SoftwareOne case study

Tech firm implements ServiceNow for visibility into global IT assets

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A global technology company gained new visibility into its IT assets after SoftwareOne helped it to implement ServiceNow and IT Operations Management (ITOM) for reduced risk and improved efficiency.

A global technology company had spent several months working unsuccessfully with a service provider to implement the ServiceNow platform for its IT team, which needed greater visibility into the company’s on-premises infrastructure. On the recommendation of a stakeholder who had worked with SoftwareOne at another organisation, the company turned to SoftwareOne for help.

  • 80K

    configuration items now visible through CMDB

  • 50%

    reduction in headcount costs

  • 12K

    certificates managed with centralised dashboard

Global technology company
Information technology
IT Operations Management Services (ITOM)

Lack of IT transparency creates business risks

With tens of thousands of employees at multiple locations around the world, the technology company hoped to eliminate many of the business challenges it was experiencing because of the lack of transparency into its hardware, software and networks. It had no centralised IT management system, so it lacked a straightforward and efficient way to manage changes, respond to security or performance issues, keep track of certificates or ensure that its resource consumption met its needs. For example, an expired certificate had led to an outage that significantly interrupted business processes a few months before SoftwareOne began working on the project.

The lack of visibility into its IT systems also meant that the company couldn’t identify usage of shadow IT or establish standard processes and governance across the organisation. And without effectively coordinated practices for the 200-strong global IT team, team members in one region often didn’t know what their colleagues in other regions were doing.

White arch against a blue sky

Building trust and achieving quick wins

When SoftwareOne began working with the technology company an early challenge was to build trust with key stakeholders, who had been disappointed by their previous service provider’s inability to implement ServiceNow. SoftwareOne focused on building face-to-face relationships early in the project through frequent on-site work. The team at ServiceNow also helped to reassure the company about SoftwareOne’s capabilities.

Another challenge was to start enabling improvements quickly, because IT leaders had already made a number of commitments to executives to deliver changes by specific deadlines across a multi-year project timeline. After assessing the company’s existing infrastructure and needs, SoftwareOne aligned its recommended solution to those deadlines.

SoftwareOne’s assessment identified many high-priority issues that needed addressing, including the existence of an entire network in the Asia-Pacific region that other parts of the company’s IT team were unaware of. It also needed to prioritise Software Asset Management (SAM) after discovering that the company had deployed SAM without the right configurations –meaning that the company was already using ServiceNow licences without yet having a functional ServiceNow platform. Another issue was that the company had enabled more than 200 ServiceNow administrators, with no standardised processes or governance to guide them.

The first step was to set up and populate the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) that would be required for later hardware, software and asset management. SoftwareOne deployed this within just a few months – a quick delivery time for such a large customer with a global presence and multiple locations.

SoftwareOne also quickly implemented certificate management, including processes to identify when certificates in the network were approaching expiration so these could be renewed on time, preventing the risk of further business continuity or security issues. It identified around 12,000 certificates across the organisation, along with the relevant certificate owners, and created a dashboard for centralised visibility and control.

Throughout the project, SoftwareOne held weekly governance and platform meetings with key stakeholders in the technology company, and provided customised training to prepare employees for ServiceNow deployment. It also included stakeholders from the company’s HR department, which up until then had been the only part of the business with a functional ServiceNow platform. It continues to work across multiple areas to ensure that the company has a well-built foundation for ServiceNow management.

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Among the ITOM benefits delivered:

  • Visibility into 80,000 configuration items: Enabled through a single system of record for IT infrastructure.
  • Standardised data model for CMDB: Providing consistency and clear governance for current and future products.
  • ITOM discovery: Automated CMDB population for increased data accuracy and integrity.
  • Enhanced IT operations outcomes: Mitigating security risks, proactively addressing outage risks and optimising infrastructure spend.

Global visibility and growing technology maturity

The technology company now has a working CMDB with more than 80,000 configuration items that continues to be populated on an ongoing basis with data about the organisation’s IT assets and configuration items. This will form the basis of the company’s ServiceNow implementation, giving it full visilibity into hardware, software and other assets across the business. SoftwareOne will continue to support this implementation, but the company has already significantly matured its technology position. It can now standardise many processes it wasn’t able to previously, can better manage changes, respond to incidents and has gained improved insights into its on-premises IT infrastructure. Next, it plans to begin discovery across its cloud infrastructure on AWS.

Certificate management is now active as well, ensuring that the company no longer encounters unexpected expirations. With its new system, an incident record is automatically generated whenever a certificate approaches expiration, so the IT team is notified in enough time to act.

    The company’s ServiceNow administration team has also been streamlined, with headcount costs reduced by 50 percent. As it continues to support further streamlining of the team, SoftwareOne is also helping to create specific training plans for administrators depending on the aspects of ServiceNow they will be responsible for.

    Progress is also continuing on SAM implementation, which is currently in a proof of concept, to be followed by hardware asset management (HAM). Other projects in discussion include implementing ServiceNow service mapping to discover applications across the organisation, and Application Portfolio Management (APM). Both of these will help give the company visibility into the full lifecycle of its applications globally. Over the longer term, the company might also explore deploying ServiceNow for its customer-facing business activities.

    With SoftwareOne’s support and training, the technology company’s IT teams have become more comfortable with different aspects of ServiceNow management and have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, thanks to a foundation built on best practices. The project’s successes to date illustrate how the company has come to view SoftwareOne as its trusted advisor on ServiceNow.

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