ServiceNow has been on a roll. 

They more than doubled their revenue from $1.9 billion in 2017 to $4.5 billion in 2020. And there are no signs of slowing down. Between now and 2026, ServiceNow aims to triple their revenue to $15 billion. Some project that, for a variety of reasons, ServiceNow could very well exceed their target growth.

The growth comes not only from attracting new customers, but also selling more to existing customers. These companies take advantage of the extensibility of the ServiceNow platform. The most used product is ITSM, but customers also heavily use products for ITOM Asset, CSM, HR, security and more. And the number of apps available for use across the organization keeps growing. In 2020, ServiceNow rolled out a suite of apps for reopening workplaces safely.

One result for customers is massive volume of ServiceNow data growth. Organizations continue to embrace digital transformation, and many see ServiceNow as an essential platform for that transformation. More ServiceNow activity means more ServiceNow records.

Along Comes COVID and Remote Work

Amplifying this data growth is the new work-from-home reality. Activities that had taken place manually and in person are now online (and in ServiceNow). Workflows that had still taken place on paper and in person have moved online. 

Job interviews, employee meetings with HR, daily communication among colleagues – they’re almost all online. With a ServiceNow add-on, you can even text colleagues from within ServiceNow, associating even more data with an incident.

Many employees enjoy remote working, and are not particularly interested in returning to the office. They value the productive time that had formerly been spent on commuting. Some still value the relative safety from germ exchange, and many enjoy flexibility that allows them to care for personal responsibilities. At companies that mandate a return to the workplace, many employees are quitting instead of coming back to the office.

In addition to online activity by employees, interaction with customers during the pandemic is still largely online. Business travel is up, but whether business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels is questionable.

Managing ServiceNow Data Growth

So doing business online remains huge. And with companies relying on ServiceNow for digital transformation, their volumes of ServiceNow data keep growing – immensely.

What challenges does this colossal growth in data volume bring? What should ServiceNow customers consider in light of all this data?

1. Merging Data for Business Intelligence

The more data, the more potential insights. To get the full picture of their business, companies move ServiceNow data to a data warehouse. They merge ServiceNow data with data from other sources such as ERP, project management and call center for analysis in powerful BI tools.

ServiceNow customers need to ensure that they can move these massive and growing data volumes without crippling the performance of ServiceNow.

2. Backing up Data for Operational Resilience

The disruption of 2020 reminded businesses of the need to stay resilient. Many didn’t – and closed. Moving forward, what crises could arise that jeopardize the continued functioning of the company?

User error, malicious activity, accidental deletion, natural disasters, viruses, ransomware – all threaten access to accurate data, and jeopardize operational resilience. Besides, what if there’s an eventual decision to switch platforms?

ServiceNow customers should consider backing up their data in an environment that they control. If something unexpected happens, they can migrate that data to the instance that is in production.

3. Applying Machine Learning for Insights and Resolution

One way that companies make sense of massive volumes of data is to apply machine learning to it. When they do so for IT data, they make use of AIOps, which identifies “signals” among the “noise” of data. By detecting anomalies, ServiceNow customers can act quickly on slowdowns or outages, reduce the number of incidents, and improve mean time to resolution (MTTR).

But AIOps depends on historical and current data, and most AIOps tools must access this data outside of ServiceNow. So for machine learning, ServiceNow customers again face the need to move data to external storage.

4. Managing Data Debt for Preserving ServiceNow Performance

As data grows, table size can become a problem. Often, reports take too long to run. It becomes important to monitor the number of records in ServiceNow, to set limits along with alerts for nearing those limits, and to report on data growth over time. Moving historical data to a separate database can help preserve the performance of ServiceNow.

Solutions for New Data-growth Challenges

SerivceNow continues growing as a company, reflecting a revolution in digital transformation and their customers’ reliance on workflow in the cloud. In April 2021, representatives of BNY Mellon declared how remote work raised demands for insights on ServiceNow data. These insights replaced some information sharing that formerly occurred through spontaneous conversations in the office.

For moving massive volumes of ServiceNow data, ServiceNow customers rely on Perspectium DataSync – the only tool for doing so without noticeable impacts on ServiceNow performance. As an application running natively within ServiceNow, DataSync replicates data securely, in real time, and with referential integrity.

Need to extract ServiceNow data? Learn how enterprises like Accenture, Fujitsu and ServiceNow themselves use DataSync to extract ServiceNow data.

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