Three Ways to Integrate ServiceNow and AWS
ServiceNow forms the trunk of the IT Service Management tree for many enterprises today. The ServiceNow platform is used to weave together value streams, connect business processes and integrate technology to run the business. One of the big branches in the business tree these days is cloud computing, led by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Cloud is now filling the windscreen for IT Service Management who are typically principal owners of ServiceNow, but not cloud, in many enterprises.
How do enterprises mix ITSM with Cloud?
Combining IT Service Management and Cloud Computing is a business imperative but it is a non-trivial task and it is also a clash of two different worlds. IT Service Managers are not “cloud techies” and it is not common for Cloud Engineers to be experts in ITSM. This leads to a number of “dropped balls” in the enterprise when the gaps between ITSM and cloud lead to problems with finance, operations and security and, most important of all, missed opportunities to improve the business.
Across the UK today, enterprises are running programmes to integrate ServiceNow and AWS. They aim to add speed to their value chain, enhance the quality of customer service, and save money. There are three general ways that enterprises approach ServiceNow and AWS integration:
Hand-crafting custom integrations between ServiceNow and AWS via APIs to deliver cloud to business users.
Using the ServiceNow Cloud Management product to integrate ServiceNow with AWS cloud resources
- Using the AWS Connector for ServiceNow and Service Catalog.
Today’s enterprises need to move faster and faster, which means they need to consume cloud with less friction. Less friction can mean less governance, but it doesn't always have to. There is a way to consume AWS via ServiceNow so that the business has the correct guard rails in place, but experiences less friction in consuming the cloud.
Enterprises use the AWS Service Catalog to give their users access to the latest cloud technologies without asking those users to be cloud experts.
The Service Catalog guard rails are:
A simple user interface, configured by the administrator.
Embedded (hidden) governance rules, set by the administrator.
Cost controls - the choice of resources made by the administrator.
Limited, already-approved user options, set by the administrator.
The Service Catalog interface removes a lot of friction by hiding complexity from the users' perspective and speeds up their work. The AWS Service Catalog goes further by automating the deployment of requested applications to the cloud, eliminating the need for users to be technical experts and also ensuring the deployment is correct: removing the human element, removing friction, and embedding guard rails.
The ServiceNow Connector has been developed by AWS and is freely available on the ServiceNow application centre. The benefits of the Connector are:
Integrating with the Service Portal, which is more cost-effective than licensing for the core platform.
Extending the features of AWS Service Catalog to ServiceNow without requiring any special configuration in either.
Using existing AWS Service Catalog portfolios and products unchanged, and working with existing users, groups and workflows.
The Connector delivers a well-governed and friction-free experience for the user by presenting AWS Service Catalog products through regular ServiceNow catalogs, in both the core platform and in Service Portal - now the cloud is hidden but all the guard rails and friction-free benefits are still there.
Requests for products are approved and fulfilled with the familiar ServiceNow workflows and all subsequent change is managed with ServiceNow's change management system.
The combination of ServiceNow Connector and AWS Service Catalog is truly the best of both worlds, and the Cloudsoft and Unifii partnership helps enterprises take advantage of this advancement in ITSM and cloud. The Connector comes with several basic workflows that Cloudsoft could modify to fit your customers’ needs, for example, to automatically set parameter values, assign tags or create notifications etc.
See the Practical Guide to Cloud for Grown Ups presentation for the Service Desk Institute.
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