4 Reasons Every CIO Should Consider Application Modernization with ServiceNow

6.23.17 By Mike Mooney


Ah, home-grown legacy applications; the slow, often buggy, annoyance that no one wants to deal with, and yet everyone does. 


There might be one person whose sole job is to support the applications – and he clings to them like a lifeline. 


“But it’s ours. We created that (even though nobody who originally wrote the app is still around).”


The problem with old web-based applications, usually written in ASP or Cold Fusion, is that they are critical to some groups’ daily operations, but are unusable for most.


Consider this: over 80% of IT budget goes to fewer than 20% of applications – that’s according to Gartner in a recent ComputerWorld article. Most of that spend goes to supporting the app (not to mention all the time and effort that goes into workarounds, and the security vulnerabilities).


To the chagrin of the support guy, but to the elation of the CIO and everyone else, there’s a fast way to end legacy application sprawl forever.


If you’ve implemented ServiceNow, then you are already ahead of the game. If you haven’t, you might want to check out this guide to increase your chances of a successful implementation.


ServiceNow is a robust Platform. Built on standard web technologies and capable of delivering modern applications – which means that they are data-driven, are connected within your IT framework to other applications, and have an intuitive UI.


If that’s not convincing, here are four reasons to consider ServiceNow for application modernization:


1. Rapid deployment is a CIO's new best friend

ServiceNow provides the ability to rapidly move legacy applications to the cloud, taking them off your list of headaches. The platform’s many out-of-the-box features and deep development framework are the backbone to its agility.


The actual speed of modernization, however, is a case-by-case basis, but I can give you a benchmark example (taken from a notoriously slow entity – our very own federal government).


A few years ago, I was part of a team who launched a full ITSM for one of the largest federal entities. Due to a rapid deployment, my team and I were able to also launch five custom applications within the first three months of the project.


The operational workflows integrated seamlessly, freeing IT time and cost from supporting legacy systems.


If you want the fastest turnaround – find a good partner to navigate the transformation.


2. Get back your support dollars

The team who swears by that one legacy application won’t lose anything when moving it into the platform, and will gain time.


From an infrastructure perspective, all the servers, data base, and application tiers are supported by ServiceNow. If they notice a performance issue, they will contact you to address this straight away.


ServiceNow also periodically checks your instance to make sure your development is within best practices. That’s the advantage of a cloud provider – you don’t need six admins on staff to support the underlying infrastructure of the platform –greatly reducing IT spend.


Instead, you have six admins that can focus on automating server builds and moving things to the next level. It frees them up from the day-to-day operations of managing server sprawl.


3. It doesn't take a specialist to use ServiceNow

ServiceNow offers much more than ITSM.  The Service Portal is a robust web platform built on the latest web technologies and provides the look and feel that modern users have come to expect.  Its development framework includes Google’s AngularJS or Twitter’s Bootstrap. 


As typical with ServiceNow, they have built shortcuts that help speed up base configurations and portal setup.


For us developers, the platform is a veritable sandbox of possibilities – which can be incredibly dangerous when in the wrong (or unexperienced) hands.


For users, the tool can be as intuitive as opening their favorite browser.


4. ServiceNow is expandable...

…which includes existing JavaScript frameworks such as React or Backbone.js.  With the addition of ECMAScript 5 on the Server Side Rhino interpreter used by ServiceNow, the Use Strict function becomes available and the ability to load libraries for both the client and server expands your already-large tool belt.


Application modernization will provide an immediate ROI by moving to ServiceNow.  By leveraging the platform to host an even larger part of your application portfolio, you can drive IT costs down. The pain of using legacy applications, the waiting, the watching, the “I am going to get a cup of coffee and hopefully this is done loading when I get back” will disappear.



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