ServiceNow Customization vs. Configuration: Which One to Choose?

ServiceNow Customization vs. Configuration: Which One to Choose?

Businesses frequently wrestle with ensuring that ServiceNow functionality and existing processes can work in tandem at implementation. Issues sometimes arise when ServiceNow’s built-in functions do not fit into existing workflows. This mismatch often requires specific adaptations and adjustments to the business process. Organizations should analyze and compare ServiceNow customization vs. configuration to determine the best course of action.

This article will discuss the differences between ServiceNow customization and configuration and why we ultimately suggest businesses lean towards the latter to build a better long-term strategy.

What is Customization in ServiceNow?

Customization entails altering the basic installation code of a ServiceNow instance to add functionality not included in the original product. Businesses choose a customization approach when their existing processes and workflows are not fully compatible with ServiceNow preset workflows. Instead, these organizations tweak the platform’s functionality instead of completing an entire change in procedures.

What is Configuration in ServiceNow?

ServiceNow recognizes that clients may require adaptable software adjusted to individual requirements. Businesses can use configurations to make modest changes to current functionalities to meet their needs without changing the baseline code.

Configuration modifications include:

  • Altering form layouts
  • Assigning group roles
  • Adding plugins
  • Inserting new fields into current forms
  • Adjusting email configuration

ServiceNow Customization vs. Configuration

Organizations must analyze and comprehend to what extent they should utilize ServiceNow customization because doing so in excess risks disrupting the implementation.

The following challenges of customization and benefits of configuration might help in completing that analysis:

What are ServiceNow Customization Challenges?

Customization is more invasive than configuration. It covers various processes ranging from writing essential class files to modifying the core application. In the end, customization requires programmers to alter or write new programs to make software perform functions unintended in its original form.

As programmers work outside of the ServiceNow application, this necessitates more significant effort and risk, including the following:

  • Upgrades may cause custom code to break.
  • Company programmers are responsible for updating the code.
  • Internal processes might delay those upgrades.
  • Particular ServiceNow applications or features may be unavailable to an organization.

While customization in moderation can be effective, organizations should avoid overdoing it and consider the software’s default capabilities whenever possible. Adding too much new functionality and over-modifying source code can complicate the process and cause future issues.

More specifically, overindulging in customization can create technical debt and extend the upgrade cycle, hindering the organization’s capacity to capitalize on new capabilities.

What are ServiceNow Configuration Benefits?

While customization typically entails more risk and effort, configuration is more likely to operate smoothly and provide a user-friendly solution for team members. Configuration involves making adjustments that the ServiceNow program was designed to create, meaning staff collaborates with the application instead of working against it.

ServiceNow configuration meshes well with upgrades and requires little long-term maintenance. The design comes in various forms and sizes, allowing everyone to improve their instances.

It may take some time for organizations to identify the correct setup, requiring testing and creative tinkering. However, a ServiceNow specialist can help find the proper configuration, maximize application effectiveness, and align the program with the appropriate rules and key performance indicators (KPIs).

When identifying a partner to assist you, we suggest you look for the following qualities:

  • They can deploy ServiceNow quickly and have it up and running in short order.
  • They have experience with various organization types and tailor ServiceNow instances to meet specific requirements.
  • They specialize in deployment requirements unique to a given company, whether it’s a fast out-of-the-box installation, a fully tailored integration, or a hybrid of the two.

Let Cask Help You Make the Right Decision

Consider how the implementation process will proceed and how it will function for you in the long run when deciding between customization and configuration.

Ultimately, the distinction between customization and configuration is immediate vs. delayed (but potentially more effective) results. When you first implement customization, it may appear a convenient and thorough solution but, in the long run, can cause issues, entail more ongoing work, and adversely affect the application when you perform upgrades.

On the other hand, configuration may not appear simple at first, but it typically holds firm and functions effectively despite upgrades and potential future snags.

Either way, and whether you utilize configurations, customizations, or a combination of both, you should consider partnering with a ServiceNow expert who can help you get the most out of your applications.

Request a quote today and learn more about our ServiceNow configuration services and how we can help you design and deploy the applications necessary to drive business.

At Cask, we know how to streamline business.

We understand that the world moves fast, but information moves faster. You need data in a hurry, and company-wide automation is the answer. If your business can’t keep pace, we can guide you through a strategic transformation to optimize your operational efficiency.

That’s why we are proud to partner with ServiceNow to provide the solutions to move from manual tasks and paper deliverables to digital applications for managing your business.