Modern enterprise IT has to deliver services at the rapid pace of today’s business across an increasingly complex infrastructure environment that includes physical, virtual, cloud and mobile resources.
IT Service Management (ITSM) has therefore emerged as a key discipline that helps enterprises meet the speed and scale challenge. ServiceNow, a cloud-based ITSM tool that follows the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3.0 framework is highly popular among enterprises for streamlining workflows and service management and containing costs. However, with the relentless pressure to curtail IT costs, enterprises are scrutinizing their software spend that accounts for up to one third of the total IT budget, with software licenses (ServiceNow) making up a substantial portion of that amount.
Savvy enterprises are looking to find a way around ServiceNow’s role-based license model that requires the procurement of an ITIL license to implement code movement through a change request.
In this paper, we propose a cost-saving approach to reduce procurement of ITIL licenses and costs, while simultaneously improving service delivery.
Tackling challenges in the default ServiceNow-driven Software Development Lifecycle
A typical Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) process requires an application development team to move a set of codes across non-production environments, for instance, from Development to Test, SIT or UAT environments (Illustrated in Figure 1).
Figure 1: Illustration of the Change Request process – As-Is
Up to 60% of total tickets are actually change tickets created by the application team in ServiceNow to move code across non-production environments. This includes batch cycle jobs and ETL/Ad-hoc requests.
In a default ServiceNow approach, an ITIL license has to be procured to implement this code movement through a change request. In ServiceNow’s role-based license model, the roles are classified as User, Fulfiller and Administrator, and ITIL Fulfiller’s license cost is pegged at around USD 100 annually. It’s easy to imagine how procurement of ITIL licenses can add significantly to an organization’s IT expenses. Moreover, enterprises often end up overbuying licenses, which exaggerates the waste. Additionally, change requests are tracked based on implementation in various environments in the delivery process, and users have to traverse between individual pages to submit their change requests. Optimizing software license purchase and change request management thus presents an opportunity for significant cost reduction. Though ITSM and software license optimization solutions have evolved over time, integrating them together to automate workflows can drive higher efficiency, productivity and curb rising IT costs.
Adopting a ‘Quality Assurance Environment Management’ approach to ITIL
The Quality Assurance Environment Management (QAEM) approach simplifies the change management module and automates ITIL Service Support without additional cost needed to create a non-production change request. Here’s how the approach works (Illustrated in Figure 2):
Figure 2: Illustration of the QAEM approach – To-Be
The proposed approach promises several advantages over the existing default approach to change request management in ServiceNow. The biggest benefit is the transformation of manual tracking of change requests based on implementation in various environments to automated and streamlined change workflows that save time, reduce errors, and boost satisfaction. The other key advantage is transparency in ITIL license usage that comes from creating record producer applicable to each user. This helps eliminate unused/unnecessary ITIL license purchases for teams and individual users.
Business and IT benefits of the QAEM approach include:
The value of IT service catalog extends beyond change request management
The service catalog is at the core of IT service delivery and sets expectations among users, while the IT service portfolio serves to articulate the value of IT to the business.
Leveraging the QAEM approach, the IT service catalog can serve as an end-to-end service and operations platform that enables 360-degree intelligence. The insights from this intuitive portal not only help optimize ITIL license management but also equip IT with the ability to become a strategic business enabler – adapting with agility to rapidly changing user and market demands. More importantly, the QAEM approach empowers IT users with self-service capabilities – the holy grail of modern IT.
ServiceNow Architect - Cloud Infrastructure Services, Wipro
Rahul with 18 years of industry experience specializes in infrastructure and financial domains. He works closely with client and technology partners on leading cloud consulting projects and automation initiatives. Rahul has keen interest in transforming traditional ways of delivering managed services and strongly believes that an intent-based paradigm will deliver long-term benefits to clients and service providers alike. Rahul can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology Assurance Lead – Process & Product Quality, Wipro
Malathi has over 19 years of industry experience in areas of Project Management, Technical documentation, Quality Assurance, Quality Management and Continuous Improvement. She has worked across Embedded platform, VLSI, Telecom, Consumer, Communication & Medias, and Cloud & Infrastructure domains. Malathi is experienced in handling development, testing, maintenance, and agile projects. She can be reached at Malathi.email@example.com