One of the challenges with transitioning to cloud applications and infrastructure in the enterprise is getting them to work well together with on-premises systems. Without good integration options, cloud apps become silos of functionality and data that make it more confusing for users and difficult for admins.
For example, ServiceNow is being widely adopted for its flexibility and feature set as a service management platform, and comes with capabilities like a self-service software catalog out of the box. Yet if you look at the default button for requesting new software in ServiceNow, you see the word “order”, not “install”, which reflects the fact the ServiceNow doesn’t include any way to actually deliver software to the user who requests it.
On the other hand, we have System Center Configuration Manager in the datacenter which is world-class at installing software. However, its built-in application catalog is a standalone feature that doesn’t itself integrate with overall business and IT processes like approval workflows and cost accounting.
What we want then is the best of both. As one approach to this, I put together an example solution to explore how to provide self-service, automated software deployment through an integration of ServiceNow and System Center Configuration Manager. Users can find software applications that are made available to them in their ServiceNow self-service software catalog and then quickly “order” them for automated fulfillment. Shortly after the request is submitted and optionally approved, the user receives an email notification with a link to install the application on their PC using the simplified installation experience provided by Configuration Manager’s Application Catalog. This process can be completed in minutes with no requirement for human administration.
For a demo video and to download the example runbooks, see the full write-up: