improve the way they use IT.

ServiceNow offerings and industries

ServiceNow also offers services that help organizations do the following:

Many of these offerings can be customized to match the needs of organizations in specific industries, such as the following:

  • Financial services.
  • Energy and utilities.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Retail.
  • Telecom.
  • Media.
  • Technology.
  • Education.
  • Government.
  • Nonprofits.

ServiceNow integrations with Integration Hub

The ServiceNow platform integrates with a range of legacy systems and new products across multiple categories, including CSM, DevOps, automation, analytics and intelligence, ESG, field service management, GRC, infrastructure management and more. These integrations help users manage projects, teams and customer interactions; accelerate workflow connectivity; eliminate integration complexity and simplify process automation.

Supported ServiceNow integrations include the following:

Integration Hub is ServiceNow's system enabled by application programming interfaces (APIs). It includes multiple flow templates; out-of-the-box spokes, plus a Spoke Generator to build new spokes based on OpenAI specifications; and custom integration capabilities. With its spokes, organizations can connect any ServiceNow workflow with other systems to enable data sharing, collaboration and process automation.

Integration Hub includes capabilities that further facilitate process automation:

  • Integration Hub Import. It simplifies data set imports and mapping, regardless of size.
  • REST API trigger. This eliminates the need to write code to initiate integrations; instead, a flow can be started from an inbound API call or webhook.
  • Remote tables. With remote tables, there's no need to import or store external data to temporarily view or use it.
  • Connections dashboard. A single dashboard accelerates connections and simplifies credential management.

Explore ServiceNow's vision for AI and CSM and see why choosing the right ITSM tools is crucial for digital era success.

This was last updated in February 2024

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