ServiceNow as an Application Platform
ServiceNow is an extremely powerful platform that allows customers to create custom applications using their tables and customizable workflows. In addition, they allow third parties to create applications as well and sell it on their app store. These applications can either be built natively in ServiceNow or they can be integrated through API’s or other methods. The purpose of this discussion is to talk about each and point out the pros and cons.
Native ServiceNow Applications
When we refer to a native application, we talk about the applications that are built directly into ServiceNow using the customizable tables and workflows available on their platform. It allows the new application to be a part of the IT systems and pull from all the existing systems. With ServiceNow that is extremely powerful because the application can share information with IT systems, ERP systems, HR systems, CRM systems and more. All the information and processes are located in one central area. There is no need for integrations or API’s because everything is native. ServiceNow also allows for application portals to be built with custom user interfaces.
ServiceNow points our the following benefits for native apps.
- Quickly build new apps leveraging existing platform services, applications and integrations
- Accelerate development time, reduce costs and boost ROI
- Easily automate business processes across people, data, systems and workflows
- Gain detailed, real-time insights and guide continual improvements with intelligent dashboards
Resources from ServiceNow: Native application development
Integrated ServiceNow Applications
Integrated by definition means that various parts or aspects are linked or coordinated. When we refer to applications, integrations link two applications together. They allow the applications to talk to each other, share information and work together. This can be done with API’s or by other means.
Article from ServiceNow: Integrating with third-party applications and data sources.
Why is this important?
When choosing a new application for ServiceNow, it’s very important to know the difference. This is because each application interacts differently. Let’s use the example of mobility management. ServiceNow has a number of mobility management applications available on the ServiceNow app store and most of them function differently. Almost all the mobility management applications are integrations with ServiceNow. As mentioned before, they talk with and communicate with ServiceNow and the two systems work together. Is this good or bad? That depends on who wants to own the data.
The problem with third party applications is that the information is generally stored with the third party. In the case of mobility management, this means all your carrier invoice and device information is held by the third party. They then plug it into ServiceNow and share that data. In some cases applications are sophisticated enough to integrate device inventories with existing IT asset tables. At the end of the day, it’s a mess of trying to get different systems to talk and work together and it generally results with a less-superior product that’s ridden with bugs.
All MobiChord applications are built natively in ServiceNow. They interact seamlessly with all the systems working in the platform. Mobile asset inventories are built within the existing IT asset framework. Carrier invoice data is imported to ServiceNow where it is processed and meaningful analytics are created from within the portal. Using the same system as ServiceNow. Analysts, cost-center manager and end users all have access to the information they need, when they need it.