What is ServiceNow®? ...and why it is important to know this


ServiceNow® has been around since 2004 and is quite well known in IT circles. Nevertheless, ServiceNow® is often misjudged or underestimated. We at Arctive AG are convinced that ServiceNow has a great future and many companies still have to realize which added values ServiceNow offers and which problems can be solved.

ServiceNow® has been around since 2004 and is quite well known in IT circles. Nevertheless, ServiceNow® is often misjudged or underestimated.
We at Arctive AG are convinced that ServiceNow® has a great future and many companies still have to realize which added values ServiceNow® offers and which problems can be solved.

ServiceNow® – The company

ServiceNow® is a US company that now employs around 17,000 people and generates revenues of over $5.5 billion. About 7,500 companies worldwide and in all industries use ServiceNow, including 80% of the 500 largest US companies. Customer satisfaction is very high, with 99% staying with ServiceNow.
All figures refer to the year 2021.

ServiceNow® – The Platform

The Now platform, as ServiceNow® is also called, is a cloud-based platform on which applications of the most diverse kinds can be developed and operated.
On the one hand, ServiceNow offers standard products for a wide variety of applications, and on the other - and this is what makes it really exciting - ServiceNow offers the possibility of implementing completely individual applications with relatively little effort.

The standard products of ServiceNow®

ServiceNow® offers a long line of ready-made but customizable products/solutions for different areas of companies.
ServiceNow® categorizes them as follows:

  • IT Workflows with multiple products such as an IT Service Management or IT Asset Management to efficiently run the concerns of the IT organization with many employees and extensive infrastructure.
  • Employee Workflows with several products such as HR Service Delivery to map all employee data and HR processes and to offer good experiences e.g. during the onboarding of new employees.
  • Customer Workflows with various products like Customer Service Management to bring customer service to a new level and delight customers.

This small product excerpt already shows that solutions are offered for areas that are independent of the industry. In order to meet the different industries and heterogeneous requirements and processes of the individual companies, the standard products can also be adapted to individual needs.

Individual solutions and applications with ServiceNow

In addition to the standard products, ServiceNow® offers a highlight that is still underestimated: With ServiceNow, completely individual applications and solutions can be developed from scratch.
Thanks to a powerful framework incl. workflow engine and the fact that ServiceNow is also a so-called low-code platform, secure, highly available and very robust applications can be developed with relatively little effort.

Comparison with Lego

ServiceNow® is a kind of building block system and can be compared to Lego as follows:

There are very many different Lego bricks, which can be combined with each other.The framework offers many different elements, which can be combined with each other.
There are construction kits to build predefined models. These can be customized as needed.There are standard programs, which can be customized as needed.
With Lego, you can build your very own individual objects with relatively little effort. There are no limits to the imagination.With ServiceNow, it is possible to develop applications tailored to individual needs with relatively little effort. There are hardly any limits to the demand.
Different objects can be combined with each other. Entire Lego worlds can be built.Different applications (also standard programs) can be connected with each other. In principle, all applications and processes of a company can be mapped in ServiceNow.
Building your own objects with Lego can be incredibly fun!Building individual applications with ServiceNow and offering customers added value is incredibly fun for us at Arctive AG!

The underestimated potential

ServiceNow® is sometimes only viewed in a reduced way. This means that a standard ServiceNow product is often compared with competitor products. ServiceNow usually does not have to shy away from such comparisons, as ServiceNow® standard products can be found in various Gartner Magic Quadrants.
However, the full potential that ServiceNow® offers is only achieved with the combination of several solutions on the platform.
With ServiceNow®, a large part or even the entire application landscape of a company can be replaced if necessary. And best of all, the applications created with ServiceNow® can be expanded and adapted at any time. Other existing applications and systems can also be easily docked onto ServiceNow® so that, for example, cross-departmental and cross-system processes can be digitized and, ideally, reduced to a single user interface.

Some of the added values with ServiceNow®

  • Fewer systems: With ServiceNow®, existing enterprise applications can be replaced. This means fewer systems to operate and maintain. Other advantages are obvious: Fewer systems means fewer different technologies such as databases, less know-how required, less effort for maintenance, easier to ensure security, fewer partners and a uniform user interface.
  • Flexibility and agility: The flexibility of ServiceNow® enables a step-by-step and agile further development of the applications. ServiceNow® is therefore perfect if a company wants to develop and change in the future and also has the goal of increasingly digitizing and optimizing workflows and processes.
  • Integration capability: ServiceNow® can be easily coupled with other systems. For example, ServiceNow® can be used to digitize cross-system workflows and provide users with ONE interface to do so.
  • Integrated development environment for efficient development: ServiceNow® is also a development environment and is designed for complex applications on which several teams develop in parallel. Further development, testing and deployment of customizations or new applications is supported to a high degree.
  • Upgradeability: ServiceNow® is designed to remain upgradeable despite the extensive possibilities for customization. This means that the regular upgrades of ServiceNow® can be carried out easily and new functionalities can be used.

Can ServiceNow® replace ERP?

If ServiceNow® can replace all of a company's applications, the question naturally arises as to whether the ERP, e.g. SAP, can also be replaced.
The answer is: theoretically yes, but how useful this would be is highly questionable.
Many companies "struggle" with the ERP. After individual adjustments to the ERP, upgrades become an ordeal. Internal and external effort and the associated costs for ERP customizations and upgrades can be very high. There are companies that avoid ERP customizations as much as possible, even though internal processes need to be improved.
In such a situation, the combination of ERP with ServiceNow® could make sense. A possible approach would be to leave the ERP in the standard, connect it to ServiceNow® and map all individual adjustments and processes in ServiceNow®.


ServiceNow® is a powerful platform that can be used to implement the most diverse and, above all, highly individual solutions company-wide and across systems.
Medium-sized and larger companies should consider within their IT strategy whether ServiceNow® could be the solution to eliminate known problems and help the application landscape of a company to become more dynamic and agile.

We, Arctive AG, are a very experienced ServiceNow® partner, developing enterprise applications and solutions for customers from different industries. Since we want only the best for our customers, we rely exclusively on ServiceNow®.
Do you have questions about ServiceNow® technology or would you like to learn more about us?
We are happy to help you without obligation and look forward to hearing from you!

- Walter Oberli

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