ServiceNow DevOps and CI/CD: Steering customers towards Software Development Agility

Why choose ServiceNow CI/CD for your business Agility

The traditional approach to software development posed a lot of complexities in the product development lifecycle. The expert teams performed the activities involved, like coding, testing, fixing the identified issues, and finally deploying the product. Limited collaboration and communication between these teams posed a threat to smooth development and delivery.

Challenges: with Traditional approaches

  • Lengthy cycle time
  • Increased cost along with wasted budget
  • More time is taken to market the product
  • Minimal Automation
  • Low efficiency

Change creation, validation, and approval during a software development cycle are challenging and time-consuming tasks. It involves manual work on which the development team does not feel like spending time.

Solution:

DevOps establishes an integrating relationship between the software development, QA, and operations teams. Developers can now know how to perform the deployment; the operations team knows how to write a code, and QA teams know the steps to investigate the issue. It helps products respond and comply with changing customer needs rapidly. DevOps is complemented by ServiceNow CI/CD. Let’s understand what is meant by CI/CD.

ServiceNow CI/CD Environment: Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment/Continuous Delivery.

Continuous Integration refers to a practice where developers sync the same code without any conflicts and merge their changes in a shared version-controlled repository. The merging is done by a single click in the tool, enabling developers to have a faster and smooth working environment.

Continuous deployment enables the developers to efficiently build apps, test them and automatically deploy them on production. No approval is needed as the developers ensure that their features are tested and are reliable. Manual activities become minimal here.

Continuous delivery differs from Continuous Deployment, where the development team manually triggers deployment after the testing and UAT is performed for the app. There is an approval/review stage for consideration.

ServiceNow empowers enterprises with products to all methodologies mentioned above and solutions to the challenges.

  • Integrations:

The ServiceNow DevOps application integrates with leading DevOps tools such as GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, Azure, etc. Integrations are provided by default, and they are easy to set up.

  • Planning Tools:

Jira, ServiceNow Agile 2.0, Azure: These planning tools enable teams to track, prioritize, manage, and achieve the items that need to be released to the end-users.

  • Development Tools:

GitHub is an open-source version control system for developers. It helps them to collaborate and manage the code and changes better. It also saves time as the developers do not need to worry about past changes and make notes about new ones.

  • Orchestration:

Jenkins is an automation tool that builds and deploys any project. It executes planned tasks in a sequential manner, i.e., pipeline. Every task/phase of the pipeline is monitored, and it also detects bugs and notifies developers of any issues.

  • Quality Tools:

Selenium is a testing automation tool for software applications and eases the task of testing for the QA team. It benefits by reducing time compared to manual testing

In turn, reducing the testing costs as well.

  • Automation

Automatic change creation and assessment using data from the integrations make change management faster and simpler. Approvals are automated and change approval policies play a significant role here. API calls from external tools use data from integrations which help in change creation. ServiceNow’s change approval policies have policy inputs, decisions, and approval definitions that customers can configure.

  • DevOps Insights

ServiceNow DevOps Insights application provides a dashboard that shows the overall DevOps process results for analysis and determining efficiency.

ServiceNow also provides developers of an enterprise with a choice to execute CI/CD within the ServiceNow platform. CI/CD Spoke can set up the flow for automated deployment via flow designer. The spoke is available with the Integration Hub and has various actions to facilitate the automation process within the platform.

Benefits:

  • Single platform to manage the software lifecycle

Due to the integration capability, ServiceNow provides an insight into the diverse set of information ranging from work items, code, test results, reports, analytics, KPIs, changes, pipelines in one platform. It becomes more accessible for all teams (Dev, operations, supervisory, compliance) to simultaneously access data and work on their preferred tools.

  • Reduced risk and improved Cycle time

ServiceNow DevOps enables a reduction in lead time. Smaller commits are easier to plan, understand, develop, test, and deploy. It becomes easier to identify any risks involved and mitigate them during the testing phase so that the deployment becomes a cakewalk. It lets us have speed along with quality—no need to compromise.

  • Continual Improvement

Powerful analytics packaged into various dashboards give managers insights into the DevOps processes established in the organization. Overall data from ideas, work items, stories, code, commits, changes, and issues are available so that managers can prioritize work, measure team performance efficiency, and identify areas of improvement.

Conclusion

Traditional methods are time-consuming and reduce the overall output. The problem of long cycle time, high cost, and low efficiency are solved by DevOps, complemented by ServiceNow CI/CD environment. The general process gets streamlined and becomes a continuous part of the system. Delivering quality insights and automation benefits in a single platform for managing software lifecycle, reduced risk, improved cycle time, and constant improvements.

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About the Author

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Parul Joshi

Senior Software Engineer

The author is a Senior Software Engineer at Jade Global. Having seven-plus years of experience in the IT industry and have been associated with the ServiceNow platform since 2014. Also worked on several projects in different stages, including planning, implementation, and support. Played the role of a technical consultant, delivered custom applications for clients in ITSM, and have implementation knowledge in the ITBM sector.

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