Making Smarter IT Decisions With Apptio Plus ServiceNow

We are excited to announce deeper integration with ServiceNow to combine their industry-leading operational data with Apptio’s best-in-class financial modeling. This solution, now certified on the ServiceNow Store, creates a near-real time cost structure to help customers make trusted technology investment decisions more quickly.

For technology leaders in today’s dynamic marketplace, making the best investment decisions hinges on a couple of key questions:

  • Have I made the right bets, given my strategic vision and available resourcing?
  • Am I maximizing return on these investments?

These immediately reveal the most complicated challenges in IT financial management today, which include maintaining an accurate understanding of the topology of your IT investments (i.e., what do you have deployed, where is it, and how does it interact with, relate to, or depend on other investments?), knowing the actual costs of your entire investment portfolio, and being able to calculate the return on these investments. With multi-national organizations supporting tens of thousands of workers (many of them now remote), along with a wholesale transition from capital intensive datacenters to monthly operating cloud spend and the labor shift from waterfall development to agile methodologies, to say the landscape is dynamic and complex would be an understatement. The wealth of operational data available in ServiceNow can transform cost models built on assumptions into models built on actual consumption and for this reason, many of our joint customers have asked us for a deeper integration. Through this release, organizations can now maintain a near real-time understanding of cost associated with their ever-changing topology. For example, an organization can decommission a data center on Friday and have those changes reflected in the corporate cost structure in Apptio and ServiceNow dashboards on Monday. Early customer feedback has been very positive and we are now excited to share this innovation with everyone!

Bringing Together Industry Standards

ServiceNow has built its business on a deep understanding of the operational services and workflows that drive business outcomes for their customers. This knowledge is underpinned by the physical assets that comprise these solutions and how they interact with each other. The mapping of business methodology to the technical side of the CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is at the heart of ServiceNow’s Auto Discovery toolsets and Common Services Data Model (CSDM). So, while both the ServiceNow CSDM and CMDB platforms provide best-in-class operational integrity for customers, they still lack an accuracy of financial integrity, and this is where our new Apptio and ServiceNow integration closes the gap.

Apptio created the Technology Business Management (TBM) category 15 years ago to help business leaders make smarter technology investment decisions. The solution can scale to the data requirements of the largest organizations in the world and accommodate allocation strategies through the model to any level of sophistication. These allocation strategies can be assumptive or consumptive.

  • Assumptive allocations mean leveraging industry benchmarking and best practices to provide pricing, percentages, etc. for moving costs from one layer of the TBM model to the next. The benefit of this approach is that it is easier to deploy and get to a model which will frame the big picture of technology spend in a very organized structure. The downside is that since the model is based on assumptions, there will always be deltas relative to the actual numbers.
  • Consumptive allocations are based on actual assets, connections, utilization, etc. This methodology can provide more robust data but can also take longer to implement based on the need to physically map all infrastructure and their relationships to each other. Using the ServiceNow Auto Discovery tools to populate IT data and connecting CSDM and CMDB to TBM solves this problem by marrying near real-time operational data (e.g., what is deployed? where is it? who owns it? what is its utilization, etc.) with industry-leading IT cost modeling software that provides financial costing integrity.
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Bi-Directional Integration Between ServiceNow & Apptio

Bi-Directional Connections

The heart of this integration comes in the form of ServiceNow-specific connectors created by Apptio for our Datalink service, which is Apptio’s proprietary solution to incorporate customer data from hundreds of source systems.

The ingress connectors are designed to work with specific ServiceNow datasets and map that information directly into the appropriate tables within ApptioOne (formerly Apptio Cost Transparency). It proactively identifies the valuable (field level) information in these datasets and mirrors the inter relationships between infra/app & services, as discovered by ServiceNow. This interconnectedness allows the costs to be modeled based on consumptive, data-driven relationships thereby creating a more trustworthy, timely, and defensible total cost of ownership.

We recently have also released an egress connector which pushes financial costing data from Apptio back into ServiceNow. This is available as a certified solution in the ServiceNow marketplace. It effectively closes the loop by taking advantage of the operational data sourced by the ingress connectors to create a very detailed cost model with continuous updates. This information is then used to inform the fully burdened cost structure of the top applications which can then be pushed back to ServiceNow and presented in native dashboards. These cost structures are then detailed with breakouts for associated hardware, software, labor, and other spend with full supporting details available in Apptio. With this new level of bi-directional integration, we enable a ServiceNow user to not only see their operational data and metrics for an application or service, but now also the supporting financial costing metrics.

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ServiceNow connectors in the Apptio Datalink service
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Application TCO in ServiceNow driven by Apptio cost model

Making trusted technology decisions

As the pace of business continues to accelerate and all organizations are becoming truly digital, making the right technology investment decisions today can play a big role in your organization’s success in the coming months and years. The ability to easily integrate the operational data in ServiceNow with the financial management capabilities of Apptio has proven to be a winning combination for our joint customers. We continue to look for innovative ways to drive faster time to value and to ensure customers can take full advantage of their investments.

Learn more about this unique integration between Apptio & ServiceNow on the Apptio website.

Additional Resources