The most frequently asked question (and the one that gives our clients the most anxiety) is how do we tackle migrating the complex Remedy Categorization data into ServiceNow?  Depending on the version of Remedy you’re on, you’re either dealing with Category / Type / Item (CTI) or the 7-tiered structure of Operational and Product categorization.  Either way, these structures tend to be overly complex and are redundant to class hierarchy within the CMDB.  There are options for greatly simplifying this concept, while at the same time providing more value and fewer headaches.  The ultimate value proposition will be somewhat dependent upon the maturity of your CMDB, but the great news is that even with a low maturity CMDB, benefits can still be achieved.

Leveraging the CI within the CMDB on ServiceNow Tickets

You can replace the Item level of your Remedy scheme with a CI record in ServiceNow, and transfer your Category and Type into ServiceNow’s out of box Category and Subcategory.   The same goes for later versions of Remedy where the Product Tiers and Product Name are redundant to the class structure and CI within the CMDB.  Therefore, utilizing the CI eliminates the need for inclusion of this information directly within the categorization of the ticket.

This is also a great opportunity to get to more meaningful data.  We typically find that only a small percentage of CTI combinations or Operational tiers are used, and even fewer are used effectively within our clients.  Therefore you may just be transferring non-useful data from one system to the next.  A great way to gather awareness on which data is useful is to run a report from Remedy that shows you all combinations that have been used on a ticket within the past 6 months or a year.  Sort these combinations by most used and you will likely uncover an abundance of unused or rarely used combinations.  You will want to ensure the most used combinations make their way to ServiceNow using the Category/Subcategory/CI structure.  An important thing to remember:  just because you can report on it, doesn’t mean you have to.  Ensure that your categorization scheme focuses on delivering value, not complexity.  If the value is ever in doubt, stop sending those weekly reports until someone comes knocking.  If they knock, politely ask them what improvements they have been able to action off of those reports they get every week.

Leveraging Affected Services and CI on ServiceNow Tickets

The above synopsis can also help to build a case for changing your organizational maturity around this key concept.  Fruition Partners highly recommends taking the time up front to define your business services.  You can then utilize these designations to indicate the affected service on your tickets.  Attempting to categorize Incidents, for example, without understanding your services will likely lead to a very complex and technology focused categorization, limiting your ability to effectively manage your business services, which should be the ultimate goal.

Couple the affected service with the CI and symptom/issue that is occurring, and you will have a powerful structure for knowledge, problem, escalation and ultimately service management.  This structure will provide the organization with key reporting metrics to proactively monitor and operate your business services.  By defining and applying the affected service to the ticket information, your organization can better manage the business using ServiceNow as a hub for key data. Leveraging a relational Service/Symptom/CI structure enables several key items:

  • The ability to know where the business and your customers are feeling the pain
  • A shared data model across processes allowing for more robust reporting and metrics
  • A view into what is failing frequently.   Is it truly the Service or is a piece of the infrastructure failing?  And using the CI, even if a high level generic CI, can reveal which pieces of infrastructure are failing.

Your view becomes more holistic and certainly cross-functional.

We understand that your company may not be ready for the full organizational change needed to manage your business services through ticket data.  Ultimately the result of either approach above will offer better, more consistent data that can be addressed effectively and proactively in ServiceNow.