There are constant news articles on Public and Private Cloud. There are also targeted articles around ITIL and ITSM. While I run across news articles and some products from time to time, you don’t really see the two topics discussed together from a full lifecycle standpoint (Service Offering idea, Service Definition, code, Build, Test, Deploy, automated provisioning, etc).
Think about it: You have an idea for a Service Offering. It requires off-the-shelf technologies, custom coding and a place to run it and a whole bunch of other processes that must be followed. All of that needs added to the Service Catalog, CMDB/CMS, change requests need to be opened, approvals, custom coding or configurations, test systems set up, etc., etc., etc. That is just the backend process related stuff. You also have other tools, processes and people for building, maintaining and deploying the Service Offering.
Between ServiceNow and the CSC Agility Platform, you are pretty much covered. ServiceNow is in the ITIL/ITSM space and holds the Service Definition, understanding of the related supporting technologies (Web, DB, storage, etc) definitions, process around change, incident, problem management, etc. When you reach the point that you are coding, the Agility Platform is in the Cloud space and provides the full lifecycle DevOps for building the solution and deploying to QA, Production, etc. Once in production, when an end user subscribes to the new Service, the Agility Platform also provisions it on the fly adhering to security, public/private cloud preferences and a slew of other features.
If you are starting at ground zero, this is a big proposition to undertake. The nice thing about it is that you can start in one or more areas and then expand from there. You could take on the entire ITIL process stuff, or start with a few areas such as Change Management and the CMDB. You could start in the Cloud area by automating the provisioning of Services on demand, then later use Agility to populate and maintain the CMDB. There is a lot of flexibility to start and grow the entire vision and I highly recommend the “grow” approach. The reality is, a huge project rarely gets delivered. Start in one area, maybe one of the higher pain points for your business, solve the problem, get a win under your belt and move on to the next phase.
Without going into great detail, there are a few options for integrating the Agility Platform with ServiceNow, it will come down to the vision you have around the complete solution or the stage you in as you are driving towards the larger vision.
Agility Maintain Data in ServiceNow: In this example, Agility is responsible for managing the Service blueprints, dashboard to subscribe and provision offerings, role based views, security, governance, etc. With this approach, there are configurable options to automatically update ServiceNow when new instances are provisioned in order to maintain the CMDB/CMS, open change requests, etc. Several other options, but the idea is that Agility will leverage the ServiceNow API to push or pull data between the two systems.
Service Now Instructing Agility: In this case, ServiceNow is the main UI for the end users where depending on their role, they are in the Change Management area, Service Catalog, etc. You leveraged the capability to have a Dashboard in ServiceNow to subscribe to Services. As they subscribe, it runs through a ServiceNow approval workflow and upon approval, ServiceNow reaches out to the Agility Platform via it’s API and automatically provisions the new Service.
Agility Leverage Data from ServiceNow: For this example, Agility has a custom integration activated to pull data from ServiceNow to supplement the Service Offerings within Agility such as configuration details like number of CPU’s, memory or even Costs, SLAs and other important attributes. This data can be pulled from ServiceNow automatically as new Services are provisioned.
I’m sure there are ten other examples I could come up with, my goal was to share the concept and ideas. Conceptually, there really is no wrong way to integrate the two together; it is more about what makes the most sense for your environment based on where you are today with the adoption of Cloud and ITSM.
Do you have any ideas on the topic? Did I miss an obvious value-add for Agility and ServiceNow integrated together? Please leave a comment.