ServiceNow integration challenges

A number of common ServiceNow integration challenges often lead to costly technical debt and poor availability of ServiceNow data around the enterprise. 

Such challenges are most prevalent when organizations do not understand the best method of integration for their requirements.

Top ServiceNow Integration Challenges

Organizations that implement ServiceNow integrations to extract and transfer massive data volumes face common data integration challenges, including the following:

1. Working with the wrong integration method and/or integration provider for your requirements

When ServiceNow integrations are not carefully planned, organizations can face significant sunk costs and technical debt as they waste time, resources and money on implementing an integration that is not fit for purpose. 

This often happens when an organization chooses to build an integration in-house, or implement a packaged integration solution without sufficient internal resources. 

In this case, many organizations underestimate the amount of resources implementing the integration and its subsequent maintenance will require. The resulting technical debt spiral sees organizations fighting to make integrations work, rather than benefiting from the integration working for them.

Many organizations also fail to consider whether the integration will effectively scale as their usage of ServiceNow increases over time. 

This often leads to a dynamic where the chosen method of integration cannot meet the organizations requirements for throughput, leading to poor ServiceNow performance and poor availability of ServiceNow data. 

API and web services-based integrations are common culprits for performance degradation, as they consume ServiceNow’s operational bandwidth whilst making inefficient, external calls to the platform to initiate data transfers.

Choosing the Right Integration Approach

Data volume, availability and security are just some of the things to consider when choosing an integration approach. The “right” approach will depend on your particular needs …

Extract ServiceNow data with the right integration approach.

Choosing the Right Integration Approach

Data volume, availability and security are just some of the things to consider when choosing an integration approach. The “right” approach will depend on your particular needs …

Best practice solution: Carefully planning integrations can limit the potential for implementing the wrong type of integration, or working with the wrong type of provider.

When formulating a list of requirements for the integration, an organization should first consider their available resources e.g. the availability of internal developers and the time available to train employees on how to use the integration. 

Organizations should also consider current levels of ServiceNow usage, and the pace in which their usage of ServiceNow might scale. 

If an organization has concerns about any of the above, then working with an integration-as-a-service provider will avoid burdening internal resources with implementation and maintenance, and help ensure the integration can scale over time. 

2. Integration security

While the ServiceNow platform boasts stringent security protocols, the same levels of security cannot be guaranteed by third-party and custom-built integrations.

Organizations need to ensure the implementation of an integration meets their requirements in terms of security and does not expose them to greater risk.

For example, API integrations for ServiceNow require an external application to make calls to the ServiceNow platform. Particularly when poorly configured, API integrations can lead to breaches and resource consumption-based system failure.

This challenge is made more significant when implementing and maintaining integrations internally. Time constraints often place a heavy burden on the integration team, increasing the likelihood of poor configuration contributing to security issues.

Best practice solution: Before starting a ServiceNow integration project, an organization should evaluate its own security requirements, and whether they have the resources to meet them now and in the future.

Working with expert integration providers will mitigate such security risks. However, organizations should carefully evaluate the method of integration offered by the provider. 

If there are concerns about the security of API integrations, then a ServiceNow-native integration solution – where insecure, external calls to the platform are a non-factor – should be considered. For such organizations, integrations facilitated by Push Technology are recommended

3. Over-customized workflows and processes

The extent to which ServiceNow can be customized is one of the driving forces behind the platforms popularity.

However, excessive customization of workflows and processes can limit scalability and make ServiceNow more difficult to work with over time. Particularly when customizations are made to overcome short-term issues, without considering the longer term implications.

When a workflow is overly customized, it needs custom code and processes for updates, leading to cost-intensive maintenance and prolonged upgrade cycles.

Over-customization can also lead to poor ServiceNow performance, leading to a poor user experience and slow queries that impact reporting, ServiceNow data availability and more.

Best practice solution: With careful planning, organizations can limit the amount of customization required to make ServiceNow work for them. For example, instead of implementing numerous point-to-point integrations to connect ServiceNow to other solutions, organizations should integrate the platform with an external database.

The external database can then be used to feed ServiceNow data into other solutions, without compromising ServiceNow’s performance.

This process is far more efficient, as the consumption of ServiceNow’s system resources can be limited, and data can be retrieved from a system optimized for better data availability. 

To learn more about integrations that replicate ServiceNow data to external databases, check out this ServiceNow partner webinar: How to Replicate ServiceNow Data to Your External Database in Real-time!

4. Inadequate Professional Support and Training

After implementating an integration, errors may surface that require input from expert developers. 

Many organizations do not have these resources available internally, and those that do, often require such professionals to work on other tasks. 

Custom-built integrations in particular require more specific expertise. New hires using ServiceNow will need to be trained to interact with the integration to prevent new errors occurring. When recruiting developers, organizations have to find developers with expertise in the type of integration in place, limiting the talent pool.

Without the right resources available to support a ServiceNow integration, organizations will typically face a range of issues from poor instance performance to poor data availability.

Best practice solution: Organizations that opt to work with integration providers must ensure the vendor supplies sufficient support for implementing and maintaining the integration.

