Data Synchronization Benefits for ServiceNow Users
Data Synchronization benefits ServiceNow users – and enterprises more broadly – greatly.
The term describes the process of keeping data consistent and accurate across multiple systems.
For optimal results, data synchronization should be dynamic – where data is replicated as it is created in real or near real-time.
Dynamic Data synchronization replicates data across various systems and applications without the need for manual intervention.
ServiceNow Data Synchronization Use Cases
For ServiceNow users, data synchronization can be used to:
- connect multiple ServiceNow instances
- connect the ServiceNow platform to third party applications, including other ITSM solutions (e.g. Jira) and case management solutions (e.g. AWS Support, BMC Remedy and Zendesk)
Organizations using multiple ServiceNow instances or tools supporting ITSM can align them via eBonding integrations. Such integrations help organizations enjoy a more comprehensive and up-to-date view of their business data.
Managing data collected from these sources can become complicated without the right tools, leading to misaligned data and other issues contributing to poor data quality and misleading insight.
Data synchronization solutions align all systems and applications, eliminating the complexity. Automation enhances data accuracy and the quality of insight by ensuring all systems reflect updates to enterprise data in real or near-real time.
The ability to synchronize ServiceNow data with other applications enables key capabilities such as:
- eBonding – where two otherwise disconnected applications are integrated to keep them in constant sync
- Service Integration and Management (SIAM) – where service providers can support SIAM by directly synchronizing their technologies with the customer organizations they are working with and for
For enterprise scale organizations and managed service providers in particular, data synchronization is a necessary investment.
This is because such organizations typically have or support complicated enterprise architectures that include disparate technologies.
In such organizations, data and the systems it resides in are continually changing and evolving. Manual attempts to introduce uniformity cannot be scaled, and so organizations have to work with data that is out-of-date, incomplete and/or misleading.
This is why many turn to integrations supporting data synchronization. Data synchronization integrations help automate the dynamic synchronization of two or more systems, meaning they are always up-to-date without the need for manual intervention.
Data Synchronization Benefits
For ServiceNow users, data synchronization benefits include improved efficiency, enhanced data quality, and better decision-making capabilities.
Without data synchronization, data often remains in siloes – cut off from the wider enterprise. This makes it difficult to make use of ServiceNow data within other systems, or for ServiceNow to benefit from the data in external systems.
Additionally, a lack of data synchronization capabilities creates other challenges such as duplicate or outdated data, and issues affecting an employees ability to collaborate such as poor data availability.
Data synchronization benefits ServiceNow users in the following ways:
1. Improved Efficiency and Operational Resilience
By synchronizing data across multiple systems, ServiceNow users can eliminate the need for manual data entry, saving considerable amounts of time and resources.
The greater efficiency also means that employees have increased capacity to support and ensure operational resilience.
2. Enhanced Data Quality
Another benefit of data synchronization is enhanced data quality. Data quality is enhanced by reducing the reliance on error-prone, manual data-entry and processes to support the transfer of data.
When data is consistent and accurate across multiple systems, users can confidently rely on it to make informed decisions.
Decisions can be made more quickly, as data does not need to be “fixed”, before accurate analysis can start.
3. Improved Decision Making
By synchronizing ServiceNow data with other systems, ServiceNow users can ensure otherwise disparate systems are up-to-date and in constant sync. This ensures data reflects an accurate view of the enterprise.
With accurate and consistent data, decision makers can make informed decisions that are based on up-to-date information.
Additionally, synchronizing data from multiple systems can help to identify patterns and trends in data, which can be used to inform future decisions and improve overall business operations.
4. Data Democratization and Improved Data Availability
Data democratization is facilitated by empowering employees to access the data they need, when they need it. Data synchronization supports this by ensuring data is readily available within systems accessible by the employee.
For example, an organization’s ITSM strategy may encompass multiple systems and departments.
To efficiently handle a customer query, the support team may need to transfer information to the development team and vice versa.
Dynamic data synchronization creates a bridge between the departments that replicates the required data to the required systems as it is created in real or near-real time.
5. Enable Inter-application Workflows
By integrating ServiceNow data with external systems, organizations can extend ServiceNow Workflows into third-party solutions. This means when another platform or department is required to complete a task, that task and the required information can be dynamically routed to the appropriate systems and employees.
As well as providing greater operational efficiency, this capability also provides business leaders with a more comprehensive view of operations.
Bottlenecks and inefficient processes can be identified quickly, and the holistic view of operations can provide insight into where optimization is required.
6. Improved Employee Experience
By synchronizing systems, organizations can eliminate redundant processes, ensuring updates to one system are dynamically and automatically recreated in connected systems.
As well as cutting down on manual processes, this also allows employees to work within the solutions where they are most experienced, reducing the investment required to sufficiently train new hires.
7. Improved Customer Experience
As well as the employee experience, readily available data helps improve the customer experience by improving the services delivered.
The time-to-resolution of open cases is reduced and customers are supported by data that better reflects their needs.
8. Enable SIAM
Both managed service providers (MSPs) and organizations reliant on managed service providers to support their operations benefit greatly from data synchronization.
