ServiceNow Platform Operations

You will find some links to the ServiceNow best practices and insight how a platform operation team should look alike on the bottom of this Article. Thanks to Mark Tonsetic for sharing.

Starting point

In last month I have often had discussions with customers around the question “How to operate the ServiceNow Platform?”. What are key qualification and task for such a role to maintain the platform in a good shape, drive the development, adopt new technologies and finally keep the budget under control.

Coming from this kind of question you find here an overview of qualifications a platform owner should have in my opinion. About the tasks another article is going to follow.

Upfront thoughts

I will try to give in this article a holistic view what I think is or can be important for this role. At the end it is depending on the surrounding environment you have in your organization.

And these days the budget and staff number limitations are everywhere, also in the ServiceNow area.

Nevertheless, every customer should understand that you must treat the heart of your organization (and nothing less is/can ServiceNow be) with enough resources in terms of budget and staff.

Because if you do not do this, the heart will fail or not having the right rhythm sooner or later. But I hope you have made up your mind about this in the RFI/RFP phase of your ServiceNow project (more about this in a later article).

Generic Setup

First you should ask yourself what the main topic of this role inside your specific organization will be. This is important because it will help you to shape the job description. And for this I recommend clarifying a couple of questions early:

  • Which modules I am going to implement in which time frame?
  • Are you going to outsource 2nd Level platform operations?
  • How many partners will be engaged (I recommend having minimum 2 partners)
  • Will I have a dedicated rollout and communication stream in my project?
  • When I will engage the platform owner, so will he be part of the project already or will he come later into the game?
  • Will I be able to have a dedicated ServiceNow architect and/or platform owner?
  • Do I have Business Support teams in the backend which help with administration tasks like Budget planning, Workers council or Security and Data Privacy issues?
  • Do I have dedicated people that will take care about the stakeholder management (you might have such a team who covers also Demand process and similar stuff)
  • How big the platform will be? And think of size in terms of number of users or number of transactions as an indicator.
  • Who will ensure the platform consistency (think of conflicting business requirements, story quality, code quality, good practice implementation)?

Here some examples what can happen:

Example 1: You want to implement ITBM-PPM, ITSM for core ITIL processes and ITOM for Event Management and Discovery.

Even if these are connected topics and have things in common, they are also quite different in terms of connected technology and processes. And I have not seen a Hero who is able to cover it all from a platform perspective (more about a recommended project and operation setup in a different article).So you might choose here an approach

Example 2: Does your organization have an Enterprise Architecture Team, but you cannot afford a dedicated ServiceNow Platform Architect (which I recommend). Then your platform owner should be able to step into this Architect shoes. So how is ServiceNow embedded into your IT landscape, what are development in ServiceNow and how they interfere with connected systems?

Example 3: You have monthly calls with the business about ongoing demands. Besides the call you’ve of course to prepare them, which means for example

  • Create a business case, align it with existing budgets (let’s assume you control the budget)
  • You’ve to propose a prioritization and come to a common agreement with all stakeholders around (and there can be many of them).
  • You need to check technically if these demands are feasible and if they fit to the roadmap that you hopefully have.

ServiceNow related skills

Of course, having a good overview of ServiceNow is mandatory. But what this means?

Is a certification needed (maybe a kind of ServiceNow drivers’ licence would be a good idea)? Is a Certified System Admin enough or does it have to be a Certified Implementation specialist for the core functions you are going to use the platform for (e.g. ITSM)?

As said, it depends on the size of the platform and the used modules. But here are the core topics in terms of ServiceNow Knowledge I would ask for:

  • CSA is the absolute minimum, CIS ITSM highly recommended, additional CIS based on used modules
  • 3-5 years’ experience with ServiceNow (e.g. as Solution Consultant)
  • Is familiar with the current and next release to derive consequences for his roadmap (I really hope there is a roadmap)
  • Has a high-level view of the ServiceNow Platform, the different solution elements and how ServiceNow interacts with the surrounding IT landscape
  • Knows the concept and value proposition behind ServiceNow (e.g. Employee Experience, Out of the Box standards, Low/No Code approach)

Non ServiceNow related skills

  • Have previously operated applications from a technical and commercial perspective
  • Has profound ITIL knowledge
  • Has soft skills to manage multiple stakeholders like enterprise architecture, management, internal/external vendors and business representatives
  • Is familiar with agile development methods (e.g. SCRUM, SAFe)
  • Self-driven to keep up his knowledge on the platform


Of course, this view is not complete, and it is just my 2 cents on the topic.

But it should give you a first inside what such a role can look alike, which skills are important and what to consider when setting up your organization to operate #ServiceNow.

If you like it feel free to like, share or comment. And if you need more, let’s get in touch, more than happy to discuss.

Have a great time and stay safe !

Frank Eck

ServiceNow Success Insight for download

#rocketnow #servicenow #workflow #futurestartstoday