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Tips for Successful ServiceNow Upgrade

  • Does ServiceNow’s upgrade policy have you scrambling? 
  • Is the timing of the New York release and the upcoming Orlando release making you wonder how you’ll find the resources needed to stay on a supported environment? 
  • Are you at risk of ServiceNow scheduling your upgrade to ensure compliance? 
  • Are your ServiceNow resources fully committed to other high-value efforts and in need of a “boost”?

If you’re using ServiceNow, you’re probably already aware that they’ve changed their NOW platform upgrade policy. Here’s how they describe it:

“The current policy of ServiceNow is to support the most recent and the immediately previous release families. Because ServiceNow generally makes two new release families per year, you will need to upgrade approximately once per year to stay on a supported release family [emphasis mine].”

That’s huge, particularly if you’re on Madrid or an even earlier version. New York was just released for general availability on September 4, 2019 and Orlando is expected early next year.

Upgrading now not only allows you to take advantage of new and enhanced functionality, it ensures that you’re in compliance with ServiceNow’s new upgrade policy.

What’s more, not upgrading at least once a year could mean that the decision will be made for you. Consider this from ServiceNow:

“…if you fall behind and your instance is on an unsupported release family, ServiceNow will schedule an upgrade for your instance to the most current release family to ensure access to the latest features as well as the latest security, performance, and availability benefits.”

This is not a position you want to be in.

ServiceNow delivers real business value

ServiceNow continues to lead the market in digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity. In the second quarter of 2019, their revenues grew 33 percent over last year and, with a 98 percent renewal rate, customers around the world recognize the value the ServiceNow platform brings to their businesses.

They also agree that maintaining their ServiceNow environment at a current level is critical to continuing that positive business impact and realizing the added value of the new functions and features that ServiceNow continues to bring to the market. 

Whether you plan to stay at the most current or immediately previous version of ServiceNow,  here are some tips and advice to help the transition.

Build a comprehensive ServiceNow upgrade plan

Smoothly and efficiently upgrading requires a comprehensive plan that addresses resource requirements, issues from previous upgrades, managing potential issues or conflicts and testing and validation of new functionality.

ServiceNow also recommends a comprehensive communication plan to keep stakeholders in the loop, both in terms of the process itself and how they’ll benefit from the upgrade. Sharing knowledge and feedback among your stakeholders will also help streamline future upgrades.

ServiceNow recommends the following steps to upgrade:

  1. Review the upgrade process and define and document a granular and repeatable upgrade process for your organization.
  2. Understand resource requirements and secure resources early for a smooth upgrade of ServiceNow instances.
  3. Understand your current environment, both the changes (configurations or customizations) made in your instances and the business need for making those changes.
  4. Plan for a skipped changes review to ensure changes are successfully ported to the upgraded instance.
  5. Create and maintain plans as you configure and customize your applications to test what was previously deployed, along with any integrations used in multiple places.
  6. Communication is key…prepare stakeholders for the upgrade process and resulting benefits.
  7. Use the upgrade as an opportunity to further optimize your processes based on lessons learned and realize incremental value from your investment. 
  8. Minimize customizations to quickly take advantage of new out-of-the-box capabilities and deliver innovation faster, while avoiding unsustainable customization.

But what happens if you don’t have resources available to help you with a ServiceNow upgrade or you’re out of time and at risk for ServiceNow “scheduling” your upgrade to ensure compliance?

Logicalis:  Let us help you ensure ServiceNow upgrade success

An award-winning ServiceNow partner (and customer) of many years, Logicalis can help you reduce risk, while your internal ServiceNow team focuses on the higher value innovation that propels your business forward.

Logicalis has a dedicated Service Management practice with skilled experts and an extensive services portfolio to help you boost your business and productivity.

One of those services is our ServiceNow Upgrade Boost (SUB). In other words, we “sub in” for your busy ServiceNow team to ensure that you’re not only protected from “auto-compliance,” but that you’re taking advantage of the latest functionality that ServiceNow has to offer.

The ServiceNow Upgrade Boost features 6 core steps:

  1. Planning session/coordination of upgrade activities – A collaborative kick-off session and ongoing checkpoint calls to effectively manage scope, approach, roles and progress. 
  2. Production to sub-production cloning – The activities needed to appropriately clone the environment down and prepare for the upgrade. 
  3. Sub-production upgradeThe activities needed to upgrade the sub-prod environment to supporting the testing needed.   
  4. Testing and remediationThe functional testing and remediation of in-scope modules, while your team performs detailed testing of business functionality/user acceptance.
  5. Production upgrade – The activities to migrate the upgrade into the production instance, while you coordinate your internal communications, as appropriate.
  6. Post-upgrade support – The support following your upgrade to ensure that your new ServiceNow instance is running smoothly.

Ready to get started?  Contact your Logicalis Account Executive or complete the contact form to schedule your ServiceNow upgrade and keep innovating for your business.

Jan Pennel, Service Management Practice Lead for Logicalis US, is responsible for ensuring that Logicalis Service Management solutions are delivering the customer business outcomes needed.