Three years ago, I started developing on the ServiceNow platform, and I wouldn’t still be doing it today if I didn’t believe in the product. A lot of people ask me what I do, and when I try and tell them, I can never quite get across the point of what ServiceNow is. The truth is, quite honestly, ServiceNow does everything, literally. I have built business applications that have saved companies millions of dollars in the matters of days and automated processes that revolutionized how companies work. But it all comes back to the fact that none of this would’ve ever been possible without ServiceNow.
From an architecture perspective, it undoubtedly has one of the strongest foundations of any SAAS app on the market. The platform makes is easier than ever before manipulate client and server side behavior. Their simple custom java class, GlideRecord, makes it effortless to execute SQL queries on the platform. If you can’t tell by now, I’ve “drank the kool-aid”. But quite honestly, the kool-aid is very real, and I mean it. There is a reason the company has doubled in market cap to ~$28 billion in the matter of years.
But enough with the praising. I’m here to provide you with real examples on why I believe this product to be a game changer in the way companies work.
To get a better understanding of “building apps at lightspeed”, I want to take you through an experiment I did. Essentially, I tried to rebuild a marketing intake application I had built on ServiceNow, by not using ServiceNow. The functional requirements were as so “As a marketing manager, I want an application where my stakeholders can submit new marketing requests, and my team can manage these requests so we are able to provide better service to our stakeholders and manage large volumes of work.”
The first part of the experiment I did was try and build the application outside of ServiceNow. I started by spinning up an Amazon Ec2 server and installing apache and a MySQL database. I then created a single table in the DB. After setting up the infrastructure, I got to coding in PHP. 1,000 lines of code, an integration with an external email service via API, and 80 hours later, I had a functioning application.
For comparison, I then built the same functionality in ServiceNow. With no server or database setup required, I was able to easily create a new table in the DB through an intuitive UI and add access controls. After that, I was able to easily create a form through drag and drop field functionality. To allow stakeholders to submit requests through a nice looking UI, I added a record producer and put it in the out of box service portal. After adding a few email notifications with no code at all involved, I had a fully functional application. Total time to build the application – 1 hour.
Not only does “building apps at lightspeed” like this save enormous sums of money from a development perspective, it allows IT to deliver to the business in literally a fraction of the time as it would otherwise.
Truth be told, examples like this are only the beginning of what’s possible. Between automation opportunities, agent intelligence and allowing organizations to shift to a self service model, ServiceNow is just getting started.
I’m excited to see what is yet to come.
GlideFast consulting is contributing to the success and growth in the industry by developing custom applications that are built entirely in and for ServiceNow. Our newest, custom application is PhishBait, an automated phishing email simulator. Learn more about it and request a free trial on the ServiceNow store: http://bit.ly/phishstore