For Resilience, Make ServiceNow Data and Workflow Available

To ensure operational resilience, companies have a strong interest in making their data available for when they need it. And it is never needed as urgently as it is during a crisis. 

In a recent Forbes article, Vasant Balasubramanian, general manager of the risk management business unit at ServiceNow, discusses organizational resilience and data-driven monitoring.

In order for businesses to remain resilient, they both minimize risks to prevent a crisis and position themselves to respond effectively to a crisis. 

For prevention, they have accurate, up-to-date data available to monitor for risks. To respond to crises, they also rely on data for logistics and “shared digital workflows [that] create a common language for connecting across the enterprise.”

Balasubramanian also points out that with the arrival of the pandemic, security vulnerabilities also threatened operational resilience, as hacking spiked.

How to Make Data and Workflow Available – But Securely

Companies are operationalizing resilience as a business practice. To do so, they anticipate and guard against service failures. When they make data and workflow available – securely – they build that organizational resilience.

  • Security: End-to-end encryption keeps data secure as it flows across the organization and to third parties.
  • Integrity: In the face of an outage, making use of queues in a staging area minimizes loss of data.
  • Backup: By backing up ServiceNow data in repositories that they control, companies can respond quickly and bring their systems online again on their schedule.
  • Redundancy: By flowing data across best-of-breed tools, companies improve resilience through the resulting data redundancy.

Security, First and Foremost, for Organizational Resilience

The headlines and statistics on cyber attacks and identity theft serve as a warning – don’t skimp on security. 

Fujitsu found that end-to-end encryption brought security to their ServiceNow connectivity with their customers’ ITSM instances. With this arrangement, the third-party vendor never sees unencrypted data.

Availability via Data Queues in a Staging Area

Many ServiceNow connections are standalone integrations. These point-to-point connections send data, but if an outage occurs at the target endpoint, this data is lost. Attempting to identify and resend that data risks a loss of data and creates enormous maintenance efforts that jeopardize the resilience of the organization.

Virteva (now Crossfuze) moved from these web-services integrations to a solution that makes use of data queues in a message broker service. During an outage, this solution allows encrypted data temporarily stored in a staging area simply to flow when the endpoint goes live again.

Availability via Backups of ServiceNow Data

ServiceNow customers often add other ServiceNow tools to their subscription. “​​The more eggs that we put in one basket, the more it’s really critical that we have that backup plan,” says Michael Kaczun, Director of Service Management Products at BNY Mellon.

By backing up ServiceNow data to external storage that they control, they maintain resilience. Should the need arise to restore a backup, BNY Mellon has that data available. They can restore that ServiceNow data – or even transition to a new system.

Availability via Redundancy

By flowing production data to other best-of-breed tools (including a database), a company creates redundancy that raises the chance for data access when one tool is unavailable.

For example, it is quite common now for a ServiceNow customer to replicate massive volumes of ServiceNow data. With a packaged integration solution, they move these mountains of data without creating noticeable impacts to the ServiceNow production instance. This data synchronization makes the data available outside of ServiceNow, so that even if this platform is not available, the data is.

Staying Resilient Through That Next Crisis

During a crisis, a company must make data available – without compromising security. Businesses can make that data available through data queues, backups, and redundancy. 

Perspectium DataSync offers the only solution for replicating large volumes of ServiceNow data, while still preserving the performance of the ServiceNow production instance.

Through end-to-end encryption, a ServiceNow native application, and a staging area for data queuing, Perspectium customers such as those already mentioned above reduce risk and improve organizational resilience. For ideas about how you can do the same, read the stories of these and other companies.

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Alfredo Deambrosi