If you have been a long-time ServiceNow customer, you are probably already familiar with the ServiceNow upgrade release cycle. Every 6 months, they release an upgrade that includes enhancements to existing modules, bug or problem fixes, and new features. Upgrading your ServiceNow instance at least once a year is an excellent way to stay on top of these features and fixes.
REASONS TO UPGRADE
ServiceNow New Version releases can bring new features to your users, improvements to existing modules and opportunities to increase efficiency. There are numerous reasons to stay up to date with ServiceNow upgrades, including:
- Upgrades are included in ServiceNow license costs, implying that there are no additional costs associated with upgrading.
- Examining the current situation of the instance, as well as identifying new features to implement.
- Upgrades include bug fixes as well as solutions to issues discovered in previous versions.
- Your company can benefit from ongoing ServiceNow support. Support for older versions expires after about 12-18 months, so fixes for bugs in older versions may not be available.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR INSTANCE?
ServiceNow Software, like all software, has bugs and inconsistencies. They will release a service pack within the first few weeks of an upgrade to address very early user-reported issues, followed by a second pack a few weeks later. Consider waiting for the first or second service pack to reduce the chances of encountering early bugs or issues.
HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF?
The first step in preparing for a ServiceNow upgrade is to fully understand how the platform will change and how it will affect your business. There are several ways to accomplish this, and as ServiceNow specialists with hundreds of implementation projects delivered, we recommend that you use each one to ensure that you do not overlook any information that may be relevant to you.
- Check out the ServiceNow Release Notes.
Examine the ServiceNow Release Notes to ensure you understand what will change. There may be upgrades to functions you do not currently use, as well as new functions that your company intends to roll out to customers.
- Execute a ServiceNow ACE Report.
An ACE report provides information about potential problems in specific situations. This report will assist you in determining where your company has customized a functionality or has not followed ServiceNow’s Best Practices. An upgrade may remove customizations or cause issues that you must address before rolling it out to customers.
- Recognize UI Changes and Training Requirements
If the upgrade significantly alters the user interface, you may need to consider training both the team and the users. After an upgrade, ServiceNow allows you to return to an older UI.
- Complete the implementation of new functions and put the development work on hold.
Any development operations will be removed after an upgrade, so make sure to finish implementing any completed work. This will also help you focus on the upgrade itself, ensuring that any issues are related to the upgrade and not something else present in your ServiceNow environment.
- Communicate with users before, during, and after the installation.
Even if you believe the upgrade will be undetectable to your customers, it is critical to communicate with them about any changes or downtimes. If you believe customers will require training as a result of the upgrade, make sure to offer this as soon as possible.
- Request a Production Back-Up
To reduce the possibility of data loss, request a backup before implementing an upgrade. When you use an upgrade, you cannot undo it; if a problem arises, you must restore the system from a previous backup. As a result, you must request one prior to upgrading.
WHAT TO DO DURING THE UPDATE?
During a ServiceNow upgrade, you should concentrate on three environments: development, test, and production. These are some considerations to make while performing your upgrade to ensure the best results for your customers.
- Development environment
There is a need to ensure that you will disable any features that you do not intend to use. This includes any new features that your company has chosen not to implement. Perform some standard testing to ensure that core functions are functioning properly and, if necessary, develop fixes.
- Test environment
Testing can help you avoid customer problems while also assisting with business practice migration. It is considered best practice to include customers in your testing stage, as there may be features, they use that are critical to their work that did not migrate with the upgrade
- Production environment
When you have thoroughly tested the upgrade, put it into production and validate it before distributing it to users. Make sure to communicate with users about training, changes, and anything else discovered during the testing phase.
BE READY TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE
Upgrading, executing, and maintaining the ServiceNow Platform necessitates consistent planning, but ABIT Puresoft believes that by partnering with a qualified ServiceNow technology partner, your company will be able to create a roadmap of services to find the best fit for you. Technology companions can assist your company whether it decides to implement a new function or develop customization around existing features.
As a ServiceNow provider, we recommend that you plan of time for the upgrade, fully understand the changes, and communicate with customers. With just a little planning, your company can confidently update its ServiceNow circumstances and continue optimizing efficiency, implementing much better service management practices, and improving services.