Every organization is different, and the way they manage their IT is unique too. For companies which use ServiceNow, the environment on its own is often not enough to comfortably monitor, manage and control your enterprise IT. Often you will need to use it in conjunction with other technology to actually get the most from your ServiceNow investment – and we all know it is a considerable investment. App integration in ServiceNow is the way to do this.
Let’s look at why organizations should implement application integration in ServiceNow and how you can do it.
Why integrate apps into ServiceNow?
Integrating apps into ServiceNow has enormous benefits, allowing you to use the power of ServiceNow to the fullest and get the greatest ROI possible:
- Allows for uni- and bi-directional data transfer
Integrations in ServiceNow between other tools such as BigFix, Jask, QRadar and others allow you to collect data from these apps and have all your information in one place. That allows for more efficient governance and a ‘single version of the truth’. What’s more, if you can send commands back from ServiceNow to these other applications, you can control everything from one single pane of glass.
- Smoother, more efficient processes
If you can manage apps from one environment, you can also build smoother, more efficient workflows and cut waste. App integration in ServiceNow also saves you a lot of time and means your teams don’t have to do lots of dull copying and pasting of data between systems.
- Greater transparency
When you can control everything from one place, you also get far more transparency. That allows you to audit all your applications and comply with ITIL and ITSM best practices.
Methods for application integration in ServiceNow
There are basically three ways of achieving integration in ServiceNow:
- You use ServiceNow’s own integration tools and services
- You build your own ServiceNow integrations
- You use third-party tools which facilitate app integration in ServiceNow
Let’s look at these three options in turn to figure out which is best for your organization.
1. Use ServiceNow’s own integration options
ServiceNow provides several ready-made integrations with a range of platforms, and also offers certified integrations through the ServiceNow store.
Some ServiceNow integrations are considered an integral part of the platform and are offered free of charge and include:
- Google Maps and Google Custom Search
- Verizon eBonding
- Microsoft SMS
In the ServiceNow store, you can also browse through a wide range of integrations. Some of these are free, others must be paid for.
Pros of using ServiceNow’s own integration options:
These are all officially sanctioned apps and should work efficiently, with little or no risk.
Cons of using ServiceNow’s own integration options:
You will end up paying for lots of additional apps and integrations. What’s more, if your other ITIL and ITSM tools are not available in ServiceNow’s stores, your options are limited. But, perhaps most importantly, these integrations are rarely true bi-directional solutions – despite their claims of integration, you don’t get a deep level of data flow between them.
2. Build your own integrations
Building your own integrations in ServiceNow with the apps you use for ITIL and ITSM is one potential solution if your preferred technology isn’t available in ServiceNow’s store. It would normally require some fairly serious development, but if you have the resources and expertise, you can connect most tools into ServiceNow.
Pros of building your own integration in ServiceNow
You only need to build what you use, so if you only have a very specific purpose for the integration, you should be fine.
Cons of building your own integration in ServiceNow
Cost and time are likely big drawbacks here. Connecting, say, Jask into your ServiceNow instance is going to be a big project which likely needs expert outside help. Another consideration is the fact that these integrations will need to be continually maintained and managed to ensure they’re still safe and secure.
3. Use third-party ServiceNow app integration tools
Your final option is to use third-party tools which facilitate app integration with ServiceNow. eBridge, for instance, provides a simple and fast method of connecting a wide range of ITIL and ITSM technologies into ServiceNow and allows truly bi-directional data flow. That means that every change in apps like BigFix, SolarWinds, the Microsoft stack and many more are all logged in ServiceNow where you can view them all.
But, just as importantly, the genuine bi-directional power of eBridge allows you to send commands straight back from ServiceNow, without having to leave the platform itself.
Pros of using third-party ServiceNow app integration tools
This approach lest you rapidly and transparently connect data from all your apps and bring it into ServiceNow and build additional connections easily. This approach is also much less expensive than using ServiceNow’s own app integration services.
Cons of using third-party ServiceNow app integration tools
If you only need one or two simple integrations, it might make more sense to build your own or try and purchase one from the app store. However, this may turn out to be an unintentionally expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
ebridge covers a lot of ground across CMDB integrations and even if you only need it for one integration it can save you a lot of time and money in both the short and long term.
To learn more about ServiceNow application integration, download our Whitepaper: ServiceNow Application Integration – build vs. buy.