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3 reasons companies need to put ServiceNow’s App Engine to work

In 2009, Apple first began running commercials saying, “There’s an app for that,” and the Apple App Store alone had more than 250,000 apps by late 2010. Even that incredible number couldn’t come close to the wave of new applications being built every day. More than 750 million cloud-native applications are expected to be created by 2025 as companies look to improve business capabilities both internally and for customers. With such a drastic increase in app development, both professional developers and novices alike can get help creating complex applications with the help of ServiceNow’s App Engine.

Gregg Aldana portraitIn a recent episode of The Distillery, Gregg Aldana, global area vice president for the creative workflow solutions consulting organization at ServiceNow, talked about how ServiceNow’s App Engine works and how it can produce incredible results for businesses of all kinds. Gregg has worked at ServiceNow for more than six years and has more than 25 years of experience in app development. His extensive history in app development gives him an impressive level of expertise in the area. Here’s how Gregg says ServiceNow App Engine can give companies tools to improve efficiency and give employees more resources for success.

Best uses for App Engine

No uses are too big or too small for building apps to further productivity for a business, and no business is too big or too small to take advantage of the App Engine. Gregg explains that new apps can be created for simple, one-time use and discarded within a month. Alternatively, apps may be needed for incredibly complex functions and necessary for indefinite time periods. 

The simplicity or complexity of a need should not dictate whether an app is created but rather whether the application can perform that task more efficiently and improve processes. “We’re just really seeing the spectrum and a lot of variety in the types of applications people are using App Engine to build,” says Gregg.

ServiceNow’s App Engine is designed to be a flexible solution, regardless of the scope of the project. Gregg notes that most clients start small, perhaps using prebuilt apps, and then work toward customization. Companies should look at their needs and determine just what pain points they want to address and what solutions would work for them.

App building checkpoints

While there is a broad spectrum of applications that can be created for a vast number of purposes, Gregg notes that with this ability comes the need for governance. As companies are building applications to accomplish various tasks, it is critical to have a process in place to determine what new apps are necessary, how they can be used, and how they will be managed over time. 

Companies should not have so many new apps that leadership does not know what applications have been created and how they are being used. In order to ensure that new apps are created with the right purpose in mind, Gregg suggests some questions that should be asked during the creation process:

Does the company want the app? 

Low-code development is far easier with the App Engine, and people throughout an organization can create useful applications that make workflows and processes easier in their realm. When many areas of the company have access to this resource, it can foster great ideas, but it can also lead to an abundance of apps that are singularly focused and not useful to the company as a whole. The company may not even know some apps have been created. It is important to first gauge whether company leadership wants an app built before diving in.

Is the app technically possible? 

Apps can do so much. Sometimes, the possibilities can seem endless as to what they can accomplish. Make sure your eyes aren’t too big for your stomach, and check that the app your business wants can be created.

Does the app already exist? 

This checkpoint goes hand in hand with the first question in ensuring the company doesn’t create superfluous applications that all accomplish the same task. There may already be an app in use that does what the company is looking for. Gregg says he often runs into this hurdle himself when he comes up with a great idea and is told he can’t do it because the company already has an app to take care of the same function. “They don’t want me creating more technical debt,” he says.

Once these important questions have been asked and an app has been built, Gregg says there are still important governance tasks to be done. Tests are run to ensure the app is working correctly and will not give the IT department additional workload to run and manage. As the app is put to work, businesses should continue to monitor its usage in the company and ensure the business is getting enough value from it. “Make sure you monitor production,” Gregg says. “You manage it as an asset so that you can retire it, so you don’t wind up 10 years from now with a bunch of App Engine apps sprawled throughout your company.”

Effects of GenAI

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has exploded in use, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. A 2023 PwC survey found that 73 percent of businesses have incorporated artificial intelligence in some way, and 54 percent have adopted GenAI in their company. 

Use of GenAI in app development will only continue to grow in the coming years, as Gartner predicts 80 percent of new app development will be using the technology by 2026, up from 5 percent in 2023. Gregg says GenAI can be an incredible asset in the app development space, opening new possibilities for app creation. He sees GenAI as something that will not replace developers but enhance their capabilities. GenAI can produce results in milliseconds that would have taken hours or even weeks, like searching through code libraries or working with other developers to find the right piece of code for a function. 

ServiceNow uses GenAI to produce code from its own code library, while OpenAI searches through every bit of code available online. Gregg says ServiceNow developers used GenAI with ServiceNow’s higher-quality code library and found it produced impressive results. “At the end of this, they were about 50 to 70 percent more productive because the code recommendations were really good,” Gregg says.

In the end, GenAI will put more tools in the hands of average users as well. Not only will it help developers create apps more efficiently, but it will also allow people with no developing experience to create the apps they need as well. With features like “text to app,” a user could use simple human language to ask the App Engine for exactly what they need and produce a highly sophisticated app.

Coming soon to ServiceNow

App development with ServiceNow is not just limited to professional app developers. Gregg points out that the App Engine is designed to help developers as well as people with no developing background. As the app development tool evolves, it will soon have two platforms to continue to serve these two groups. One platform will provide more comprehensive tools to help developers create powerful custom apps. On the other end, a creator studio will help average users quickly build applications to automate processes and workflows without needing to write their own code. 

ServiceNow’s App Engine is an invaluable tool for those who wish to use their existing ServiceNow licensing to build their app. With the help of Cask and ServiceNow, businesses can create applications quickly to address their needs and resolve pain points to improve production.

We’re with you for what comes next

You're working in a rapidly shifting environment.

Global dynamics, AI advancements, heavy competition–the only certainty is change.

We get it. And we’re here to help you harness the full potential of ServiceNow to simplify transformation.

Let's navigate the future together.


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We’re with you for what comes next

You're working in a rapidly shifting environment.

Global dynamics, AI advancements, heavy competition–the only certainty is change.

We get it. And we’re here to help you harness the full potential of ServiceNow to simplify transformation.

Let's navigate the future together.


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