Organizations that opt to implement, manage and maintain integrations internally, must ensure they have the resources on hand to do so, and the capacity to train existing and future employees.

Working with integration service providers that implement and maintain the integration, and guarantee 24/7 x 365 support will help organizations avoid such ServiceNow integration challenges.

5. Challenges from Staff Turnover and its Impact on Integration Projects

When organizations choose to develop custom integrations in-house, they expose themselves to the risk of integration failure if the developers responsible for the project depart. This scenario can result in the integration becoming a form of technical debt, with 49% of organizations identifying developer turnover as a source of technical debt.

Proper documentation of the integration and its related processes is crucial to mitigate such issues. However, this approach alone has limitations, as documentation may not capture all the intricate details of the architecture and processes in their entirety. 

Also, if a member from the integration support team leaves, the organization must hire recruits with a specific skill set to maintain continuity for the integration, which is often easier said than done. 

Best practice solution: To ensure the on-going continuity and availability of integrations, it is recommended that organizations offload their maintenance and support requirements to expert integration providers.

This improves operational resilience, insulating integrations from developer turnover related issues.  

6. Lack of Real-Time Data 

While ServiceNow offers inbuilt analytics and reporting tools, organizations seeking advanced reporting features usually integrate it with dedicated analytics/BI tools.

This allows teams to remove data from its silo within ServiceNow, combine it with other data sources and allow teams across the enterprise to produce more in-depth insight. 

However, the quality of such insight is often undermined by a lack of real-time data. Without support for real-time data transfers, organizations time-sensitive analysis requirements cannot be met, leading to outdated and potentially misleading reports. 

Web services and API-based integrations often have significant limitations for transferring data in bulk, and on time. Since exporting huge data volumes consumes significant system resources, the process can be slow and prevent data providing an up-to-date view of the enterprise.

Best practice solution: To address this issue, organizations should seek out native integration solutions that enable near real-time and real-time data access for advanced analytics and reporting.

Integration solutions that support high-throughput, real-time data transfers can help organizations avoid this ServiceNow integration challenge.

To support organizations with high throughput requirements, ServiceNow integration partner Perspectium provides a solution capable of transferring over 1 billion records per month.

7. Performance Issues Increase Risks of Downtime, Data Loss, and Failure 

As mentioned earlier, many ServiceNow integrations rely on web services or API calls to extract data, causing significant performance impact when transferring large data volumes.

This is because web services and APIs compete for ServiceNow’s bandwidth to operate. Generally, teams employ workaround strategies, like running bulk exports during non-working hours. 

Besides generating obsolete or stale data insights, bulk exports can be so time-consuming that reports may remain incomplete when the business hours resume or may even time out, risking data loss.

ServiceNow performance degradation also hinders integration testing. Organizations might conduct tests at low data volumes to mitigate performance issues. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the integration will function optimally as data volumes scale. 

Best practice solution: Tackling performance related ServiceNow integration challenges such as integration failure and poor data availability requires an integration solution that can meet throughput demands. 

For instance, Perspectium is a native IaaS solution designed exclusively for ServiceNow integrations. Its DataSync tool can smoothly extract and transfer over 1 billion ServiceNow per month.

It achieves this via its native installation within ServiceNow, meaning data transfers can be initiated via Push Technology – rather than web services/API – for more more efficient integrations that do not drain the ServiceNow’s operational bandwidth. 

Overcome ServiceNow Integrations with Perspectium

Designed by ServiceNow’s founding developer, David Loo, Perspectium is a ServiceNow-native integration solution and fully managed service for managing ServiceNow data. 

Thanks to its ServiceNow-native delivery, its founder’s understanding of the ServiceNow architecture, and its as-a-service model, Perspectium users have a means of integrating data without degrading ServiceNow’s performance, and without requiring internal resources to keep it operational. 

Perspectium handles everything from implementation to maintenance, and then provides support 24/7 x 365 to ensure the integrations stay operational. 

Perspectium’s DataSync application facilitates seamless extraction and replication of large volumes of ServiceNow data in realtime, and both dynamically and in-bulk. 

Thanks to its Push Technology-powered integrations, Perspectium users avoid the performance pitfalls of API calls and other similar technologies.

Because of this, with DataSync, ServiceNow’s export limits do not apply, and users can replicate over a billion ServiceNow records per month to a data repository of their choice.

The chosen repository can then easily feed data into a range of other solutions such as dedicated analytics, reporting, ML, and BI tools that improve the ROI of ServiceNow and its data. 

While Perspectium is delivered as a managed service, the user retains complete control of their data – what data they wish to replicate, where, and when – and encryption and obfuscation technology provides organizations with confidence in their data’s security. 

With Perspectium, you can stop fighting to make integrations work, and enjoy a ServiceNow integration that works for your organization.

Learn more about our integration and data replication methodologies by speaking with our experts today!

Speak with an Integration Expert

Want to learn more about Perspectium’s no-code integrations-as-a-service and applications?

Speak with an Integration Expert

Want to learn more about Perspectium’s no-code integrations-as-a-service and applications?

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