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Avoid customization pitfalls so you can innovate and meet demand at scale

Key insights

  • Get to business‑smart customization.
  • Establish guidelines to define customization that delivers business value.
  • Define the right governance models to effectively meet demands for customization.

Configuration Item (CI)
A CI is one of the most important components of your CMDB. It’s simply an application, infrastructure, or service component you’re managing. It can be a physical server, an app running on a virtual server, or a business service.

Configuration Item (CI)
A CI is one of the most important components of your CMDB. It’s simply an application, infrastructure, or service component you’re managing. It can be a physical server, an app running on a virtual server, or a business service.

ServiceNow customers can tap into powerful customization capabilities—but the experience of customers shows that excessive customization can complicate your upgrades, increase technical debt, or bog down the user experience.

Successful customers limit their customization to clear, demonstrated business needs and avoid the management pitfalls that lead to excessive, unsustainable customization. They can take advantage of new out‑of‑the‑box capabilities faster and deliver innovation against fast‑moving business demands.

To get the most value from the Now Platform™, you need to build governance policies and structures that promote business‑smart customization—configuration and custom development that delivers clear, validated business value in response to demand using recommended mechanisms and tools to minimize technical complexity.

Customization

Customization refers to business demands for custom functionality. When referring to implementation, this guide will refer to both configuration and custom development (both on ServiceNow applications and new applications).

 

Custom development

Custom development includes custom development on both ServiceNow applications as well as the development of new applications, by changing baseline business rules or developing new applications from table extensions. Custom development is recommended only where configuration cannot meet business demands, and should employ recommended tools and methods (outlined in Step 3 of this document) as well as be supported by clear governance.

Configuration

Configuration includes capabilities and/or features on the Now Platform that enable organizations to deliver against “custom” business demands, in a safe and supported way (such as modifications to forms or table extensions). While organizations should avoid overconfiguration—for example, by adding excessive forms or UI policies—they should still use configuration as a first or preferred option to meeting business demands.

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Plan

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