Data synchronization allows managed service providers and customer organizations to integrate and create a service provider ecosystem supporting SIAM initiatives.
Synchronizing ServiceNow data greatly supports SIAM initiatives by providing a unified view of all IT services across multiple service providers.
MSPs can on-board new customer organizations more quickly, as time does not need to be spent manually synchronizing and integrating ServiceNow data with target systems.
Once integrated, MSPs are also better able to support their customers with readily available and accurate data. Customer organizations have more visibility into the services provided by the MSP.
9. License Consolidation and Improved Access Management
By synchronizing data between systems, organizations can reduce their expenditure on system licenses and improve the way they manage access to data.
Instead of relying on employees switching between applications (often via insecure practices such as sharing login credentials), employees can work from the system they have expertise in, and have the integration recreate their updates elsewhere.
Implementing Dynamic Data Synchronization
Data synchronization benefits are most efficiently realized via dynamic data synchronization.
Dynamic data synchronization is facilitated by integrations that constantly monitor connected systems for updates, and reproduce those updates in real-time.
Dynamic data synchronization can be bi-directional – where entries into either connected system are recreated in the other – as opposed to one-directional synchronizations where syncs only happen from the “parent” system, to connected systems.
Native Integration Applications, Delivered as-a-Service
For ServiceNow users, such data synchronization is most optimally facilitated by ServiceNow native-applications for integrations, delivered as-a-service.
Integration as-a-Service (IaaS) describes integrations delivered and supported by expert integration providers, meaning organizations can reserve internal resources for supporting pro-active tasks.
Native applications are advantageous as they can help organizations avoid over-customization of ServiceNow, and limit the potential for performance impacts to the platform.
Organizations can also have greater confidence in their integration and improved operational resilience, as integration experts take on the complicated challenge of integration implementation and maintenance.
Other Data Synchronization Options
Some other approaches to data synchronization exist, but their application within enterprise-scale organizations and service providers are limited.
Manual Data Synchronization
Some organizations choose manual data synchronization methods like “swivel-chair” integrations – where a user manually copies data from one system, before “swiveling” to the new application to replicate it.
Organizations tend to opt for this method under the assumption that it is more cost-effective.
However, manual data entry processes require significant resources to operate and are highly error-prone – with the scope for error increasing in-line with data volumes.
Thus, they eventually increase the total cost of ownership (TCO) and add significant technical debt, as employees are consumed by menial, manual tasks that prevent more proactive work being completed.
Custom and Point-to-Point Integrations for Data Synchronization
Custom or point-to-point integrations suit organizations with smaller data volumes, that still want to take advantage of automation to synchronize systems. In this scenario, internal teams design custom-built integrations for the specific needs of the organization.
However, there are a number of hidden costs that escalate over time.
While well-implemented, custom integrations can connect systems they both are time-consuming to build, and to support over time.
They are also vulnerable to employee turnover, as the departing employee often takes critical knowledge of how to support the data synchronization integration with them when they leave.
Organizations are then limited to replacing the employee with a new hire that matches the skill set required. Even in this scenario, it is likely that some of the organization-specific customizations will experience costly down-time.
iPaaS Integrations for Data Synchronization
iPaaS providers offer cloud-based integration solutions to connect multiple business tools. They tend to have a faster time-to-value than custom integrations, as organizations are buying a pre-built platform, rather than building their own integrations from scratch.
However, iPaaS integrations still trail IaaS solutions in expected time-to-value, because they still require extensive customization to ensure they meet the organization’s requirements.
ServiceNow-native eBonding Integrations for Data Synchronization
The most robust option for ServiceNow data synchronization is through a ServiceNow-native automated data synchronization solution, delivered as-a-service.
Perspectium’s ServiceBond is one such solution, allowing ServiceNow users to eBond the platform with another ServiceNow instance or third-party systems.
ServiceBond is the most reliable way to eBond ServiceNow to external systems. It facilitates bi-directional synchronization so that when a user modifies data in one system, the same changes reflect in the other system and vice versa.
eBonding ensures that both systems always remain in sync. It enables inter-application workflows that boost the employee experience significantly. As the data is consistent and uniform through all systems, organizations can use up-to-date data that is highly accurate, accessible, and scalable.
As native integration solution, Perspectium ServiceBond seamlessly eBonds ServiceNow with other ServiceNow instances and/or external systems to create a single source of truth.
Unlike other integration solutions leveraging API/web-services based integrations that compete for ServiceNow’s bandwidth, Perspectium uses a smart message broker architecture and push technology.
This means Perspectium integrations avoid the costly impacts to performance caused by relying on web-services and API calls that degrade ServiceNow’s performance when processing large data volumes.
Because of this, organizations requiring real and near-real time data synchronization benefit greatly from Perspectium, as performance impacts do not impede the ability to complete data transfers and synchronizations.
Perspectium offers ServiceBond solution as a fully-managed service. Users need not build or implement integrations – Perspectium experts take charge of all data synchronization and integration scenarios and manage them 24x7x365.
Want to take advantage of data synchronization benefits to ServiceNow users? Talk to us today!
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Want to learn more about ServiceNow Workflow automation integrations?