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ServiceNow wants to be the cloud for IT

Brandon Butler | May 17, 2013
Many enterprise IT shops may be reluctant to jump head first into cloud computing. After all, there are a variety of concerns that come with using the cloud, from security to integrations with existing systems, and perhaps most scary: What the cloud will mean for your IT job.

Many enterprise IT shops may be reluctant to jump head first into cloud computing. After all, there are a variety of concerns that come with using the cloud, from security to integrations with existing systems, and perhaps most scary: What the cloud will mean for your IT job.

But cloud services are being used within organizations with or without the blessing of IT. ServiceNow has a solution for this dichotomy, a sort of onboarding process to get IT comfortable with using the cloud, while enabling functionality to business end users. ServiceNow says what better department to start with using the cloud than IT itself. IT shops get a first-hand look at how the cloud is used, what it's good for and what it's not.   

ServiceNow has targeted IT service management applications as the first stop for off-loading apps to its cloud. Based on ITIL best practices, the platform provides a way for IT to manage incident reporting and response, change requests and troubleshooting.

But recently the company is moving to support other broader IT functions like IT operations management and regulatory and compliance issues in ServiceNow's cloud platform. It's even expanding into use cases for not IT-business units within an enterprise to use the cloud, such as creating customized workflow apps in a simple process that doesn't require coding.

The idea is for ServiceNow to be the single console where IT managers and business units consolidate their applications into a platform that spans across the organization. ServiceNow isn't going to replace SalesForce.com, or other big-time enterprise apps, its executives say, but it can help simplify the dozens, hundreds or sometimes thousands of apps used by business units.

ServiceNow seems to be catching on. Revenues for the company have more than doubled year-over-year, and this week at its customer conference, Knowledge '13 in Las Vegas, the company attracted almost double the number of users from last year, up to 3,800. It also rolled out a few major enhancements to its offerings that are meant to give IT greater control in becoming a broker of cloud services and for organizations to use the ServiceNow cloud to build customized applications. Announcements included:

ServiceNow Cloud Provisioning
This new feature allows end users to self-provision cloud resources on multiple types of clouds, including both Amazon Web Service's Elastic Compute Cloud, and VMware-powered clouds, while having it be controlled by IT. Users can request and provision from a catalog of cloud-based resources that is established by IT. Central IT shops can customize parameters of use, such as how long a resource, such as a virtual machine, is active and what type of information about the VM's use is saved.

 

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