There’s no doubt that ServiceNow is the market leading configuration management database (CMDB): the preferred choice of countless businesses and IT professionals. It’s simple to use, powerful and unlocks wide-reaching efficiency savings and productivity gains.
This is why third-party developers have been building upon the foundation ServiceNow provides to create further enhancements that allow even greater functionality and value.
If your organization uses ServiceNow or is considering implementing it for your CMDB needs, you will want to achieve a maximum return on investment (ROI) by using such enhancements. But should you choose a tried and tested solution or go down the route of ServiceNow API development? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of that scenario:
Key factors to bear in mind
- Process complexity – how complicated are the processes you’re working with?
- Time-frame – when do you need the project to be completed and how long will it take?
- Resource requirements – how many developers are needed and which skill sets?
The DIY approach
Growing development community
The ServiceNow development community has grown in the last few years, so there is much more documentation available, as well as community forums, user groups and events.
So, if you can spare your personnel and they have the necessary development foundation, there are resources available to help them learn how to code with ServiceNow.
However, the IT operations staff or developers in many businesses are already fully dedicated to system administration and existing projects. Decision makers are often hard pressed to justify a development project like this in terms of people-hours and budget.
Making your own custom integration If you have a very specific app (e.g. a bespoke one that is only used by your organization) that you need to integrate – and it isn’t featured in any existing commercially available solutions – this could be a reason to build your own.
However, most often it’s more economical, simpler and faster to approach us to create the integration you need. Especially in the long term. In the next section we’ll explore why that is:
Immediate barriers and long-term pitfalls
Do you have the skills and budget to build in-house?
Integrations between ServiceNow and apps are one of the most useful things to build, but also the most difficult and time-consuming. For instance, bi-directional communication between ServiceNow and an app may be extremely lengthy and complex, requiring work on components on both sides.
It will also require a good knowledge of the app you’re integrating, such as its data and process flows. Does your in-house team have this, or would it be better to leave the task to developers who create such integrations every day?
In many cases, our developers at ebridge can create custom integrations for clients and have them up and running in as little as two weeks. We have expertise in a wide range of enterprise tools – unlike the majority of third-party developers or in-house teams. Because of this, our integrations are superior and more likely to include all the functionality you need.
Can your developers document it adequately?
Workforces change. People leave. Will the next developer be able to understand what the previous one created, and go into the code and make fixes if it’s crucially necessary, immediately? That’s why documentation is crucial to the success of a DIY project.
Technical documentation in software development is a rigorous discipline and a skillset that requires training to practise effectively. And sound documentation would become vital in the case of a failure. Do your IT operations personnel or developers have strong enough documentation skills to prepare for these eventualities?
As ebridge is a no-coding-required solution, you don’t need to concern yourself with any of this. Your people don’t even need to see the technical documentation because we handle all the maintenance.
What if ServiceNow changes/updates and your DIY solution breaks?
If this happens, it’s likely to result in downtime and you’ll need to spend more IT resources on fixing the issue. You may think that if you build your own solution, it’s merely a one-time expense, as opposed to paying for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription. But instead it results in unexpected expense every time your developers need to change the code – because their time is your money.
Going DIY would mean an unknown, sporadic, and unplanned expenditure of resources for updates, maintenance, troubleshooting and so on. By contrast, with ebridge you have a known, regular and easily managed cost, and a solution that simply works “out of the box”, with all support provided.
ebridge is also a ServiceNow scoped application. So, unlike a DIY attempt, you have the reassurance that it won’t negatively affect your other ServiceNow applications, potentially disrupting your services.
We maintain ebridge and make sure everything works for you, all the time. If anything changes with ServiceNow and ebridge needs to be updated, we do it immediately ourselves, so your service remains uninterrupted. That’s what you’re paying for: stability, peace of mind and a simple but powerful solution that does what you need with no coding required. Want to look at the build-or-buy question in more depth? Read our new whitepaper on the subject or get in touch with us to discuss your needs.