The world of IT Service Management (ITSM) has come a long way. Back when IT infrastructure management was an unorganized function in an organization, disgruntled teams were operating in silos with inferior service quality and longer time to resolve issues.

Ever since the industry standardized ITSM processes and procedures under ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) in the 1980s, companies have had accelerated growth and greater support for their infrastructure needs. Regularized process policies have ensured that organizations have a service-based approach with proactive issue resolution abilities.

But it has taken several leaps further, with packaged service management solutions, to nail erstwhile impossible tasks; from self-servicing, predictive and automated service delivery to experimentation with AI today.

Mastering ITSM the ServiceNow way!

ServiceNow, as a leading cloud-based service management solution provider, has been revolutionizing the way organizations think of their IT infrastructure since 2004. Named as a leader in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for best IT service management, the company’s service management suite and express packages have gained enormous market traction.

One of the popular applications of ServiceNow from the box is the ease that the platform offers in creating portals. ServiceNow’s Service Portal is a content management system that enables administrators to create and launch powerful portals in a jiffy. The entire framework allows decision-makers to craft unique and user-friendly portals that serve an extensive range of functionalities in the organization.

A portal in ITSM implementation empowers IT employees to be actively involved in self-servicing their everyday tasks and have greater reflexes against issues. Any successful ITSM deployment would require creation of well-crafted portals that addresses the individual needs of the organization. While ServiceNow has essentially made portal creation a breeze, there are certain must-haves for the IT administrators when crafting their ideal portal. Some of them are:

  • Service Catalogue: Creating self-servicing portals for the end user where the customer can request services; the building block of user experience.
  • Dashboards: Dashboards are some of the highly customized sections of portal and it is vital that it should reflect the users’ sensibilities.
  • Knowledge Base: KBs essentially helps administrators to create a fostering community of knowledge sharing among their peers. This center allows authorized personnel to create, categorize, review and approve articles.
  • Multi-lingual setups: As organizations today are spread across geographies, any portal is required to have multi-lingual capabilities to truly harness the power of usability across communities.

The 6-Stage Cycle Approach to Portal Development

For any organization looking to harness the complete potential out of their portal deployment there are essentially 6 steps. While creating user portals are easy, the usability and longevity depends on how well are the IT teams laying out the foundations with these steps.

  1. Requirement: Like project development models in general, creation of any extensive portal begins with requirements gathering through interviews, questionnaires and demonstrations. With the results of the detailed feedback, IT teams can understand the scope of the implementation, pain points to be rectified and the challenges ahead during deployment. It is also advised to record the observations as backlog stories for further use.
  2. Strategy: With the knowledge gathering at the requirement stage, the team can now effectively strategize the implementation with detailed KRAs, risk analysis and mitigation plans. The strategy stage is also the right time for teams to device their implementation approach, figure out resource allocation and chart out a plan to constantly obtain feedback during the development.
  3. Design: Delves with creation of layouts of the portal pages through wireframes. The process loop in this stage involves an iterative approach that projects the scope of the project as individual page designs with thorough understanding of end-to-end user requirements and the key functional requirements. At the end of this stage, the authorized blueprints are generated.
  4. Develop: The designed blueprints will now be converted into widgets- the actual functionality centres of the portal. The widgets are then appended to the assigned portal pages and the entire framework of the service portal is constructed.
  5. Implement: After the development, the portal is subjected to User Acceptance Testing that gauges the functionalities and fine-tunes the structure. After successful completion of the test process, teams can proceed with quick Go-Live while constantly monitoring the responses to user interactions.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Once the run-through is successful, the portal would be open for user feedback. While continuously inculcating them, the admins will ensure thorough scalability and throughput of the pages.

In Conclusion,

Thus with a simple list of criteria and simpler implementation steps, organizations- irrespective of their size and scope- can create and run any successful portals to manage their everyday IT operations. To know in detail about how IT teams can launch and run service portals in ServiceNow, listen to the demo session titled “Service Portal 360- Bridging the gap in your IT service delivery” here.

Bhargavi Seshadri

Bhargavi Seshadri

Research Analyst at Aspire Systems
Bhargavi is an Engineer-turned-writer who loves to read about everything under the sun. An amateur story teller, Bhargavi is passionate about technologies that impact everyday life.
Bhargavi Seshadri