The cloud’s next imperative: ITSM service automation
As a topic, discipline and a technology proposition, cloud-based service automation is the darling of the IT industry right now. From anti-virus suites (AVG for example) to Enterprise Resource Planning platforms (SAP for example), the impetus to push enterprise level automation into the service based model of IT delivery from the cloud has never been stronger.
In this space this week we find ServiceNow with its newly announced Berlin, the latest release of its cloud-based IT Service Automation software. The release is intended to enable “more efficient software utilisation” to help companies comply with license terms and requirements, while avoiding over-purchasing of software licenses and maintenance or support contracts.
NOTE: This “avoiding over-purchasing” element of this technology is exactly in line with the core reason that cloud computing has come about in the first place i.e. to provide flexibility and control.
ServiceNow suggests that enterprises today waste what it calls “a great deal of money and time” through an inability to properly manage software resources. The firm prefaces its product details with this assertion in order to try and position ServiceNow software as a route to help businesses “right-size” a software portfolio while helping achieve audit-ready license compliance automation and reporting.
“Managing software assets has become increasingly complex in the age of virtualisation and cloud. Enterprises are wasting millions of dollars annually due to fundamental lack of visibility and poor management,” said Matt Schvimmer, vice president of product management, ServiceNow. “ServiceNow provides a comprehensive view of all assets – physical, virtual, and cloud-based – and the processes to control the full lifecycle management of those assets.”
ServiceNow IT asset management is intended to help IT organisations reduce operational costs, identify software portfolio requirements, facilitate planning and simplify compliance efforts. Its makers say that it works across all types of assets, including software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and subscription services, licensing of virtual resources and the use of consumable assets.
The ServiceNow IT asset management application is fully integrated with all of the other ServiceNow applications for automating enterprise IT operations, including asset discovery, service catalogue and configuration management database (CMDB), providing a single system of record for IT management.
Adding Scrum for Agile
In addition to advanced asset management capabilities, the new release adds a new Scrum process pack to the ServiceNow Software Development Lifecycle application.
NOTE: Scrum is a popular development methodology for managing Agile software development projects in multi-team, multi-product environments. The new capabilities include planning boards, progress boards, burn-down charts, preferential ranking and the assignment of standard roles associated with this methodology, like product owner and scrum master.
Built into the ServiceNow software, the Scrum process pack helps IT organisations deliver a better end-user IT experience through automation of software and release quality. Leveraging the SDLC application in conjunction with Service Management processes creates a direct relationship between development efforts and enhancements and defects reported to IT. This also provides an opportunity to govern the release process with change and release management processes.
All this new functionality is included in the Berlin release – now available to all ServiceNow customers as part of their subscription.