If you manage, operate or create software within an enterprise, chances are some part of your day will intersect with ServiceNow. They rose to a leadership position in service management by focusing on increasing the collaborative responsiveness of an organization to customer needs, changes, and crises.
ServiceNow has built and acquired a broad set of solutions that revolve around their widely used flagship ITSM platform. In addition to signing up customers on their platform, much of the company’s success can be attributed to their open partner ecosystem, which has allowed systems integration and software vendor partners to flourish by integrating their own practices and platforms using ServiceNow as the work surface and system of record.
That’s wonderful, but it’s also daunting to think about managing every trouble ticket coming in from various on-prem and distributed services once the platform’s implementation reaches enterprise scale.
How can we improve the work experience of IT operators, developers and security teams, so they can better understand what matters, given the event and alert loads so many nodes and services can generate?
Taking stock of technology inventory
Why try to optimize service management processes, if you aren’t sure exactly what assets exist within the organization?
A critical part of the ServiceNow platform is the Configuration Management Database (or CMDB), which documents the current software and hardware assets under management by the enterprise.
While this core IT management repository can become quite expansive in scope, its capability to act as a ‘single source of truth’ has limitations. To an operator or developer trying to get to the root of difficult problems, a CMDB is only as useful as the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of the asset data it contains.
The trend for enterprise workforces, and their application estates, to become more distributed than ever is only accelerating, thanks to hybrid work practices and cloud computing, as I discussed in a previous article.
Employees and business partners—who used to work in offices and answer support calls near on-premises datacenters—are now using a mix of devices and remote access methods to support customer issues occurring in hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Inevitably, such complexity means there will be many endpoints and server instances that go forgotten or unreported. Research indicates that 94% of enterprises are unaware of 20% or more of the assets connected to their networks!
Tanium IT Asset Manager for ServiceNow provides an automated way for teams to take stock of the hardware and software assets that exist across the extended IT estate, leveraging the firm’s deep expertise in enterprise search and asset discovery honed in threat hunting and cyberdefense.
By continuously scanning for signals that indicate the presence of a connected system, the asset management software is able to capture and feed near-real-time asset data directly to the ServiceNow CMDB. Engineers and analysts can resolve incidents faster and with less friction when they are certain that consistent information about the state of all assets is in play.
Addressing vulnerability and compliance gaps
Are assets and configuration code being updated on a regular basis, and patched after exploits are revealed?
It takes discipline to establish and maintain a strong security posture against a host of emerging threats against an ever-expanding hybrid IT attack surface.
Security work isn’t just the purview of the SecOps team. A large percentage of ServiceNow usage has always been focused on operators and developers finding and repairing vulnerabilities because managing that work is critical for achieving compliance and risk management goals.
Risks should be assessed not just in terms of a hacker stealing something of value such as private account information, or collecting Bitcoin ransoms, but in terms of brand damage that can negatively impact future customers. Recent Ponemon Institute research attributed 33% of total breach costs to lost business.
Completely scanning a distributed computing environment with home-grown tools or manual processes can take weeks. Further, many security-specific threat hunting tools are better at finding suspect traffic and messages than discovering vulnerabilities within connected application services and endpoints.
University of Salford employed Tanium Vulnerability Risk and Compliance for ServiceNow and fixed 38,000 missing patches, while automating software updates on thousands of endpoints, and reducing its patching update window from weeks to under 24 hours.
Combining customer and employee experience
Teams interact with a service management platform to improve digital customer experience (CX) by monitoring their own organization’s IT estate, in order to resolve performance, quality of service and security incidents in a timely fashion.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for management to overlook the importance of improving the digital employee experience (DEX) to keep our most valuable resources happily in sync with customer needs.
Nearly 9 in 10 executives at companies that consider themselves revenue-growth leaders agree that better EX leads directly to better CX, according to a recent Forbes Insights survey.
Software UX designers can make cosmetic improvements such as prettier graphs and dark mode interfaces that are more enjoyable for users to look at, but offer limited impact on EX. Employees who are working through ServiceNow really want to be unburdened from the unproductive work of filtering through non-essential alerts, and the toil of manual updates, data cleansing, and assembling reports.
Tanium Total Experience for ServiceNow gives employees visibility into IT assets and endpoints throughout the extended enterprise, with monitoring and filtering of alerts into generated reports that allow teams to quickly judge the relative significance and value of resolving each potential incident.
Further, as each component comes up for scheduled license renewals or patch-based maintenance, the integrated solution can report these tasks back to ServiceNow SAM (software asset management) for automated updates and documented confirmations of the maintenance record for compliance audits, without the hassle.
The Intellyx Take
For digital employees, the ServiceNow platform has become both a primary workspace and a system of record for managing the entire organization’s IT efforts toward improving the digital customer experience.
Comprehensive asset discovery and visibility, with automated security reviews and better filtering of event and alert data all combine to improve the digital employee experience, by reducing manual work to free up team time to focus on what really matters to the business.
Learn more about how Tanium + ServiceNow can improve complete visibility into all your assets, drive superior employee and customer experiences, and bolster your security posture all at once.
©2023 Intellyx LLC. Intellyx retains editorial control over this content. At the time of writing, Tanium is an Intellyx subscriber. No AI chatbots were used to write this article.