Digital Transformation

Essential Governance Guide

This blog provides a foundational understanding of why governance is critical for ServiceNow implementations.

The Essential Guide to Governance in ServiceNow Implementation

ServiceNow, as a cloud-based platform, offers unparalleled capabilities in IT service management (ITSM), enabling organizations to streamline their internal processes and improve operational efficiencies. However, the power of ServiceNow comes with the need for effective governance to ensure its implementation aligns with organizational goals, maintains compliance, and optimizes resource utilization. Establishing robust governance over your ServiceNow implementation is not just a recommendation; it's a necessity for maximizing its value and ensuring long-term success.

What are we talking about, anyway? Understanding Governance in ServiceNow

Governance in the context of ServiceNow refers to the policies, procedures, and standards that guide how the platform is utilized, managed, and developed within an organization. It encompasses aspects of strategic alignment, risk management, resource allocation, and performance measurement.

Why Is Governance Important?

  1. Strategic Alignment: Ensures that your ServiceNow implementation supports your organization's strategic objectives, aligning IT services with business needs.
  2. Compliance and Security: Helps in adhering to legal, regulatory, and security requirements, minimizing risks associated with data breaches and non-compliance penalties.
  3. Optimal Resource Utilization: Aids in managing the demand for new features and functionalities while ensuring efficient use of available resources.
  4. Quality and Efficiency: Promotes the adoption of best practices and standards, leading to improved service quality and operational efficiency.
  5. Change Management: Facilitates controlled and systematic changes to the platform, reducing the impact of modifications on users and services.

Implementing Effective Governance

To establish effective governance over your ServiceNow implementation, consider the following steps:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Start with clear, measurable objectives that align with your business goals.  
  2. Establish a Governance Framework: Develop a governance framework that includes policies, roles, responsibilities, and procedures for managing your ServiceNow environment.  Pro Tip - This often exists already for other IT Systems.  Model after what is already working!
  3. Engage Stakeholders: Include stakeholders from IT, business units, and executive leadership to ensure buy-in and alignment across the organization.
  4. Implement Best Practices: Adopt industry best practices and standards, such as ITIL, to guide your implementation and ongoing management of ServiceNow.
  5. Monitor and Review: Regularly monitor the performance and usage of ServiceNow and review the governance framework to ensure it remains relevant and effective. Pro tip - Start simple, iterate and improve over time

What’s at Stake? What are you Risking?

While establishing governance, organizations may face challenges such as resistance to change, lack of clear objectives, or insufficient stakeholder engagement. Overcoming these challenges requires clear communication, continuous education, and demonstrating the value of governance through small, incremental wins.

  1. Misalignment with Business Objectives: Without governance, there's a significant risk that your ServiceNow implementation won't align with your business objectives, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities for enhancing operational efficiencies.
  2. Uncontrolled Costs: Without oversight and clear policies, the costs associated with your ServiceNow implementation can spiral out of control. This could be due to unnecessary customizations, underutilized features, or inefficient use of the platform.
  3. Compliance and Security Vulnerabilities: Governance frameworks often include compliance and security guidelines. The absence of such a framework increases the risk of data breaches, non-compliance with regulations (such as GDPR or HIPAA), and other security vulnerabilities.
  4. Poor User Adoption and Satisfaction: Governance programs typically encompass training and support strategies. Without these, users may find the platform difficult to use or not see its full value, leading to low adoption rates and dissatisfaction.
  5. Inefficient Processes and Duplication of Efforts: Without clear policies and standards, different teams may develop their own ways of using ServiceNow, leading to inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and duplication of efforts across the organization.
  6. Difficulty in Managing Change: Governance includes change management processes. Without it, changes to the ServiceNow platform could be implemented without proper testing, communication, or consideration of impacts, leading to disruptions and errors.
  7. Lack of Scalability: As your organization grows, a ServiceNow implementation without governance may struggle to scale effectively. This can result in performance issues, inability to meet new business requirements, and challenges in managing an increasingly complex environment.
  8. Reduced Return on Investment (ROI): Ultimately, all these risks contribute to a reduced ROI for your ServiceNow implementation. Instead of delivering value, the platform may become a source of ongoing issues and costs.

Having a governance program is not just about avoiding these risks; it's also about maximizing the value of your ServiceNow implementation by ensuring it's effectively managed, aligned with your strategic goals, and adaptable to future needs. 

Check out our webinar where our experts talk about Governance!




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