Accelerating cloud migration to Microsoft Azure using the Now Platform

  • Now on Now
  • Solutions
  • 2022
  • Venkat Lakshminarayanan
July 06, 2022

Cloud migration: man on an escalator going up to cloudy sky

With more than 7,000 customers and double the number of employees ServiceNow had four years ago, our digital technology (formerly IT) operations team faced increased demand for compute, storage, and bandwidth. At the same time, we had to maintain tight security controls.

We embrace a three-zero strategy: zero unplanned outages, zero physical footprint, and zero user-reported incidents. Toward that goal, we wanted to move business-critical applications to Microsoft Azure to help us:

  • Deliver a better user experience

  • Improve application performance

  • Secure redundancy

It can take months to add capacity to our data centers. We knew public cloud migration would give us operational agility to add capacity on demand. But we needed a seamless, transparent migration to mitigate performance and data integrity issues.

Digital Technology Operations Goals: Scale on demand, Migrate SAP and BI environment to the cloud, Provide a seamless migration

Pre-migration: Relying on the Now Platform

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) migrations of this magnitude can take up to two years to design and migrate. To accelerate our cloud migration, we adopted a three-phase process that relied on both the Now Platform® and Microsoft, thanks to our strategic partnership.

Pre-migration, we teamed up to build a reference architecture that used several ServiceNow® products:

  • IT Service Management (ITSM) provided centralized change management and major incident management (MIM) capabilities. The team used it to create and track test cases for user acceptance testing and performance testing.

  • IT Operations Management (ITOM) automated requirements gathering, delivering 99% accurate configuration management database (CMDB) information with complete service mappings and a complete application list and landscape. Event and Incident Management gave us visibility into landscape health to help prevent failures.

  • IT Asset Management (ITAM) identified current technology investments that could be migrated to Azure to avoid duplicate licensing costs. Hardware book values helped drive decisions on what to repurpose or scrap, saving thousands of dollars.

  • Vulnerability Response (SecOps) helped the team ensure the software was patched just prior to migration, avoiding any potential cyberthreats to our migrated services.

  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM) served as a robust project management tool for resource, test case, and milestone tracking, as well as execution schedules.

ServiceNow: Migration to Azure: Pre-migration ~ 6 months, Migration ~ 15 days, Post-migration ~ 15 days

Migration: 3x faster

From sandbox to production, the ERP migration took 15 days. The phased rollout helped us identify and address issues, fine-tune the applications before the production cutover, and avoid potential failures.

The production cutover time for our portfolio size typically involves three days of downtime. The combination of ITOM and Azure Migrate accelerated the cutover time to less than 24 hours. That enabled us to release the systems to users one day early, saving $650,000 in productivity.

We completed the migration in six months, saving an additional:

  • 16 months of project work

  • Approximately $2 million in consultancy and resources

  • $100,000 due to automation

“We were excited to see the successful migration of ServiceNow’s business-critical workloads onto the Azure cloud,” says Angela Cooper, general manager of customer success for Microsoft. “Now, we can showcase this achievement to our mutual customers and help them accelerate their own cloud migration projects.”

ServiceNow hybrid workplace: 100% visibility, 3x faster migration, $2.8M productivity and cost savings

Post-migration: Real-time cloud insights

The Now Platform is invaluable in managing our cloud presence post-migration. We use ServiceNow Cloud Insights to get dynamic, real-time insights into our Azure consumption and operational costs.

ITOM Event and Incident Management tracks system health. Tag-based mapping captures performance data in ITOM, so we have immediate visibility into issues and failures.

CMDB Discovery and Service Mapping have been fully automated, saving us at least a month of labor. The ServiceNow and Microsoft product teams have co-innovated integrations for additional cloud governance, data security, and ongoing operations.

Becoming cloud-first

With three of our four data centers now running in the public cloud, we’re very close to reaching our goal of being cloud-first by the end of 2022. But that doesn’t mean our team is slowing down. We continue to design, test, and validate our heterogeneous cloud architecture using ServiceNow Cloud Management and optimize our cloud spend using Cloud Insights.

We’re also working to reduce unplanned outages with ServiceNow Health Log Analytics, which helps generate self-healing of operational issues.

Find out more about how we shifted left with the Now Platform in my recent Knowledge session.

© 2022 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


  • 4 ServiceNow employees who worked on support case creation and auto-agent workflows
    Now on Now
    Streamlining support case creation and administration
    When customer feedback revealed areas ripe for improvement, ServiceNow employees listened and upgraded two support workflows: case creation and auto-agent.
  • Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): business man looking at phone while standing on bridge overlooking a city
    IT Management
    How the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) truly supports business
    The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) delivery model can help IT leaders manage the transition from a stability-focused to a continuously evolving infrastructure.
  • The role of the manager: a manager and employee in conversation on a couch
    Employee Experience
    4 ways Manager Hub simplifies the role of the manager
    As the connective tissue between an organization and its employees, the role of the manager is more complex, and more important, than ever before. Learn more.

Trends & Research

  • Total experience companies outperform: prism refraction with an arrow pointing to the right
    Employee Experience
    Survey says: Total experience-focused companies outperform
  • Customer service: smiling businessman on phone walking outdoors
    Customer Experience
    Survey: 3 tips to deliver world-class customer service
  • Enterprise SRE (site reliability engineering): where service reliability and business agility meet
    Application Development
    Service quality and the rising need for enterprise SRE